Tuesday, September 12, 2006
By BEN MCCARTY
News staff writer
September 2, 2006
While others are firing up the barbeques or getting ready to return from a relaxing weekend, more than 500 swimmers will be diving into the chilly waters of the Columbia. In one of the Gorge’s most famous traditions, they will try to make their way from the Washington side of the river to the Oregon side.
This will be the 64th year for the Roy Webster Cross Channel swim, which began in 1942 as an attempt by Webster and a few friends and family to get some exercise. In the years since it has grown into an event that attracts participants from across the nation.
To watch their valiant effort, you will have to get up early as well. The sternwheeler carrying the swimmers across departs the Event Site at 7:30 a.m. on Monday and the first flights of swimmers will be hitting the water at 8 a.m. The last swimmers are expected to finish by about 10 a.m.
The course itself is approximately 1.1 miles long and finishes just to the east of the Hood River Inn. Swimmers who cannot make it across the river will be picked up by one of many boats that will be standing by along the route.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge