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Responsible recreationists should take rain check in bad weather

| March 14, 2007 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

To answer Mr. Ken Miller's letter of March 7, I'd like to start by saying I'm sorry you don't approve of my terminology, but as a youngster I was taught that in order to avoid any misunderstandings, to just call a spade a spade. After all, a rose by any other name still smells of a rose, and the same holds true for a skunk.

Although I don't know of any, I'm sure there are some who agree with you.

The fact that you don't share my opinions is fine with me, and good for us as a nation. Differing opinions create diversity - another essential element for a country such as ours.

The purpose of me writing is not to persuade people to think like me, but just to think, period. Besides, how boring would life be if we all shared the same opinion?

As far as the rest of it, I don't think your comparisons are very fair. You suggest that hunting can be dangerous. Well, everything we do has its calculated risks. Our job is to weigh them and decide what's best for us, and still be responsible for our decisions.

Our fall hunt runs from September through November at elevations from about 2,000 to 5,000 feet and in temperatures ranging from warm to cool. Hardly the same as being stuck in a three-day whiteout at 11,500 feet on Mount Hood in the middle of January. Hunting is also a way of life here, and for many, a staple.

Your comment about closing highways is just plain ridiculous. Traversing our highways in all weather conditions is absolutely essential for our survival. We have law enforcement, food service, emergency vehicles, working people, U.S. Mail, the list goes on. These vehicles must get through. That's why we have the highway department working all hours to plow, sand, maintain, and otherwise make our roads as safe as possible for winter travel.

In your letter, you mention that you're a rock climber. Do you ever do it when it's 25 degrees below zero with 50-mph winds?

I'm a former skydiver. It was fun thing to do with just a bit of risk involved. But I never compounded that risk by jumping in the middle of a thunderstorm with 40-mph gusts. Of course it would have offered more challenges, but I didn't think it was the smartest or safest thing to do.

Your numbers were somewhat impressive, but I noticed the absence of one statistic - that being the ratio of high mountain wintertime climbers to everyone else who may need the assistance of search and rescue. I don't know either, but I have an idea. But it's not a fact, so I'll keep it to myself.

In closing Mr. Miller, I like to say, no matter what activity I have planned, if the weather dictates a snow day, I take a rain check. We're all responsible for our own decisions.

Bob Creighton