Doggie play land, sandbar beach in Hood River
Here in Oregon, dogs and dog people play on a slice of sandbar paradise at (where else?) Dog River.
She's a little small this summer, more of a thong bikini of sand, due to a long, wet winter and high river flows. But she is our own - our Oregon Dog Beach on the Columbia River. Where dogs and dog people play.
And later in the day, when the wind blows, kite surfers take over the sand.
Here's a day in the life of our own secret sandbar... home of kiters and windsurfers and paddlers-- people and pets - all breeds and all creeds. Hood River is the remarkable place we call home.
This is our Dog Beach, our Dog River.
Here in the Columbia River Gorge, liquid lifeblood flows downhill from Mount Hood to the Columbia River – that magical, mystical, historical Dog River. It's the original name of the Hood River, renamed more than a century ago.
The action sports town is famous for kite surfing and windsurfing is named after the river, too – Hood River, Oregon.
At the mouth of Dog River/Hood River is a sandbar, a secret beach formed when the river overflowed its banks. Ma Nature went a little crazy in 2009 with a mega winter storm and Dog River overflowed, wiping out roads and leaving 800,000 cubic yards of debris. 153 million gallons of sand added 26 acres to Dog River sandbar. Thank you, Ma Nature - cowabunga, surfers and beach dogs!
The other dog beach - the original - in So Cal
For all you So Cal beach dogs that hang out at the original Dog Beach in San Diego, your sandbar playground has a similar "secret beach" beginning.
A mighty storm off the coast pummeled Ocean Beach with waves, and the San Diego River overflowed its banks as it rushed to the ocean. It wiped out Wonderland, a historic waterfront amusement park in the early 1900’s.
That storm left other debris, too – the good kind – a new secret beach, a sandbar, claimed by dogs and their people - designated Dog Beach in 1972, one of the first leash free beaches in America.
Dogs and their people - the community came together to help
That was our old Surf Dog Diaries stomping ground - Dog Beach in Ocean Beach (OB.) Formally adopted by Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC.) Dogs and their people jumped in with two feet and all four paws to help.
My first surf dog Howdy Doody and I co-chaired the nonprofit Dog Beach Committee of OBTC for years. With co chair Dave Martin, a pack of loyal businesses and volunteers and City of San Diego support, our amazing OB community fixed up Dog Beach over the next decade.
It went from beat up to “bitchin,” from 1997, the 25th anniversary of Dog Beach, 'til its dedication in 2003. OBTC continues Dog Beach improvements today.
The power of community!
Surfin’ safari to Dog River
We windsurfers, kiters and campers are always on the hunt for new secret spots. Our surf dog family took a surfin’ safari from Dog Beach and found Dog River – our new doggie play land / water sports central / small town paradise. Like salmon and surfers, we migrated here.
This is a magical, national scenic area - for all kinds of surf dogs.