Saturday, August 31, 2013
It’s hard to believe August is over already. These last couple weeks of cool weather and rain really put a damper on what is arguably the Gorge’s finest month for enjoying the great outdoors and cooling off in the many great bodies of water that surround us.
In this, our final installment of an eight-part summer series, we save the best for last, paying a visit to a true gem on Hood River County’s crown — Lost Lake. And alas, although school starts next week and the official end of summer isn’t far behind, there’s sure to be enough warm weather between now and when the lake freezes over to take a dip in what is undeniably one of the most beautiful and pristine lakes in the Northwest.
At 3,100-foot elevation, the lake is nestled between Lost Lake Butte, Preachers Peak and of course the towering Mount Hood, of which the lake provides unobstructed views that are awe-inspiring no matter how many times you visit.
In terms of “cooling-off,” you have a few options. The 3.2-mile trial around the lake is an excellent and beginner-friendly hike that provides access to most of the lake, although some areas more clear of trees and brush than others. If you’re looking for a nice, private place to dip in the cool water and lounge on rocks or trees half submerged in the lake, just hike the trail and find a nice place along the way.
The other 7
1: Laurance Lake
3: Elowah Falls
4: The Hood at Tucker Bridge
5: The White Salmon River
6: Rainy Lake
7: Aquatic Center
If you’ve got a canoe, rowboat, SUP or anything else that floats, bring it; if not, you can rent any of these from the rustic resort facility that manages the lake and campground facilities. A paddle around the lake, especially on a clear, sunny day, is one you won’t soon forget.
Although the theme of this series has been a tip-of-the-hat to just a few of the many great places to cool off on a hot summer day, Lost Lake is truly a place of all seasons, from the mushrooms, huckleberries and changing colors of autumn, the privacy, silence and misty contemplation of winter, the coming-to life of spring and, of course, the many joyous summertime activities that the finest of summer memories are made of.
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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