A great family experience

November 30, 2005

Three generations of Goe guys packed up ten days worth of camping and hunting supplies and made a trip east toward the Wallowa Mountains in search of second-season Rocky Mountain Bull Elk. After trekking several miles into the eastern Oregon wilderness on horseback, the Goes, along with three other hunting buddies, set up two large tents — one for sleeping and one for cooking.

For 13-year-old Wy’east Middle School eighth-grader Brent Goe, dropping a seven-by-seven-point bull from 450 yards on the first day of the hunt yielded the thrill of his first-ever kill.

Brent, with the help of his dad, Ken, and his grandfather, gutted and skinned the animal into the night, hanging it in the cold air from a tree before heading back to camp.

“He sure grew up a lot in a week,” said Ken. “He has tagged-along with us before, but this was the first year he could do it himself … It is definitely something he’ll never forget. I went to the same area with my dad when I was 16 and I remember it like it was yesterday. Seeing the animals, the wilderness and the experience of camping with father and son is what sticks with me the most. It’s a great experience even without getting a kill.”

Fortunately for the group, both tents were equipped with heavy canvas ceilings and wood-burning stoves. On the third day of the trip, the weather changed for the worse, dumping over a foot of fresh snow.

The snow, of course, made camping harder and tracking elk a lot easier. By the end of the trip, all six hunters bagged their tags and came home with enough elk meat to last their families through even the longest Hood River winter.

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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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