>I've never been in the state of Oregon. Can anybody tell me
>about the Oregon course? I'd like to know elevation range,
>expected temp range, type of dirt, etc.
Here's what I've been told (in a comparison to TN roads):
If you've driven TN or Cherokee Trails, the roads are similar.
Lots of gravel, none/little clay
Mild crown on most roads, more crown and camber if graded recently
Not as twisty as TN, fewer turns, longer straights
For weather, expect everything. At any given point on any given day, we could have rain, hail, fog, snow, and sun, usually all at the same time.
Okay. During the summer the chance for snow goes way down. But it won't be summer during April.
For the roads, expect a good crown to most of them. Except for the PIR roads. Expect changes in elevation. We'll be in the coast range, so if you wanted to find the topo, check hwy 26 from Hillsboro to the Ocean for some idea of what you'll be seeing. Lots of trees. The road is similar to Washington's roads, sort of, it being in the same general region of the country.
Randy's video is pretty good, but remember: DON'T count on ditch hooking. There will be straw bales where the organizers don't want you to go, and I hear random ones will be staked down with re-bar. You take your chances, but I wouldn't hit one.
It'll be a hoot! I'm hoping for great weather, or at least weather like today (sunny, then overcast, then sunny, then drizzly, then sunny, then rainy, then sunny...), so long as it isn't pouring rain!
Hi Amy! Amy is co-driving for me this time. : ) There are some big differences between Oregon and cherokee: trees are about 3-5 feet away from the road and the road is a bit wider! But it is crowned and there's lots of ditches on the side of the road, which in rally speak might bring the trees 3 feet closer. : ) I've never rallied up there, but I've taken many vacations there! Hope to see everybody there. : )
The ditches are the difference. Have your codriver practice saying, "Don't cut!" over and over and over...
Not only is it important to the road owners (and thus the organizers)that you don't drive in the ditches, many of them will eat you for breakfast (the ditches, not the road owners.) Take "ditchhooking" out of your vocabulary.
You won't find anything too rough...although they're somewhat rougher than, say, Minnesota roads. We ran 000 in a rental car last year with no problems. LOTS of elevation change...twisty, technical roads.
Take the time to notice your surroundings when not on stage. Some very beautiful scenery. I mentioned to Cindy a couple times on this rally that she should look up out of her book on transits to take in the scenery. We had to stop as we exited one stage on top of a mountain to take in the panoramic view.
Kristen summed it up nicely, but here's some more input..
Road base: 1/4" pea gravel to 3" minus with med-large crowns (known to throw cars off the road), overall good base.. good underbody protection imperitive, lower cars can drag. Muddy and slick when rainy, dusty with less grip than you think when dry. Similar to driving on small marbles. Road width varies, but not lots of "mainline" logging types of roads.
Gotchas: Lots of all kinds.. Large trees, rocks, stumps, log piles (decks), culverts, banks, exposures, etc.. Double and triple caution stuff. as mentioned previosly, DON'T DITCH HOOK! If you do you'll pay..most people don't get as lucky as Rhodes/ Hackett did last year..1/2 roll over FF, back on wheels, route book out the window, 3rd in PGT!..
Elevation/ terrain: close to sea level to 4000', lots of up and downhill, a few stages near watersheds (no hooking), and some good acute turns w/ spectators (they'll help get you back on stage if overcooked). For the most part, this would be considered a "forest rally", as much of the stage miles are run on private, state, and county forest roads. As metioned previosly, there are lots of trees, as well as underbrush, berrie bushes, and ferns covering the forest floor.
It is a really sweet place to rally..Can't wait to get out there! :7 See you all in few weeks..
Since I LOVE twisty & technical I rank the OT roads near Tillamook second overall - ever! While they are VERY similar to Cherokee Trail's roads I rank those TN rally roads just ahead of OT's because there were less straight stretches in TN and I've been over the CT roads more often.
Unless you're keen to run straight-away laden events like that gravelly stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Wellsboro you will love the roads Ben and his crew have chosen for Oregon Trail.
>Kristen summed it up nicely, but here's some more input..
>Gotchas: Lots of all kinds.. Large trees, rocks, stumps, log
>piles (decks), culverts, banks, exposures, etc.. Double and
>triple caution stuff. as mentioned previosly, DON'T DITCH
>HOOK! If you do you'll pay..most people don't get as lucky as
>Rhodes/ Hackett did last year..1/2 roll over FF, back on
>wheels, route book out the window, 3rd in PGT!..
> As metioned >previosly, there are lots of trees, as well as underbrush, berrie bushes, and ferns covering the forest floor.
Low growing ferns hide the biggest rocks! Stay out of the ditches!
There may be fresh rock laid on some of the stages by local logging companies.
Be careful crossing wood plank brides when they are wet.
You have heard of a shotgun wedding, well a wood bride is used when the bride does not want to get/be married. It is mostly used when the groom becomes pregnant. The grooms family will grab the bride to be and tie her to a large plank and carry her to the church. for the ceremony they just prop her up until the preacher finishes the ceremony
Even if it's raining, the roads around Tillamook and Vernonia will probably have pretty good grip. It's all relative, so it depends on what you're used to. The amount of gravel that is embedded in the dirt makes it completely different from places like STPR when it rains. Some of those STPR roads become genuine quagmires by comparison. The trees at Oregon Trail are also generally further from the road than at STPR. Maybe that's why the Oregon Trail roads feel wider to me.
If you can see that there isn't a hay bale, ditch hooking can be rewarding on some corners. Regardless, try to keep an inside line because the gravel will be swept by Stig and road camber will be in your favor if you're inside. The roads are fun.