MATT SCHUBERT’S OUTDOORS: Winter on the horizon (sorry)

SOME MAY NOT want to hear it, but winter isn’t all that far away.

In a couple more months we’ll be sliding around U.S. Highway 101 like skating rink.

If that image doesn’t bring a smile to your face, then think of this:

As long as Jack Frost cooperates, we’ll soon be cutting up some fresh powder atop Hurricane Ridge as well.

With Hurricane Ridge Road open to seven-day-a-week access once again this winter — insert federally mandated “weather permitting” clause here — snow junkies ought to have all sorts of time to feed their addiction.

Before all of that, however, one must gear up.

That begins in two weeks with the Hurricane Ridge Gear Swap and Olympic Peninsula Outdoor Sports Expo at Port Angeles High School on Saturday, Oct. 22.

The event is essentially the same thing as the ski swaps of years past — held in conjunction with Winterfest — except bigger and at a different time and place.

Participants can buy and sell used ski gear and clothing during the day, then watch the latest Warren Miller movie later that night.

Unlike years past, however, there will also be space for other sporting goods outside of the skiing/snowboarding realm.

“I really hope to grow this and include kind of all outdoor rec activities,” said event organizer Lindsay Fox, mentioning activities such as kayaking, biking, fishing and hunting.

“It will definitely be kind of a small start this year, but that’s my hope.”

Kitsap Sports, a sponsor, will be on hand, as well as several area outdoor vendors.

Anyone is welcome to drop off equipment and clothing for sale between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. the day of the event.

The actual gear swap/expo will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the high school, with admission $3 per person or $7 for a family pass.

There will be two showings of a Warren Miller ski and snowboard film that night at 6 and 8 at the Port Angeles High School auditorium. Admission is $10.

The event benefits the Hurricane Ridge Ski Team and Ski Area.

For more information, or to inquire about vendor space, contact Fox at skifox@wavecable.com.

Winterfest moving

Winterfest will also undergo a few tweaks this year as well.

The annual Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club fundraiser is set for Saturday, Nov. 19, at Vern Burton Community Center, 308 E. Fourth St., in Port Angeles.

Unlike in years past, the event will be held on a Saturday instead of a Friday and will not include a Warren Miller movie.

Instead, the film de jour will be a smattering of area offerings from last year’s Videolympics outdoor film contest.

There will also be a dinner, oyster bar and live and silent auction.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $45 at Brown’s Outdoor, Swain’s General Store, Necessities and Temptations and Brian’s Sporting Goods and More.

For more information, visit hurricaneridge.com.

Other tidbits

■ The state Department of Fish and Wildlife tentatively scheduled the opening weekend of the 2011-12 coastal razor clam season for Oct. 28-29.

Morning digs are set for both dates at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks, pending marine toxin tests.

Olympic National Park, in consultation with the state, is still developing options for clamming at Kalaloch.

Dates should be announced in two to three weeks.

With the beach’s razor clam populations in decline, there’s reason to believe diggers will see an abbreviated season there.

■ The return of “Mushroom Mania: A Fungus Festivus” was met with a collective yawn by Peninsulites this past week.

After announcing last Thursday that the annual mushroom photo contest is back on, I had just one shroom shot sent my way in seven days.

Just for a little perspective, I received the same number of emails decrying my journalistic integrity during that same time frame.

In terms of PDN reader interest, we’ve obviously fallen way short of the Banana Man standard.

To view full Mushroom Mania rules, visit http://tinyurl.com/6dd39xr.

________

Matt Schubert is the outdoors and sports columnist for the Peninsula Daily News. His column regularly appears on Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at matt.schubert@peninsuladailynews.com.

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