Portland Spirit's ‘Outrageous’ gets new name

Now the ‘Explorer’ vessel is a regular summer visitor to Cascade Locks

Whether you are renaming an old boat or christening a new one, accomplishing the ritual properly helps ensure you receive the favor of the nautical gods and Portland Spirit is set to do just that.

On Dec. 12 the Portland Spirit renamed its “Outrageous Jet Boat” to be the “Explorer” and get her ready for the all new 2013 season. The Explorer has been outfitted with better seating, new paint, new schedule and new options.

The Explorer is a 40-foot vessel that can travel up to 45 mph. On board, there is bench seating with custom cushions, canopy top with zip-down windows for protection, restroom and captain’s narration of the sites.

There are five boats in the fleet, including the Portland Spirit, Willamette Star, Crystal Dolphin, Explorer and Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, normally out of Cascade Locks.

Portland Spirit also operates two land venues; the Terrace on Thunder Island and Gorge Pavilion in Cascade Locks.

“We changed our schedule to go daily to Cascade Locks, the Heart of the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, with trips through man-made wonders like the locks at Bonneville Dam and the Bridge of the Gods and nature’s wonders like Multnomah Falls and Beacon Rock,” says president Dan Yates.

“To better reflect the complete tour we thought ‘Explorer’ was more representative of the cruise than the original name of the vessel, ‘Outrageous.’ This year we will also offer the ability to rent a bike in Cascade Locks and ride back to Portland.”

The June-September Explorer cruises take in Portland’s skyline, the basalt cliffs of the Gorge, Beacon Rock and the Bridge of the Gods, as well as Bonneville Dam and passage through its locks in addition to the spectacular scenery as viewed by the pioneers that used this route to the West.

The stop in Cascade Locks gives visitors time to tour the Marine Park Visitors Center and purchase lunch at the Locks Waterfront Cafe.

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Visit www.portlandspir-it.com for more information.

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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



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