Out & About: Canoe Classic back to Spokane River

SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2012, 12:02 A.M.

The Spokane River Canoe Classic race has been moved to Liberty Lake for safety reasons. (Rich Landers)
Sarah Higgins, 21, and her dad, Mike, are the first father-child team to pull finish the six-mile race. This was the fifth time they had finished as the first mixed-tandem team in the Spokane River Canoe Classic. "This is way better than taking him out for breakfast on Father's Day," Sarah said. (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)

OUTPADDLE – Two twists highlight the 2012 Spokane River Canoe Classic: a later date and a category for stand-up paddle boards to go along with canoes and kayaks running the river.

The annual event will launch a colorful flotilla in a mass start from Post Falls’ Corbin Park at 11 a.m. on June 30 – that’s two weeks later than normal. Mountain Gear organizers want to avoid high river flows that have forced the event to a flatwater venue some years.

An added benefit: The weather and water will be warmer, said John Schwartz, Mountain Gear store manager.

Participants can enter the Citizens Division and paddle 7 miles to Harvard Road, or the Marathon Division to challenge Flora and Sullivan rapids on the 13-mile run to Plantes Ferry Park.

Among the various categories for men and women in canoes or kayaks, is the slot for stand-up paddle boards.

“SUP is the fastest growing part of paddle sports,” Schwartz said.

Prize divisions include best costume, most swims, oldest boat, fastest and slowest participants.

Preregister: Forms available at Mountain Gear, 2002 N. Division, or on the store website.

Permits required in Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

HIKING –The U.S. Forest Service is changing from a voluntary permit system to requiring permits in the popular Anaconda- Pintler Wilderness in western Montana.

Rangers say a growing number of visitors to the area has been ignoring filling out voluntary permits and disregarding warnings about backcountry abuse.

Forest Service spokesman Brandan Schulze says the permits will give the agency an idea of trends in the area so actions can be taken to minimize impacts on the wilderness.

Permitting also offers a chance to inform visitors about leave-no- trace principles. Fines for failing to have a permit range up to $75.

Father’s Day fishing free in Montana

FISHING – Everybody with a yen to go fishing benefits from a Father’s Day gift from the Montana legislature.

For the second year, Montana is celebrating Father’s Day by waiving the fishing license requirements on Saturday and next Sunday.

All other fishing regulations apply.

• Today is the final day of Free Fishing Weekend in Washington.

‘Guns, Gear and Beer’ helps save

CONSERVATION – Duck Unlimited will hold its annual Guns, Gear and Beer fund- raising event starting at 6 p.m. Saturday at The Condon Barn, 4801 S. Coleman Lane in Spokane. Cost: $40, includes steak dinner, beverages and DU Membership. Info: Dave Cote 939-5351; Mike Condon 995-0707.


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