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Fun for a Cause

Exploring Eastern Oregon for hunger

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Thinking about the summer ahead has most of us daydreaming about the prospect of various outdoor adventures. Images of bicycles, tents and rafts dance through our heads and make us all fluttery.

Now imagine those same outdoor adventures but with a charitable purpose behind them. That's right: You can have fun and do some good at the same time.

The sixth annual Great Owyhee Ride Against Hunger is just such an opportunity. On Saturday, June 18, the Southeast Oregon Regional Food Bank is hosting the bike ride to raise money to feed the hungry. Yes, this one is in Oregon, but it's still nice to help our neighbors to the west, and the beautiful route is worth the drive to the starting line.

The ride starts at the historic train depot in Ontario, Ore., and leads south to the base of the Owyhee Dam before looping back to the staring point. Both 50-mile and 100-mile routes will be offered.

Registration is $40, with some team discounts available. For more info or to register online, visit greatowyheeride.com.

While the cause might not be quite as obvious, removing invasive species from Idaho's waterways is still important--and sometimes a lot of fun.

Trout Unlimited is hosting its annual Carp Fest on Saturday, June 4, at Gifford Springs near American Falls. The fly-fishing tournament not only gives anglers a chance at glory and prizes but it helps remove a few more invasive carp from Idaho.

The tournament is a fundraiser for Trout Unlimited, which works to improve Idaho waterways and fish habitat throughout the state.

According to TU, last year's participants took 200 pounds of carp out of the Snake River and raised more than $1,000.

The competition will involve teams of two with one fly rod (registration is $150 per team and is tax-deductible, to boot), and fishing will start at 10 a.m. Awards will be presented at a barbecue at 6 p.m. The greatest carp catchers will have a chance to score prizes, including a one-day float of the South Fork of the Snake River or a day of backcountry fly fishing.

For more info or to register, visit carpfest.blogspot.com.

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