Post Canyon wall ride is a piece of work

June 25, 2011

After more than two years of work, Chris Elsmore put the finishing touches this spring on a massive wall-ride that is by far the largest manmade feature in the Post Canyon trails area. Elsmore, a contractor by trade and an avid biker and trail builder by leisure, adopted Drop Out (a trail between Riordan Hill and Post Canyon roads) several years ago.

"It was something I always wanted to build," Elsmore said. "I had a vision of a wall-ride for a long time. Once I got started, people said it wouldn't work or that it was too big."

For riders who frequent the area, like Parkdale native Gary Paasch, it works great, and it's not too big.

"It's really not a hard-core feature," said Paasch. "Just pick what line you want to take and go for it; it's pretty smooth."

Take that with a grain of salt, though; Paasch is one of the hardest-charging riders in town.

For most people, approaching the feature, which Elsmore simply calls The Berm, is an intimidating sight. It's about 10 feet high and near-vertical at the top. To hit it properly takes speed, centrifugal force and the commitment to lean almost straight sideways over the dirt while whipping around the corner.

"It's basically just a big berm," Elsmore said. "People don't have to ride all the way to the top; it's actually good for people of all levels. If you want to go big off of it, you can ride high up on the wall and hit the jump at the end. If you want to stay down low, it's like riding a big banked corner."

Elsmore said his original design for the feature was several feet higher, but he took down the top level at the request of Hood River County Forestry.

"It got controversial, so I stepped back from the project for a while," he said. "I knew it would work, but we have a really nice arrangement with County Forestry, so when they asked me to tone it down, it was a good idea to comply."

Through an organized trail standards and adoption program, HRCF, the Forest Recreation Trails Committee, and local user groups have been working for the last several years to manage and maintain trails in northwest area that encompasses Post Canyon. For the devoted community of riders who call those woods their second home, the program has allowed for an organized and unified effort, which has made Post Canyon the biking mecca it is today.

"A lot of people -- from best friends to the mayor of Hood River -- helped with this project," Estes said. "There's a lot of heart going into Post Canyon. People aren't just building things up here for themselves. It's for everyone to enjoy."

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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