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2018 Rally in the Gorge Recap

16 years ago, if you asked me if I’d be doing the Rally in the Gorge 16 years later, I’d probably have looked up and given you one of those ‘whatcha talkin’ ‘bout’ looks. But here we are and Sweet 16 is now in the books.

The days leading up to the rally were in a constant state of flux. The sky was smoky, one of our set-up/tear down helpers was down with a sinus and respiratory infection and there were little fires popping up and being put out all around the Gorge.

But the show must go on and we loaded up the trailer and made tracks for Hood River. Visibility along I-90 through Cle Elum was, maybe, 2 miles. You could not see Peoh Point from the freeway.

Monday, we set to getting the grounds ready, placing up the appropriate directional signs, setting up the registration desk and unpacking our rally kitchen.

Special thanks to Paul Tefft, Steve Schiller and Norm Haugen for all their help before, during and after the rally.

Wednesday, attendees began to arrive, grabbing a short ride in the afternoon, or taking in a seminar. The Rally Kitchen and Café lit up at lunch time as we served our signature Chili Dog Chili, balsamic infused salad and other assorted goodies. Riders took advantage of the South Sound Motorcycles demo rides testing the latest Gold Wind and Africa Twin models. By 6 p.m. we had checked in more than 75% of the pre-registered riders and a number of walkups.

Special thanks to Connie Adams who ran the registration desk flawlessly throughout the entire event, and to Norm Haugen for being an excellent GPS docent this year.

It was still a tad smoky, but things were looking better, and the weather report gave us good news. Mild temps and clear skies were in the forecast!

By Thursday we were at 90% full. The Rally Kitchen and Café had a busy breakfast serving up scrambled eggs and sausage as the special along with breakfast sandwiches and wraps. Some riders enjoyed the various paved and dirt rides we’d crafted for this year’s event, while others participated in Jesse Murphy’s Advanced Vision Techniques seminar, which morphed into a ride.

Special thanks to Steve & Elaine Shiller and Daniel & Veronica Hazel for their support in the kitchen during lunch and the following breakfasts.

In the afternoon, the wind began to blow just enough, so we made the decision to move the condiment table indoors for the evening burger feed. Whitney Koberle presented a session about getting better control on big adventure bikes, then, Gary Anderson lit the pit and the burger feed was on. No one seemed to mind we followed that with scoops of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream from Tillamook Creamery. Our little 3 ring circus continued on with door prizes, popcorn, the recording of a segment of the Sound RIDER! Show and a video mash-up.

On Friday morning, Dale Gray of South Sound Honda kicked off the first of two ProTech sessions which were very informative. Riders then picked up their Fun Run cards and proceeded to run the 200-mile course.

Special thanks to the Christian Motorcyclists for their support on the checkpoints, the front gate and the Maryhill event on Saturday

Mark and Dana of Vallantine Motorworks led the afternoon ProTech session and did a great job answering riders’ questions. The Rally Kitchen opened for dinner and another round of door prizes, movies and popcorn ensued.

Special thanks to Gary Anderson, Tagan Smith and Becky Torrey for running the rally kitchen each night and making the burger feed such a success.

Saturday the weather just got better. Some rode the morning Maryhill Loops Road clinic, some took the Dirt Bike Safety Training class and others simply rode. But to be sure, as it always happens, the fairgrounds was a ghost town by 10 a.m.

The afternoon saw our first bike show contestant enter her bike and by the end we had 17 in the lineup. The votes were placed and then we moved onto the evening cone competition where both dirt and street riders were challenged on some very inventive slow speed courses. We moved indoors for the bike show awards and an unannounced live auction made possible by Idaho Star and Mosko Moto. Between the two auction items and door prize ticket sales we raised $1000 for the Gorge Kids Explorer Fund.

Special thanks to Derek Roberts for stepping in at the last moment and co-hosting the evening festivities each night with me.

Sunday came, but the rally wasn’t over yet. The pancake feed came off without a hitch providing an all-you-can-eat assortment of pancakes, eggs, sausage and fruit. Connie, Paul and I set out to pack up and by mid-afternoon the rally had officially ended.

TM/September 18


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