Final Event of the Trip! The FUNKY CHICKEN!

Day 23-26 June 18th-21st – Directing Funky Chick HS

Photos by yours truly

 

After stopping in Hood River to ride with 3 time Funky Chicken winner Rory Sullivan on some of his personal trails I headed to Portland to hang with long time friend Sivonna West who was working at an all natural Deli. Hung out there with some sandwich stuffs then we went to a pretty famous cheese cake place and we called it a night. Got up early that morning and started heading South to Elkton to get ready for Round 6 of the Kenda/Srt West Hare Scramble Championship.

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The drive south was probably one of the most beautiful drives I have been on in a while going though Roseburg and Drain and a bunch of little towns. Definitely can’t complain about the scenery in Portland! Once I got to the Ranch I promptly went the wrong way and ended up at the Lodge having to U-Turn and head back up the hill. The Road was definitely tight and was going to be 1 way during the event but it made for a very scenic introduction to the area.

Once I got there I was greeted by John Weber, race referee and master planner of the entire event. Leading up to this one there was a bit of tension, mostly because the ETRA group had never been to one of the rounds I have helped host AND their event is one of the ones that does it pretty much perfect already. So I was kind of seen as not needed but I was there none the less. Once John gave me the walk around I met up with the Matthies family, Tim and Mason, who had gotten there early and we traded food for grilling. I had a grill, they went and got food.

Got all grilled up and set up and had a good evening on Thursday. One of the big things about the Big K ranch is that it is hosted on a pasture so there are cow pies EVERYWHERE. As soon as Rowlee jumped out he went to eat the first one he saw. Then the next one. Then the next one. After seeing that every dog there was eating them and then looking up that it is actually good for their digestion I worked on ignoring the fact that all the dogs were eating the cow patties… and then sleeping the same bed with me…

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Friday morning we got up early and hit the trail at 7am to put out the mile markers and view the course with John. This was definitely one of the most scenic, beautiful trails we have had all season. While ALL rounds have had their own thing – Arizona with the Red Sand, Coalinga with the mud holes and rocks, Gorman with the mountainous trails along the I-5, Redding with the giant Dam and Caliente with the city right next to the race site – this place was definitely the most visually compelling. Big green ferns, racing along the river, through non-stop trees, grass tracks and more. It was definitely going to be REALLY good.

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Set up the start line and finish a bit and got ready for sign up to open. With ETRA also doing their scoring and sign up I was able to walk around and meet-and-greet with lots of the riders. It was really good to see how many racers headed from down south and all over to race this event for the first time. Pretty much everyone invited me over for food so I was definitely full by the end of the night! Hung out with Grumpy and Vicki as usual to work on some final stuff and got ready for an early morning again.

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Saturday and Sunday both went really smooth. It was definitely the least amount of work I have had to do at any event. While, like I said before, there was a bit of tension once we worked together over the weekend everyone was much more stoked on the NHHA’s involvement. It’s one thing to host an event that specific to your location, it’s another thing to be a part of a western championship and as they said this is the first time it felt like a true western event. With the largest Pro line they have ever had at 27 PRO’s, one of the largest turn out’s they have had in some time at around 400 (I’ll have the numbers later), arches, banners, people coming with with factory rigs and more… It definitely felt like a professionally run event. After all was said and done we were all happy with the event.

Once again the Podium was the bane of my weekend. The Klingners brought it out from Utah but had to leave early when one of their riders had to go to the hospital – which happens and absolutely no fault to them  – so we had no ride for it again. Had to scramble and get it squared away and the Big K Land owner was cool enough to let us leave it there for the week so we could send some one to get it. What that means for me… I was originally planning on leaving most of my race stuff on the podium if it was going back to Idaho before coming to Panaca, instead I TOOK more stuff so that it is safe (just in case) so now I’m even MORE loaded down then before! ohh geeze…  this thing is gonna give me an aneurysm.

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Once I hit the road Sunday night I was gonna head South to Toketee Falls but changed my mind last minute and just started heading North. Parked in a Target Parking lot and got comfortable… Then kept heading North to Portland. First stop was a Bath for Rowlee! First bath is always a good one. Went to Healthy Pets North which was an all natural deal and I got to wash him myself. Once we were done Rowlee promptly pee’d on the ground. Because he was so stoked. Then I headed to Oak Barbarshop for my first “Straight Razor” shave by a Straightedge Hardcore barber which was awesome then hooked up with the Hammerbag family for the night and had some good eats and good hang outs!

SO the “official” part of my trip is over, now my relaxing/vacation part starts!!! Thanks for following and racing and having a blast with me on my trip!

 

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