Oregon Trail Rally returns May 2-4

National championship races in Hood River County May 4

Rally America racing comes to Hood River County next week, with many of the top racers in the country in tow for the 2014 Oregon Trail Rally — one of eight events in the national championship series. The three-day stage starts May 2 at Portland International Raceway, followed by May 3 racing in Wasco County and ending May 4 on the technical gravel roads of Hood River County.

The Oregon Trail Rally is scheduled to be televised on the NBC Sports Network on June 1 (3 p.m. PDT).

The rally returns to Hood River County after some deliberation between local agencies as to whether or not such events should be permitted on county roads. At issue was the disparity between the amount the county charged in permit fees for such events and the amount needed to rehab roads after the high-impact racing. County Engineer Don Wiley, who was working on permits for the event this week, said the county’s fee had been increased to about $1,700 per mile of the 10 miles of gravel roads the course covers in the county. He said the previous fee was about $400 per mile.

With several road closures set to help isolating the course, spectating for the event will be limited to pre- and post-race locations, including the Port of Hood River’s Lot 1, which will serve as the event’s “service park” for the weekend. The public will also have the opportunity to see racers and cars close-up at a fan party May 3, 7:30 p.m. at Double Mountain Brewery.

With big names like Travis Pastrana and Ken Block in the series this year, organizers say they are expecting a “healthy draw of spectators from the region” during the event.

Unlike past years, spectator zones will not be set up for the final day of racing in Hood River County, which takes place in the Fir Mountain and Gilhouley areas of the central valley. May 3 stages are based out of Dufur and have two dedicated spectator viewing areas in addition to a Parc Expose at 9 a.m. in the center of town. Specific road closures are listed below.

For more information on the rally, current points standings, state times and directions and more, visit rally-america.com.

Road closures:

May 3: Through access to Mason Cutoff, Fax, Adkisson, Hastings Ridge, Steuber, Center Ridge, and Easton Canyon roads will be closed. The event concludes on Saturday evening and all roads will be reopened by 7:30 p.m. Wrentham, Emerson, Ward, Boyd Loop, and Long Hollow roads will remain open. No access between U.S. 197 and Eightmile Road along Endersby Cutoff will be available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 3.

On May 4, Hood River’s upper Huskey roads down through county forest lands will be closed, as well as through traffic on Elder Road. Gilhouley Road will also be closed through county forest lands, while lower reaches of each road remain open to local residences. Roads in the area will be reopened by 7 p.m.

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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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