Wave Box highlights new, improved Adventure Village

Think the only place you’ll find people kayaking during the Gorge Games is amid the rocks on the White Salmon River?

Think again.

New this year to the Adventure Village is the Confluence Watersports Wave Box, “the world’s first portable kayak play spot.”

The 22,000-gallon ground pool utilizes two pumps capable of moving 6,400 gallons per minute, creating a six-foot wide waterfall that simulates a Class III/IV pour-over style hole.

“This type of project is what paddling has needed,” said Kelley Woolsey, Confluence Watersports’ vice president of sales and marketing. “Lack of access has limited the number of play boating participants to people who live within driving distance of a good river. We think the Wave Box will show people that paddle sports can be enjoyed by everyone, not just adrenaline-starved whitewater paddlers.”

This is the first time a whitewater feature has been simulated in a portable pool, highlighting the extreme aspect of the sport. The Wave Box can showcase professional athletes performing cartwheels, loops and split wheels to those who might never have been exposed to any aspect of the sport.

The Wave Box can also be used as a flat water pool to allow practice with sea kayaks, canoes or whitewater kayaks.

At 32 feet long, 17 feet wide and five feet deep, the Wave Box fits in diverse locations. But once it’s set up, moving the pool is a bit of a chore — it weighs 189,000 pounds when full.

The box is four by four by eight feet, with an additional area on top that connects to a six-foot wide, two-foot long spout that feeds the pour-over.

According to Confluence Watersports, during the past two years paddling growth rates exceeded any other self-directed sports, distributed almost equally in multiple age groups.

Since 1998, participation in canoeing and kayaking has increased by 50 percent, totaling around 6.4 million last year. Just over a million people paddled a kayak 10 times or more in the past year, and over 18 million outdoor enthusiasts went canoeing.

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The Wave Box is one of many attractions at the Gorge Games Adventure Village, which opens today at the Marina. Through Sunday, visitors to the Village can take advantage of outdoor gear demos and product sampling, interactive games, raffles and contests, the Banff film festival, daily footage of Gorge Games competitors, clinics and activities (kayaking, windsurfing, mountain biking and hiking), the Outward Bound Kids Program (competitions, hiking, clinics and Meet the Pros), and the Women’s Program on Thursday.

Today through Saturday the Village is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Sunday it is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 386-7774 or visit www.gorgegames.com

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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