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Gorge trip info request
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jse



Joined: 17 Apr 1995
Posts: 1299
Location: Marin

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:00 am    Post subject: Gorge trip info request Reply with quote

Hi, I have to be in Portland for a few days before Labor Day weekend. I'm thinking of driving up with a camping trailer the weekend before, staying through Labor Day. During the time I'm in Portland my wife will stay at the Gorge. So I'm interested in a safe and nice place to camp. Also I'm wondering where one who is in the straps and able to waterstart reliably, but cannot jibe yet, might sail, especially when it gets very windy.

I've been recommended Tucker as a camp site, but they offer no electrical hookups, so there's the issue with running the battery down, etc... Also they are on a FCFS basis for sites, and that may be a problem, although if we get there the weekend before Labor Day weekend, perhaps we can get a site for the duration.

Thanks, Steve
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14476

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only skill requirement for Gorge sailing other than in springtime runoff currents is a totally reliable waterstart. Jibing is icing on the cake. I sailed there full time for years, in whatever wind it threw at me, before figuring out jibing.

This ain't the city; any place east of Portland is safe IMO. I've slept under the stars along the Columbia (and all over the desert SW and PacNW) well over a thousand nights with my doors and windows open for the breeze, and the only intruders so far have been a house cat, a ground squirrel, and a curious fawn ... not even a mosquito as long as I avoid the wet Cascade forests.

Maryhill State Park, WA, 40 miles east of HR, has hookups, is beautiful, and has sailing at your feet if the wind blows there. It can fill up; Google it and see whether it has campsites available. It provides thorough detail on each individual site, including amenities and availability.

Battery power is definitely an issue with no generator or hookups. I was very frugal with my power usage, but still had to cruise around a LOT just to keep my big dual house batteries charged. That, in turn, destroys alternators. If you have a friend in HR at whose home you could park and tap into, that's ideal.

Nice enough RV park in Bingen just across the HR bridge, but earplugs, ear muffs, and total deafness will only HELP overcome the train noise.

Don't forget the Aug 31 swap meet. You might score enough deals to pay for your trip.
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andymc4610



Joined: 19 May 2000
Posts: 678

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tucker has like 8 RV spots, I thought they had electrical, water but no sewer. Unless this has changed? I never used those spots just saw the rv's there, the first right by the host. We camp there a couple times there a year just to get the car camping out of our system.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1308
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: Gorge trip info request Reply with quote

Hey Steve,

What Mike says about waterstarting is true, but, for a less hair raising experience (for I presume your wife), I would recommend the following
in order of difficulty (from easiest to more difficult).

The Hood River Sail park ( by the Marina) because it's shallow out about 200 feet.

The Dalles River Front Park ( a nice beach area with an island to sail out to
that isolates you from the rest of the river)

The Hook between Wells island and the Oregon side. (a gnarly launch but
then protected sailing from the main river)

The Hood River River Front Park (a premium park with a nice stepped ingress to the water).

Bob's Beach in Stevenson (nice grassy rigging into small river swells,
keep a weather eye out for the stern wheeler).

After that maybe she could get a little thrill at Roweena.

I typically don't recommend the Event Site (which is a nice place to
hang out) to Gorge newbies, not because of the environmental conditions, but because there is a lot of confusion, and high speed racerhead action
in and around the launch area, and a fair amount of hard kook'n on the beach. There's a lot of Kite action just downwind at the Sand Bar if that's a concern also. But you could have a look, the water coinditions there,
even when when it's windy, are pretty tame.

Mary Hill is nice camping, but that time of year it doesn't blow out
there often, and it is about 50 minutes into Hood River from there.

Memaloose has reasonable camping, but I'm not sure about electrical.

Tucker is nice too.

Good luck, and if you happen to be sailing at a site where a Green
Aerostar van with Oregon plates is parked (most likely The Hatchery,
Doug's or The Wall), that'd be me, please introduce yourself.

-Craig

jse wrote:
Hi, I have to be in Portland for a few days before Labor Day weekend. I'm thinking of driving up with a camping trailer the weekend before, staying through Labor Day. During the time I'm in Portland my wife will stay at the Gorge. So I'm interested in a safe and nice place to camp. Also I'm wondering where one who is in the straps and able to waterstart reliably, but cannot jibe yet, might sail, especially when it gets very windy.

I've been recommended Tucker as a camp site, but they offer no electrical hookups, so there's the issue with running the battery down, etc... Also they are on a FCFS basis for sites, and that may be a problem, although if we get there the weekend before Labor Day weekend, perhaps we can get a site for the duration.

Thanks, Steve
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14476

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Gorge trip info request Reply with quote

cgoudie1 wrote:
Mary Hill is nice camping, but that time of year it doesn't blow out there often, and it is about 50 minutes into Hood River from there.

Takes me 36 minutes from the Maryhill Park entrance to the center of HR.
Mapquest pegs the driving time from the same spot in HR to Tucker Park at ... 36 minutes.
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andymc4610



Joined: 19 May 2000
Posts: 678

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Gorge trip info request Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
cgoudie1 wrote:
Mary Hill is nice camping, but that time of year it doesn't blow out there often, and it is about 50 minutes into Hood River from there.

Takes me 36 minutes from the Maryhill Park entrance to the center of HR.
Mapquest pegs the driving time from the same spot in HR to Tucker Park at ... 36 minutes.


36 minutes, funny



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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14476

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll take your word over my MapQuest search, which stated 36 minutes. It also says it takes 42 minutes to drive from Biggs Junction to Hood River, which is silly.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1308
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so I'm sluggish, and now that I think about it, that includes the drive
over the gravel to The Wall. Biggs of course, is closer than Mary Hill
to HR, so one of those times is not right.

-Craig

isobars wrote:
I'll take your word over my MapQuest search, which stated 36 minutes. It also says it takes 42 minutes to drive from Biggs Junction to Hood River, which is silly.
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landis



Joined: 30 Apr 1998
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Memaloose has electrical in about 30% of the sites. No sailing access but pretty close to HR and much stay than the Bridge RV site across the HR Bridge which is overpriced, tightly packed and noisy (but their bathrooms are immaculate).
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combs



Joined: 01 Apr 1997
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude- Lewis and Clark RV park in north bonnieville has all electric sites and is about a mile from Stevenson one of the friendliest beaches in the gorge for novices...I put my 70 year old parents in this RV park when they come to visit without incident...PM me if you end up with this option and my wife and I will take care of her.
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