Muddy, and fun at Gorge Short Track

friendly competition in the Gorge Short Track Series, as seen by racers Laura Melkonian (right) who finished first, and Temira Wagonfeld, who was second in the Cat-2 Women’s division

Trent Hightower
friendly competition in the Gorge Short Track Series, as seen by racers Laura Melkonian (right) who finished first, and Temira Wagonfeld, who was second in the Cat-2 Women’s division

The second race of the Gorge Mountain Bike Short Track Series, presented by Breakaway Promotion, was held last Thursday evening in Cascade Locks. Despite rain most of the week, conditions were cool and calm, providing a challenging but fun mix of course conditions for the second of five races in the series.

As was the case with the first race, Gorge-area riders placed well among the pack of riders. Top local placers are as follows:

Mark DeResta, 1st, Cat-2 Men 35-44; Thomas Morgan, 1st, Cat-2 Men 45+; Laura Melkonian, 1st, Cat-2 Women 35+; Temira Wagonfeld, 2nd, Cat-2 Women 35+; Zack Mikkelson, 1st, Junior Men.

The series continues May 30, June 6 and June 13 and is open to new riders for any or all of the remaining three. Races vary in duration from 30 to 45 minutes based upon category and are run on a mix of single track, double track, banked turns and rollers at the Port of Cascade Locks’ scenic EasyCLIMB trail system.

Registration opens at 4 p.m., with the first race at 5:30 p.m. and pros at 7:40 p.m. For event information and registration see

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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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