Wednesday, August 21, 2013
While not considered remote by most standards, Rainy Lake is out of the way enough that the chances of having the lake to yourself on any given day are pretty good. From Hood River, Rainy is about an hour’s drive from downtown and is one of several lakes oriented in a north-south line stretching between Mount Defiance to the north and Mount Hood to the south. Black, Rainy and North lakes are all accessible from the same Forest Service Road 2820, or Dead Point Road, which can be reached either from Kingsley Reservoir or Dee. Not far to the south geographically, but accessed from different roads are Whatum and Scout lakes, and beyond those are Lost Lake and Bull Run Lake.
Rainy is just a small and shallow pancake of a lake, but what it lacks in bravado, it makes up for in its quaint woodsy nostalgia as warm west winds swirl through the surrounding forest while hawks and eagles circle overhead, and salamanders and trout below nip at whatever the latest hatch has left floating on the surface of the cool, clear water.
On a hot summer day, pass-up the more popular Kingsley Reservoir for Rainy; blow up an air mattress or inflatable kayak, shove off and let the wind blow you in circles around the lake — you won’t be disappointed. And don’t forget a fishing rod, if you’re so inclined; fly-fishing seems to work the best, especially in the morning and evening hours when the sun is off the lake.
The entrance of the lake can be tough to spot; you know you’ve gone a little too far if you come to the end of the road and the very similarly sized and shaped Black Lake. If you’re looking for privacy and cars are parked at Rainy, it’s worth checking Black Lake since it’s so close. The lake is about a quarter-mile hike from a small parking area and four-site campground. There’s not much room around the edge of the lake for lounging, so something inflatable comes highly recommended here.
For the more adventurous, there’s the Rainy Whatum Trail #409, which runs along the edge of the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness between Rainy and Whatum lakes along Waucoma Ridge. Several other trails also tie into this network, including Herman Creek and Green Point Ridge. A quick search for these will give you details.
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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