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The Truth About Lyle (resubmission for CGKA)

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Since 16 Jun 2006
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Pure Stoke Sports
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PostTue Aug 18, 09 8:12 am    The Truth About Lyle (resubmission for CGKA) Reply with quote

This is a post from Melokitegirl and her husband from their experience meeting with some railroad officials in Lyle after the death incident Mid August 2009.
I am posting this on the CGKA section as it will survive a little longer as an informational topic for CGKA members to view.

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.


Pure Stoke Sports
Hood River, OR

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Since 30 Jun 2006
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Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
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PostTue Aug 18, 09 4:58 pm     Reply with quote

About Lyle,
I'd like to jump ahead a bit and comment on Phil's post on the "other" forum.
It just doesn't work for me to come to CGKA meetiings. I live in Tacoma WA. and with meetings on Thursday or Friday nights I'd have to take time off work because of the 3.5 hour drive.
Lyle is VERY important for myself, and at least 6 other Puget Sound folks who I've pushed to join CGKA, and non of us can logically come to meetings.


Has there been a process whereby the CGKA B.O.D asks for requested subject matter before the meeting from out-of-towners?

Or how about web-casting, with text message queries from out-of-towners. Or Skype tele-conferences?

If you'll look over the members of the CGWA, you'll see some major contributers
(< $1000.00 each) who live in California and only come to the Gorge Jun/July/August. Surely they cannot attend meeting and voice all their concerns. I've seen CGWA push different "Levels" of contribution (Bronze, Silver, Gold?) to generate more $$. Have we considered this?

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Kip Wylie

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