In recent months, I’ve longingly looked on as Cian has hopped around Ireland covering various rally stages and spotlighting epic rally machinery. Matt got in on the fun last year too, with an awesome short series detailing his WRC experience in Australia.
There is some rally activity in my longtime home state of California, but for one reason or another I never quite made the trek out to cover any stages. Probably plain laziness, if we’re honest, but I was at least clever enough to recognize the colossal amount of work I would need to put in if I was to shoot it. Because there was no sense in doing things by halves.
But now, living in downtown Portland and with several stages of the Oregon Trail Rally taking place within a couple hours of our apartment, my desire to see the madness firsthand outweighed the inertia that’s kept me buried behind my computer screen sifting through the 50-odd features I still need to edit and write from the last six months.
Unfortunately, additional prior commitments kept me from attending Sunday’s activities — which featured the best shooting opportunities, of course, because that’s how life works — but I made sure to clear everything else I had going on Friday and Saturday to finally see what the rally scene is like in person.
The Oregon Trail Rally kicked off at Portland International Raceway, and I have an article detailing the fan-filled experience on its way.
It’s a really cool racing series in that there are plenty of local entries in a surprising variety of cars and, best of all, as a fan you get great access to cheer your buds on and see the cars (and drivers) up close.
The tarmac-dirt combo stage at PIR is followed up with a number of stages in the Columbia Gorge which makes for incredible views and great racing, so I’ll share a gallery of the results of our 18-hour day following the rally on Saturday soon.
With just a bit too much going on that weekend already, I opted to hop in my friend Chris Daley’s Toyota 4Runner for the day after his generous offer to tag along. While I’d be at his mercy when it came to locations, this meant I could skip out on a full day of recce I’d otherwise need to do, and, with the 10-plus years of experience Chris has shooting the OTR, I knew I’d be in good hands.
To fully understand the experience, I’ll need to put together a behind-the-scenes look into our off-roading adventures, not to mention the gear required, the miles of walking, the amazing scenery, and the three guys who showed up on dirt bikes — all of whom we named ‘Kyle’ — at our last stop of the day. Spoiler alert, covering a rally really is a colossal amount of work.
This is all to come, as soon as I finish sorting out the 4,000 photos I captured over 24 hours from Friday to Saturday. And yet, none of the creek crossing or the massive jump at the end of the day on Sunday.
I have to say, though, if I had a dollar for every awesome experience I’ve had to pass up since becoming a Speedhunter I could probably retire. But would I even want to?