Bridge of the Gods attracts top kiters

Kiteboarding really catching on

"Go fly a kite" has taken on new meaning among watersports enthusiasts the past few years.

Kiteboarding has reached the peak of its popularity -- never more evident than at last month's Gorge Games -- and has begun catching on all over the world.

The sport will continue its asÿcent Saturday, Aug. 11, as the second annual Bridge of the Gods Kiteboarding Festival blows into Stevenson, Wash.

"We are stoked to have the event in Stevenson again," event organizer Floyd Wilkes said. "We want both a great competition and to create interactive opportuÿnities for spectators and sponÿsors."

Wilkes said this year's festival has received an outpouring of community and corporate supÿport from sponsors such as Naish Kiteboarding, Slingshot, Wipika, the Port of Skamania, Xtracycle,, Storm Warning and New Wind Kiteboarding School. As a result, the athletes will be competing for purse monÿey and prizes valued at more than $3,000.

Headlining this year's competiÿtion are Gorge Games Blowout champions Cory Roeseler of White Salmon, Wash., and Renee Hanks of Arcata, Calif., the first woman ever to finish the event.

Roeseler, one of the sport's originators, defeated kiteboarding mogul Flash Austin at the 2001 Gorge Games with a record Blowÿout time of 47:51. Hanks, who is spending the summer training in Stevenson, won first place at last year's Bridge of the Gods.

Other local athletes registered to compete are Mark Doyle, Ken Winner, David Tyburski, Gary Reed, Stacey Boggs, Karen Burekÿer and Barb Smith, among others.

Also scheduled to appear is 2000 Bridge of the Gods winner Adam Koch, although he will not compete. The Seattle native and men's freestyle kiteboardÿing champ at this year's Gorge Games will instead be judging the event.

Bridge of the Gods is open to the public and features an exÿpression session format to deÿtermine the winners. The event will be held at Stevenson's East Point, just east of Bob's Beach on the waterfront.

Athletes must preregister and can find more information online at or by contacting Wilkes at or (509) 427-5156.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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