Bicyclists tour valley in Sept. 29 Harvest Ride

Breathtaking views and fall weather are hallmarks of the annual Hood River Harvest Ride on Sept. 29, a benefit for the nonprofit Hood River Valley Residents Committee.

The Harvest Ride is a family-friendly, established bike ride through the less-traveled majestic backroads of the Hood River Valley. In its fourth year, the event will include five routes to choose from — easy, moderate and challenging or a combination for a variety of lengths. The ride is based out of the Hood River Fairgrounds in Odell and is expected to draw more than 400 riders. It will run from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Preregistration is $50 and increases to $60 on the day of the event.

Along the way are points of interest the region has to offer: panoramic views, orchards, farm stands, forested back roads and ranch critters, including alpacas. A unique feature of this ride is Farm-to-Table by Bike: buy farm fresh fruits and vegetables along the route and they will be delivered back to the finish line.

This well-supported ride provides mechanical and sag help if needed, plenty of rest stops with refreshments and a lunch waiting at the finish with fresh-pressed apple cider. Non-riders can get in on the action via the valley’s own Mount Hood Railroad, which stops in Parkdale, one of the rest stops for the Hood River Harvest Ride.

The Hood River Harvest Ride and Hood River Valley Residents Committee is a permittee of the Mt. Hood National Forest.

Hood River Harvest Ride sponsors include: Keen, Pear Bureau Northwest, Discover Bicycles, REI, Mt. View Cycles, Grand Central Baking Co., Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, Cardinal I.G., Subway, Kuki, Gorge Delights, Gu and Dave’s Killer Bread.

For event information and registration visit www.

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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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