Jessica Gosewisch Has Conquered The Buttercup Sand Dunes


Mei Dotzler, Reporter

Not many people can defeat the infamous Buttercup Sand Dunes, but Sahuaro’s very own Jessica Gosewisch has done it.

Baby Jessica on her first quad

Located in the heart of California, Jessica has been going to the dunes since she was only a month old, a withstanding tradition in the Gosewisch family since 1974. As a sophomore now, she still attends every year, using it as an escape from city life and a safe haven for her and her best friends. “My favorite part is just being able to ride my quad with my best friends and get away from the busy city. I can stay up late with them by the campfire or even just hanging out in our trailers,” Jessica says when asked about the most special part about quading.

The Sand Dunes are just a plethora of natural sandy hills in the California desert where people can take their quads or dirt bikes and go up and down on them. All hills vary in size, the tallest one Jessica rides being the “China Wall”.

When riding down these slopes, it’s important not to be wearing a tank top like Baby Jessica was. “I was lucky and when I was in a 4-roll rollover crash 2 years ago, I followed all the safety measures and walked away only with some bruises.” When quading, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times because bikes are easily going 100 mph. “The most important things to know are just watch out for others, if someone is stranded after either breaking down or crashing then help them, and wear safety gear to stay safe just in case you do crash, as many haven’t worn the gear and have died right in front of our eyes because of it.” This sport can inevitably get pretty dangerous, so it must be a priority to wear the correct gear out there. “No matter what you are riding, you should always wear a helmet. If you are on a quad or dirt bike, wear some riding boots and chest protector. In a side-by-side (RZR) or a rail, you should wear a 5-point harness.”

Busy day on the Sand Dunes

Although it looks very competitive, Jessica doesn’t participate in competitions. However, there are big hills called “Competition Hill” where all ages can race. “My friend, he is 15 and races sometimes, but not many people do it anymore as it has calmed down a lot these past years.”

Becoming one of her absolute favorite hobbies, Jessica loves going out to the dunes and encourages everyone to try it, for you may fall in love with it like she did. Next time you drive by Disneyland or San Diego, you’ll probably drive by the Buttercup Sand Dunes, and you may even see the fearless “Queen of the Dunes” Jessica Gosewisch out there doing a fancy 180 jump on the China Wall hill.

Jessica ready to demolish everyone in her quad and pink helmet