Harvest Ride is this weekend

In a unique combination of sporting event and agri-tourism, the fifth-annual Hood River Harvest Ride is set for this Saturday, rain or shine. Organized by the Hood River Valley Residents Committee, the Harvest Ride is a non-competitive cycling event in which participants choose from five different loops around the valley, stopping at points of interest like scenic vistas, farm stands and orchards, wineries, breweries and museums along the way.

Each of the pre-designated routes has its own appeal, ranging from a 6.6-mile kid-friendly course in Odell to the more scenic, and grueling, 30.5-mile Lost Lake Loop. Each loop is supported by event staff, and riders can choose all or any combination of loops throughout the day. Several designated pick-up stations allow participants to purchase fruit and other products and have them delivered to the Hood River County Fairgrounds, where they can be picked up at the end of the ride.

Although much of the draw is directed toward out-of-towners who don’t normally get a chance to ride the county’s many scenic and relatively low-traffic back roads, the ride is also a great opportunity for locals to hit the road together, take-in the season’s bounty and enjoy, at a bike’s pace, some of the many finer points that make the valley such a desirable place to live.

It’s also an opportunity to support the HRVRC, founded in 1977, whose mission statement is to “protect Hood River Valley’s farm and forest land and the livability of its cities and rural communities through advocacy, education and monitoring land use processes and decisions.”

For the second year in a row, several prizes will be an added bonus for certain participants, including the “Speed and Stamina” prize (shoe card worth up to $160 at KEEN Footwear) for the first three riders who return to the fairgrounds having visited each of the four rest stops, which means 92 miles and 8,200 feet of climbing.

Pre-registration for the ride runs through Sept. 20, with day-of registration available up to the 450-rider event capacity.

For registration, course maps and more specific event details, see www.hrharvestride.com.

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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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