Sounds pretty reasonable to me. It would need to be implemented with
minimal cost and intrusion, or course.
-- Mark Polhamus
I would want to see it done as a windshield sticker or a card that
you hang on your mirror that lets you park at any site along the
river. Having to pay separately at each site as you enter would
suck. It would suck so much I would probably not bother to visit
the gorge again. I often have to go into a site, check it out and then
move on because the wind is not right there.
Enforcement with parking tickets would be cheap compared with the
cost of setting up a toll booth at each site. (It should be specified
in the ordinance that proceeds from parking tickets given at the launch
sites also go into the park/launch improvement fund)
They should sell daily ($5), weekly ($25) and season passes ($100?) so
that locals, weekend visitors, and vacationers can all get a reasonable
deal that fits their particular situation.
With a typical summer attendance of about 500 vehicles per day across
all sites, this could raise over $2000 per day for facilities improvements.
That's nearly $200,000 in facilities improvements a year! This could be
They could start by putting in a safe railroad crossing at Doug's West
so that it can be reopened. ($20,000). Then there's about $180000 left
to go to "administrative" costs :-(.
Here's what I'd like to see of a "Wind-Park" permit system:
o Full season permit easily available in retail outlets, < $20
o Single permit covers all OR and WA sites
o Fees earmarked for site development/ maintanence
If a few dollars a year can buy us some some security at current sites and
eventually some site improvements, I think it's well worth it.
Another good idea might be to add a windsurfing tourist tax. They have
these sort of taxes all over the place. At least most people would not
feel that bad about paying a users fee. The tax would only apply to
businesses that windsurfers typically use.
In general I see the Skiing situation evolving. I used to go alot but it
got too damn expensive! LOW COST SOLUTION...please!
Public Access UNIX and Internet at (503) 220-1016 (2400-14400, N81)
"Keep it simple: as simple as possible, but no simpler." - A. Einstein
: ...I'd also
: like to see some new sites developed. Especially in the ultra crowded
: Swell City to Event Site section.
Man, you can only get so many people on the river at once! Most of this
stretch is already nuts.
I believe the problem as originally stated is that there are some sites that
currently charge a fee for using the sailing access. These sites include
Rooster Rock State Park and East Mayer State Park in Oregon, the Event Site in
Hood River, Rock Creek in Mosier and Swell City in Washington. All of these
sites execpt Swell City (I think) have daily and season passes available.
Rather that shell out a fee for each of these facilities, the CBWA was asked
to investigate the feasibility of a single daily, weekly, monthly and yearly
fee which allows access to ALL sites which currently charge a fee. This may
be a moot point because the owners/operators of all these sites may not be
able to agree on a single user fee system, but it is being looked into.
My opinion is that the only way this system could work is that each site would
continue to issue parking permits, but the permits would be good at ANY site,
not just theirs.
>: ...I'd also
>: like to see some new sites developed. Especially in the ultra crowded
>: Swell City to Event Site section.
>Man, you can only get so many people on the river at once! Most of this
>stretch is already nuts.
If they decide to close the Marina next year, so they can store dirt, there
will be a very large access problem in the Hood River area. The CGWA is
working on this problem and I wish them the best of success. The sandbars
created by Hood River provide a landing point for many beginers who get out
into the river too far. This type of sailing is not available at the event
site or any other of the locations except the Hook. With all the talk of
the low number of beginners, it seems that saving beginner sites would be a
The access fee is a hard problem. If the sites are going to be improved
without government help, the windsurfers will have to pay for it. When the
Gorge Commission was approved there were all kinds of promises for big money
to improve the sailing sites. None of this happened. If government lived
up to its promises, we would not be debating this issue. What we got was
all of the negative aspects of too much government and none of its benefits.
Many of the sites currently have a $20 to $40 dollar pass. If the wind
always blew at all of the sites this would not be a problem. Many days
it will blow only in the West end and the Hood Rivers sites fill up real
fast. The Hatchery gets full early and people park where they are not
suposed to. A pass system might help this a little but I do not think it
will solve the problem. It did not help much at Rowena. The cost to collect
the money or enforce the pass will be expensive due to no wind days and days
when the wind blows at the other end of the Gorge.
Last year I purchased a pass for one sailing location and when the wind did
not blow there, I tried my best to not sail at a pay location. I sailed
about 65 days and paid a fee only once. If there had been a universal pass
system, I would have sailed at some of the other locations. The positive
side of all this is it made me a better sailor. I often launched at a poor
location and sailed up or down river to a better location. This often means
you are sailing either over or under powered part of the time but that is
what makes you a better sailor.
In some small way the universal pass would make life a little easier but
I feel the real answer is to get government to step up to the promises they
made several years ago.
In rec.windsurfing, Kevin Hardy writes:
: There are still large sections of river that stay uncrowded because you
: have to sail up or down wind to get to them.
I guess I'll concede the point. The worst crowding is definitely limited to
areas close to the launches. It seems like a mixture of the real hotshots
who want the best show-off venue, and the out-of-their-league types who
aren't in control enough to get clear of the crowd (although I admit I
haven't stayed in any crowds long enough lately to know for sure anymore).
: Between the north end of
: Wells Island and The Hatch for example
*East* end maybe? The west end seems to be right in line with the main part
of the Hatchery, and the last time I was there, I stayed downriver which
gives you the exciting tour of the stump farm on a long reach. It's
probably less crowded upriver than between Swell and Wells I.