Local kayaker tests Colorado rapids

Dan Gavere competing in Teva Mountain Games this week

Some of the finest whitewater kayakers in the world are convening in Vail, Colo., this week for the second-annual Teva Mountain Games.

Among them is Hood River-based paddler Dan Gavere, who has called the Gorge home for the past year-and-a-half.

A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Gavere has been kayaking for 18 years, and has been a mainstay on the U.S. National Team over the past decade, most recently qualifying in 2001.

Gavere, 34, is known as a “recreational renaissance man,” who has developed skills in a variety of outdoor sports. He relocated from North Carolina to Hood River in 2001 so that he could paddle, kiteboard and mountain bike every day.

He carries with him a reputation as one of the original professional freestyle kayakers, and has paddled some of the fiercest rapids in the world, including the Verzasca River in Switzerland and the Futa River in Chile.

Gavere has also pitted himself against some of the sport’s fiercest competitors, including Eric Jackson, Brad Ludden and Scott Shipley — all of whom are participating in the Teva Mountain Games, which began Wednesday and run through Sunday.

Many of the top freestyle kayakers in the world are competing in a series of events, highlighted by the Teva Pro Rodeo, the “8-ball” Sprint, the Kayak/Raft PaddleCross and the Extreme Creek Race.

The Teva Mountain Games have been compared by many to the Gorge Games — Hood River’s annual sports-and-lifestyle festival that will not run this year due to a lack of title sponsorship.

The primary difference is that the Mountain Games concentrate on mountain-based sports such as kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, climbing and trail running.

In addition to the athletic events, the Mountain Games also feature a mountain photography competition, an interactive exhibition, a demo area, live music and mountain lifestyle parties.

The combined cash purse for all the events is $50,000, and a special will be aired on Fox Sports later this summer. For more, visit www.tevamountaingames.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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