Wednesday, November 2, 2005
May 18, 2005
A White Salmon mountain biker died sometime Sunday or Monday when he fell approximately 200 feet from the Coyote Wall a few miles east of Bingen.
Jeffrey Allen Johnson, 49, was apparently descending the Upper Agony single track trail on Syncline off old Highway 8.
Authorities believe a sharp turn threw Johnson from his bike and over the 200-foot cliff which weaves within feet of the trail in several places.
The Klickitat County Sheriff's Office learned of the fatality at 11:30 Monday morning when two mountain bikers, who were riding the same trail called 911.
They had spotted a mountain bike off the trail with its rider nowhere in sight.
The mountain bikers crept to the edge of the cliff to peer down. They saw the body lying atop a 400-foot scree slope of basalt. They called for help.
"I've heard of people hitting deer, hitting trees. But I've never heard of anybody going over the edge of the wall," said Klickitat County Deputy Ken MacDonald.
Five agencies, including Hood River’s Crag Rats, responded to the call Monday.
"We waded through chest-high poison oak," said Crag Rat and emergency doctor Christopher Van Tilburg. "We scrambled 400 feet up a scree slope and brought him down to Locke Road."
Emergency officials cleared the area at 4:30 p.m.
There, the Klickitat County coroner declared Johnson dead, though Van Tilburg believes he had been dead for at least a day.
"He might have fallen on Sunday," Van Tilburg said. "He was by himself so nobody knows. But based on the condition of the body, I'd suspect he had fallen on Sunday."
The Upper Agony trail is part of a trail system on Syncline that brings mountain bikers within a few feet of the cliff's edge.
"Everybody thinks about it," Van Tilburg said. "They think, 'Boy. I'm riding on the edge of a cliff."
Many mountain bikers dismount and walk along the most exposed areas of trail.
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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