September 1 Buzz: Outdoors News Shorts

Wooden Boat Festival sails into Port Townsend Sept. 9-11

The 35th annual Wooden Boat Festival Sept. 9-11 in Port Townsend will feature over 300 wooden vessels, hundreds of indoor and outdoor presentations and demonstrations, boat experts and boat enthusiasts, and 80 exhibitors. Additionally, there will be kids’ activities, races, music, food and local brew on tap.

One-day tickets are $15 and $30 for the three-day run with discounts for teens and seniors. www.woodenboat.org.

Free pass into Mount Rainier Sept. 24

It’s Public Lands Day Sept. 24 and Mount Rainier National Park is celebrating by offering free entrance to park visitors that day. The next free-entrance days are Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 11-13. http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

Festival 542 = Car-free Mt. Baker Highway

542 Festival logoNorKa Recreation n Whatcom County will host its 9th annual Festival 542 Sept. 10-11, featuring multiple categories for riders and runners of all abilities on a car-free Mt. Baker Highway. The festival is named after State Route 542, aka Mt. Baker Highway. The Festival features an uphill bicycle ride and run with dozens of categories and rewards for every rider and runner.

The 8.4-mile Run 542 on Sept. 10 is quickly becoming a legendary course. The race starts at the 3,500-foot White Salmon Lodge and heads up a lung-busting route to Artist Point at an elevation of 5,140 feet.

The bike ride – the Mt. Baker Hill Climb – doesn’t offer much more relief. The 24.5 mile, 4,300 foot paved route heads straight up the Mt. Baker Highway, past the famous Mt. Baker Ski Area and finishes at the awe-inspiring Artist Point. There are competitive and recreational options with various mileages offered for the cycling portion.

Festival 542 also includes a cyclocross race, family events, arts and food. www.Festival542.com

Cheer on walkers in the 3-Day Komen Walk

The annual Susan G. Koman 3-Day for the Cure comes to Seattle Sept. 16-18. Walkers, who will travel 60 miles over three days, have raised a minimum of $2,300 in fundraising to benefit cancer research and community programs for the Komen Foundation.

The walk will start at 6:30 a.m. at CenturyLink Field (formerly Qwest Field), route through Bellevue’s Old Town and Idylwild Park in Sammamish on Friday; begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Redmond’s Trader Joe’s and loop back to Idylwild Park; while Sunday starts at Main Street at 100th in Old Town Bellevue and finishes up at the Seattle Center that afternoon.

More information:

Twitter, www.twitter.com/the3day

Facebook, www.facebook.com/3dayforthecure

or www.the3day.org

Swim across Lake Washington to fight cancer

Swim Across America logoCan you swim a half mile or two miles? If so, register now for the annual Swim Across America Sept. 10 at Luther Burbank Swim Beach along the shores of Lake Washington. This year’s beneficiary is Seattle Cancer Care alliance.

The swim is open to individuals, teams and kids. Event directors are also looking for swim marshals. http://www.swimacrossamerica.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SEA_Volunteer

Help count bikers and peds

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Cascade Bicycle Club are enlisting volunteers and organizations like FeetFirst and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington to count the numbers of people bicycling and walking on paths, bike lanes, sidewalks, and other facilities on Sept. 27-29.

Volunteers from across the state are being asked to perform the counts in selected cities including Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Bellingham, Bothell, Bremerton, Burien, Ellensburg, Everett, Issaquah, Kelso, Kent, Kirkland, Longview, Mercer Island, Mountlake Terrace, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Richland, Seattle, Shoreline, Spokane, Tacoma, Tukwila, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima.

“This annual count of bicyclists and pedestrians helps us more accurately measure demand, gauge the results of our investments and plan for future improvement projects,” said Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “The information volunteers collect helps ensure that we are investing transportation dollars on priority projects, in locations where they are needed most.”

Learn more: www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/Count.htm; tessa.greegor@cascadebicycleclub.org or (206) 204-0913.