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THE TRUTH ABOUT LYLE
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melokitegirl

Since 28 Oct 2008
396 Posts
Where the wind blows
Obsessed



PostMon Aug 17, 09 8:13 am    THE TRUTH ABOUT LYLE Reply with quote

Yes, it's me again..talking about the forbidden subject. Fight Club just doesn't work & I'm tired of reading posts that are misinformed. I went back & re-read just about everything. The point here for me is that it just took a few bad apples by parking like a jack ass & being viewed by train conductors to have Lyle on the radar. Doug's Beach has nothing to do with Lyle & quite frankly the CGWA has their shit together & has tenure with the area - good for them.

My husband & I have been regulars at Lyle for a few years. We live close by & I pass it twice a day when I go to work in The Dalles. We have had many discusions between us and with Forrest, Pepi & the CGKA - We go to meetings when we can.

So here is a a post from my husband -

The Truth about Lyle
August 16, 2009

I’ve never posted on your Forum before, but I have been reading it for about a year.

Without going into all of the details of who I am and what I do, suffice it to say that I’ve been around the legal aspects of real estate access issues, real estate development, dealing with government agencies, and the courts for about as long as many of you reading this have been alive. I’m not trying to be terse about it, I just want whoever reads this to understand my frame of reference. To put it simply, you should listen to what I’m going to say because I know a LOT more about this stuff than most of you reading this. But one thing I have in common with all of you: I love kiting at Lyle.

Besides my work and personal experience, I have something else most of you reading this don’t have: primary information about the situation (not guesses or wondering). With the recent events of this weekend, I’ve decided to “come out” and address the issues as I understand them so that anyone reading also has a better understanding of what is really going on. I will address these points:

What happened Friday at White Salmon,
Who I talked to at Lyle on Saturday,
The Railroad’s position,
Suggestions for a real access solution (one that might actually work)
Suggestions for this website

The following information comes directly from a BN senior enforcement officer (whose name I will withhold): On Friday August 14, a woman was killed at RR milepost 87 near the White Salmon bridge. She was watching the windsurfers/kiters on the south side of the tracks with her family. She was coming back up and preparing to cross. If you remember, the wind was 30+ that day in the Gorge. The train was heading west and the wind was coming from the west. She didn’t hear the train coming. It was probably travelling 55+ mph. The side bar that extends horizontally out on the first train car hit her and severed her. She died instantly.

I went to Lyle on Saturday (and Friday and Thursday). On Saturday there were two BN officers there. I approached them to get BN’s position on “new world order” in Lyle. The officers were cool. Very cool. Surprisingly cool. They completely understand that we are there to recreate and they know that most of us are no real problem. However, they get their orders from “above” and with the death Saturday the new mandate is no more warnings, tickets are to be issued. So here’s the real deal about the tickets: first offense tickets are a mandatory night in jail, an appearance in front of the judge, a $250 ticket, and a criminal misdemeanor on your record. The $250 won’t hurt, and maybe you know what it’s like to stay in the jail hotel. But the criminal misdemeanor will hurt you. It stays on your record permanently and means you’ll probably never get into Canada and maybe not Mexico either. Make no mistake, these guys have the authority, the jurisdiction, and they carry Glocks, radios and handcuffs. They’re real cops and they’re not fucking around anymore.

The railroad’s position is pretty simple: they’re exposed again to getting sued by the family of the woman killed and it’s probably going to cost them a lot of money. Now think about it for a minute: if you were in this position, would you really feel good about granting access across your property to a bunch of kiters who do nothing for you at all but potentially put you in a position of severe liability and costing you thousands or hundreds of thousands? Do you really think the people in TX who make the decisions care how much beer and food you buy in Lyle? (Common sense is required to answer these questions). So unless you have another way to get to the sandbar, you should pretty much write Lyle off your list for this year. Remember: they don’t care that you’re kiting, they only care that you cross the tracks (over or under) to get there. Note I said “over or under”. Yes, I asked because I’ve been under the bridge just like a few of you.

There has been a lot of talk, rumor and posting about Lyle since the beginning of the summer. There’s also been a bunch of talk at the CGKA level (see Betty Boarder, Forrest , Melokitegirl posts et al). In my experience in dealing with these kinds of things, it really takes a “point person” and “point organization” to get it done correctly. It also takes money. Make no mistake: it really is best for the CGKA to take the lead on this, after all they’re supposed to represent the kite community in the Gorge (I’m a member). Obviously any kite location is better with 2 people than 20, but I would like to see the access open for everyone. We’re really all in this together; at least that’s how I see it. And that’s why I’m going to close my comments with something many of you won’t want to hear…

My suggestion to all of you who post things about Lyle (or anything else for that matter but especially Lyle), don’t use this Forum anymore to make yourself sound like a dumbshit. Many of you do without knowing it (note: I certainly don’t mean “everyone”, but it really only takes 1-2 to stain the whole group). Poking fun back and forth is one thing, but Lyle access has now become a serious matter for those of us who seriously care about it. Why do I say this? Because the railroad knows about this Forum and they do monitor it (yes, I asked and they’re probably going to read this post as well). While I was talking to the BN officers, one guy came up and actually asked the officer if it was ok to jump over the tracks or dig a tunnel underneath to get to the beach…he actually asked the officer this! I’m sure he is a great guy and probably a great kiter too (better than me I’m sure)…but people like him are the last people who should be opening their mouths directly to representatives of BN. Pepi and Mike are right: from now on, stay OFF this forum for your Lyle discussions. Use your PM thing or your cell phone or whatever you do to talk to each other; just don’t do it here. If you really want Lyle to have a shot at being open, being the Ambassador of Stupidity will do more to harm than help. Sorry to be so abrupt and sound like such an ass, but the stakes are too high here not to say something. Think about it: even the “regulars” couldn’t stop parking in the south side of HWY 14 this summer. The moral of the story? Land rights are enforceable, so is trespass. But I guess we all know that now don’t we?

It’s a new world order friends; Lyle isn’t just a sneaky conversation anymore, this time it’s the real deal. There has been a death and the owner (BN) doesn’t want to see another one. They are an equal opportunity enforcement agency…it’s doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist or a local; they’re watching and you’re going to get busted. If you really want to help, keeping your mouth shut (and your fingers off the keyboard) is the best way to do that. Let the people at CGKA organize and work on your behalf. It may not work, but they are the best shot and at this point this is why they are there. I STRONGLY suggest you join the CGKA organization. Money will be required, it always is for these things. As this moves forward, be prepared to buck up.

All of this said, if you want to rip me, tell me what a dick I am, or compliment me, you can PM Melokitegirl and she will get it to me. I will gladly respond to any of the three. I just figured it’s finally time that someone put “the truth” out there.

You will not see anymore posts from me, but I will be watching.

Thanks

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pkh

Since 27 Feb 2005
6543 Posts
Couve / Hood
Site Lackey



PostMon Aug 17, 09 10:10 am     Reply with quote

Great post, thanks for taking the time and getting the straight story.

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Kodiak

Since 01 Aug 2005
1114 Posts

Slidey



PostMon Aug 17, 09 11:56 am     Reply with quote

Thanks for the information. It was interesting to hear though that they said you couldn't go under the tracks. I wonder what drives that.

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EdG

Since 19 Dec 2005
422 Posts
Just a Kook that's
Obsessed



PostMon Aug 17, 09 12:56 pm     Reply with quote

pkh wrote:
Great post, thanks for taking the time and getting the straight story.


Smile Smile

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melokitegirl

Since 28 Oct 2008
396 Posts
Where the wind blows
Obsessed



PostMon Aug 17, 09 1:58 pm    under the tracks Reply with quote

OK, so I have had a few PM's. Thank you. I want to clear up the question of why not under the RR tracks...

The RR owns the property under the tracks as well. Think about it.

Also, we have been told by the powers that be - they are posting a person there to write tickets everyday. They couldn't be happy about this as it costs money (our tax dollars hard at work) to monitor this site when I'm sure they have better things to do than issue tickets to recreational folks.

Get a boat, paddle board, kayak or a canoe. Walk on water for all I care - just stop creating problems for the CGKA by crossing the tracks. Better yet..explore The Gorge. There are other great places to go.

Melo

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K4L

Since 19 Jan 2009
483 Posts

Obsessed



PostMon Aug 17, 09 4:01 pm    Sad story about the death Reply with quote

Thats a sad deal for those involved with the death. Condolonces

I was kiting by the ws bridge as where a couple other kiters Friday from 2:30 to about 5:00 I saw the people watching kiters and when the train came through and stopped I figured they were screwing around to close and the conductor hit the brakes, didnt even think someone might have got hit.
Puts a little bit differant spin on the whole Lyle thing. Can certainly understand the RR posistion when it comes to trespassing on their right of way regardless of whether it be kiters, fishermen, tourists
Moral of story find another way to access lyle w/o trespassing or another place to kite

Last edited by K4L on Mon Aug 17, 09 5:35 pm; edited 2 times in total

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The Great White Pervert




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PostMon Aug 17, 09 4:33 pm     Reply with quote

Great post!

But seriously, a train...? Step out of the way. It sucks that someone passed away and you are right. If a spot causes so many problems don't go there.

railgrab

Since 29 Mar 2005
177 Posts
Seattle, WA
Stoked



PostMon Aug 17, 09 7:55 pm     Reply with quote

The White Salmon Bridge incident is truly very sad. Unfortunately, Washington State averages over 9 railroad fatality incidents per year, so this is not as uncommon as one might think and certainly not anything new for BN. Am I allowed legally to cross the tracks to get back from the water to civilization if I ever get washed up on the rocks? I feel ridiculous even having to ask this question.

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pdxmonkeyboy

Since 16 May 2006
6078 Posts
forever labled as the
retired kiter & motorhead Unicorn Master



PostTue Aug 18, 09 6:56 am     Reply with quote

Kite girl, I am going to send you and your husband a box of chocolates for this post. Is there any chance that we can make it a sticky?

At the risk of being labeled once again as the self-rightous flamer that gets all bent when people talk about Lyle, I think anyone that is crossing the tracks to kite at Lyle needs to ask themselves one thing "Why don't the rules apply to me?"

I guess now you can mull it over in jail. Crying or Very sad


And now....(for those of you who are unsure of what a real forum flamer looks like)......

Last edited by pdxmonkeyboy on Tue Aug 18, 09 7:09 am; edited 1 time in total

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kitezilla

Since 22 Jun 2006
451 Posts
gorge
Obsessed



PostTue Aug 18, 09 7:42 am     Reply with quote

I wonder if the multitude of fishermen, who have for many years, gained access to the mouth of the WS River by walking under the WS RR bridge...have established some sort of "easement" or right-of-way.

This would be of interest to know, in the event that the release of silt from behind the Condit Dam, forms a sandbar at the mouth of the WS River. The access to this sandbar and potential launch site would be by way of the fisherman's "easement".
I hate to think of the consequences of the ensuing fisherman-kiter war which will likely occur over the 25 up-against-the-bank "parking spots" to be shared by the fishermen, kiters and tourist-beach-users-spectators.

Related issues to be considered are:

(1) Should kiters change their behavior and not kite off the mouth of the WS River bridge because we could be considered "attractive nuisances", by distracting the attention of spectators and luring people across the RR tracks for a better view?

(2) What is the legal difference between going under the RR bridge at the WS and doing the same at the Klick? One is trespassing and the other is not? Is there a difference because the RR is worried about the slipping and falling danger under the Klick bridge compared to the negligible hazard under the WS bridge?

(3) Kiteboarders as "lightening rods", attracting attention which results in bans on access to the river, which then affects the long-time local beach users and fishermen. Do we want to be this kind of agent of change to the Gorge, and how do we prevent this "reverse-popularity-contest" from happening?

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ascott72

Since 25 Jul 2009
4 Posts

Kook



PostTue Aug 18, 09 7:42 am     Reply with quote

So we all have a problem here

The railroads don't want anyone to get killed.

And users are going to want to keep using Lyle, be they fishermen, windsurfers, kiters, or tourists.

Ticketing people is NOT a long-term solution. Isn't it obvious to everyone (including the RR's) that the solution is SAFE access which means a fence and a gate or a tunnel? Isn't Doug's proof that safe access works?

Isn't the potential cost for these crossing accidents much higher than the cost to install safe access?

I am done ranting. sorry, it just doesn't make sense to me. I will leave it to the powers that be now.

Last edited by ascott72 on Tue Aug 18, 09 8:12 am; edited 2 times in total

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Onad

Since 04 Mar 2005
1399 Posts
Coast<<PDX>>Gorge
XTreme Poster



PostTue Aug 18, 09 7:59 am    Re: under the tracks Reply with quote

Melo Kite Guy, thanks for passing on this information. There has been so much talk about the problem, what about the solution? You say it will cost money. What is the money needed for?

Wouldn’t one long term solution be to install a RR crossing? Isn’t that how access issues have been resolved in other areas of the Gorge? Does a RR crossing absolve BN of the liability related to civilians crossing the tracks?

Tx, Dano

melokitegirl wrote:
... Also, we have been told by the powers that be - they are posting a person there to write tickets everyday. They couldn't be happy about this as it costs money (our tax dollars hard at work) to monitor this site when I'm sure they have better things to do than issue tickets to recreational folks.

Melo

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Pepi

Since 16 Jun 2006
1746 Posts
Hood River's local kite
Shop Owner

CGKA Member


PostTue Aug 18, 09 8:03 am     Reply with quote

pdxmonkeyboy wrote:
Kite girl, I am going to send you and your husband a box of chocolates for this post. Is there any chance that we can make it a sticky?


I second that motion!

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Hood River, OR
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melokitegirl

Since 28 Oct 2008
396 Posts
Where the wind blows
Obsessed



PostTue Aug 18, 09 8:34 am     Reply with quote

Great feedback and ideas! There is a committee on the CGKA and I will be sure to address everyones concerns, ideas and solution options to them. In the mean time, we will do some research to address the "fisherman easment". But on that note - we are not native americans and the rules are different for them. And yes, I agree that the RR putting a safe crossing makes more financial sense than being sued. Another item for the CGKA committee...

This is a long term deal. I wish we could solve it straight away...

The money question..hiring an attorney, possible a surveyor & if there is something to be built. From what I heard about Doug's, that crossing cost about 35k. and that was some time ago. Not sure of the actual price tag. As much as I like the idea of developing a crossing - we can't even get the swarm of people that kite in The Gorge to pay $20 for a CGKA membership. Pretty disappointing.

There was a negative post that seems to have been deleted from this morning. I have never hidden who I am. Please PM me & if you would like to meet for coffee and discuss this issue - I'm game. If you want to cross the RR Tracks - that's on you. I have no dog in that hunt. Personally, I'm gonna get a zodiak or a kayak because I love kiting in Lyle that much. I like going to Canada & Baja also and the risk is to great for me to cross illegally.

Cheers!

PS. On the comment of stepping off tracks. You would think she would have heard the train - but the wind was so intense that you can't hear it. She was 82 and slow. The saddest part of this is that her friends and family were waving at her, yelling for her to get off the tracks and she didn't see them or hear them either and they watched it happen. So tragic.

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forrest

Since 21 Jun 2005
4329 Posts
Hood River
Hick

CGKA Member


PostTue Aug 18, 09 8:37 am     Reply with quote

This is what has to be done to get to the point of starting to convince BNSF that a crossing is the right solution:

1) convincing kiters to obey the laws.
2) a biological wildlife study has to be done.
2a) Convince USFS that a complete closure isn't in order.
2b) Convince Yakama Nation that a complete closure isn't appropriate even though they don't own the spit. Yakama Nation does own the other side of the river.
3) proof that humans have been accessing the Klickitat river delta for at least as long as the railroad has been there.
4) finding someone to pay for a tunnel under the tracks. Possibly part of the Doug's settlement.
5) convincing the USFS to grant access.
7) convincing WDOT to build a parking lot.

Keep in mind, we're only kiteboarders (Recreational) and we're not trying to cross the tracks to feed our families.

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
3777 Posts
Camas
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CGKA Member


PostTue Aug 18, 09 8:47 am     Reply with quote

Thanks for setting the record straight MeloKite Girl & Guy! A very well thought out and written post. It's great that the two of you think enough of our community to expend the time & effort to research and post info that was urgently needed. Thumb's Up

BTW, There's lots of GREAT deals on new & used Jetskis being as it's about the end of the season. I've seen old but serviceable 'skis for $700 on Craigslist.

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Pepi

Since 16 Jun 2006
1746 Posts
Hood River's local kite
Shop Owner

CGKA Member


PostTue Aug 18, 09 8:56 am     Reply with quote

Forrest wrote:
This is what has to be done to get to the point of starting to convince BNSF that a crossing is the right solution:

1) convincing kiters to obey the laws.
2) a biological wildlife study has to be done.
2a) Convince USFS that a complete closure isn't in order.
2b) Convince Yakama Nation that a complete closure isn't appropriate even though they don't own the spit. Yakama Nation does own the other side of the river.
3) proof that humans have been accessing the Klickitat river delta for at least as long as the railroad has been there.
4) finding someone to pay for a tunnel under the tracks. Possibly part of the Doug's settlement.
5) convincing the USFS to grant access.
7) convincing WDOT to build a parking lot.

Keep in mind, we're only kiteboarders (Recreational) and we're not trying to cross the tracks to feed our families.


For those of you who do not remember, Forrest is the lead person who has met with all of these agencies and the information stated is highly accurate. The majority of the above listed steps are all the same steps that the CGWA accomplished, along with a significant amount of donation funding and volunteer services to make each and every one of our local windsurf launches exist (just like Dougs Beach).
The only difference is that the CGWA likely had it a bit easier 20 years ago when the cost for these sort of projects was likely a bit less and the legal system was still not too overrun with liability lawsuits.

There could still be a slight glimmer of hope for Lyle, but due to all of the issues surrounding the launch and all of the different user groups violating the rules, just even getting to the starting point of discussions with the state and railroad agencies (to get them to take us seriously) will likely be the biggest hurdle.

Thanks for the post Forrest.

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