Monte and Victoria take us to their roots!


April 16, 2022
By Monte & Victoria Saager

Eighteen teams ran the second rally in the 2022 Saturday Rally Series on April 16. All 18 were Cascade member entries. Go team!

About the rally

The April Saturday rally course was 96 miles long and took just under three and a half hours to drive.

Starting in northwest Portland, the rally crossed the Willamette River twice, first on the top deck of the Marquam Bridge and then back over the river on the Fremont Bridge, continuing north to end the odometer check on Sauvie Island.

After a trip around the island, the course climbed up McNamee Road and continued north on Skyline to Rocky Point Road.

Following the scenic descent down Rocky Point Road and a short transit up the highway, rally teams followed Dutch Canyon west of Scappoose into the hills, eventually reaching the Yankton area.

Ralliers were treated to a break at the Yankton Store and Restaurant. The Yankton School and the historic Yankton Grange were nearby locations. After a tour of the Yankton’s rolling hills and farmland, the route wound along backroads leading back to Scappoose where the rally ended at Fultano’s Pizza.


This rally included six challenges. The first was a spelling trap. A route instruction directed you to pause at a sign reading Eliot ITIS (if there is such). We have fun referencing this sideroad off of Skyline because at one end of the road, the name is signed as Elliot and the other end is signed as Elliott. Either way, the road is not signed Eliot, so the correct action was to skip this ITIS instruction and its penalty pause.

The second challenge was a number switch. The rules say you must execute numbered route instructions in numerical order. In this case, two route instructions were switched in order. If you correctly executed them in numerical order you avoided the speed reduction which caused you to be late at the next checkpoint.

The third challenge was a note to reduce your speed at a sign reading hidden driveway. (BTW this sign is the source of the title of this event, quoting a line from the song My Private Idaho.) The note is introduced a few instructions before the break but isn’t used until after the break. The challenge was to just remember you had a note in effect. But read on.

A note is an unnumbered instruction that is active from its introduction until it is canceled. Think of it as a “floating” instruction that you execute every time the opportunity presents itself, while you’re still following the numbered route instructions. This rally had two notes. The first, Note A, gets introduced and you use it once after the break as mentioned above.

The second note, Note B, gets introduced just after the break:

Introduce Note B: PAUSE 15 seconds at second “DART”. Cancel Note B. Cancel Note A.

The intent is that you cancel Note B as soon as you execute it. You see the second sign reading Dart and you cancel Note B. So if the note is no longer in effect after it has been canceled, then you can’t continue executing it, thus blocking the canceling of the first note. Of course the reference for the first note rolls around again soon after and you have the opportunity to execute the first note a second time - which you correctly do. Teams that believed the first note was canceled along with the second note did not execute the speed change associated with the second occurrence of the first note, thus earning them a penalty.

Then there was an OR instruction:


Do the half of the instruction before the OR or do the half after the OR, but not both, whichever comes first. The trick is to make you think you’re supposed to pause for either half, whichever is first. And even though there is a full-size cutout figure of a sasquatch along the route, it didn’t have an identifying sign, so it didn’t count anyway. Long and short of this one is that you correctly saw the Perry Cr sign and did not pause for the penalty.

The last opportunity to earn penalty points on challenges was an ITIS instruction offering a pause to go left on a named road. At the apparent location, the named road appears as a sideroad on the left. However, the road straight ahead is marked no outlet. Since you can only proceed in one direction (left) without u-turning, there is no intersection here. Since the instruction is to go L (left) and L is a deviation and a deviation can only occur at an intersection, the correct action is the skip the ITIS instruction and its penalty pause.

None of these challenges had much penalty associated with them, 15 points or less for incorrectly executing the challenge. With 24 scored legs, staying on time and being on time at checkpoints determined the winners.

What the rallymasters said

This rally traveled on roads very familiar to the rallymasters. The route through Yankton passed Victoria’s grandfather’s ranch where her father and two uncles grew up. Both Monte and Victoria learned to drive on these roads. These roads have been on rally routes many times before. We enjoyed working on this rally and we enjoyed driving this rally route.

We did have a couple of interesting experiences while writing this rally.

When we were measuring and setting GPS checkpoints, Monte told me that the next checkpoint we were looking for was a sign reading consign. I’m driving along thinking, I don’t remember a sign like that out here on this remote road. Just about then, we passed a sign displaying a graphic of a cow. I have a particular fondness for pictorial signs, especially animals, so I say, “Hey, there’s a cow sign.” Hmmm…

So then I asked him to look back at the last draft copy of the route instructions from our prior drive through. He opens the clipboard and sees in his own hand-writing the word “cowsign”. Yeah, I think that was the sign we were looking for. As it turned out, that section of the rally route got deleted from the final event.

During the rally checkout on the Saturday prior to the event, our progress was halted by a herd of cows in the road. We’ve encountered sheep, chickens, even peacocks in the road before, but this was our first cow herd encounter. We were trying to drive on rally time, using the app to make sure the checkpoints worked, so a time allowance was definitely required. When the road cleared, Monte “Mr. Rally” told me how much TA to enter, which earned us a single-digit score. How does he do that?!

What ralliers said

Thank you. It was fun. My mom and I did pretty well for my second time and her first since 50 years ago 😁. Here is a pic from the drive home going back on Rocky Point.

Good event. Loved the views. Wish we had less traffic at Yankton. When we hit the break there was chaos and we didn't note our arrival time, so we were guessing on our out time.

Thank you very much for the emails. We got discouraged when we couldn’t find the "T" and thought we went the wrong way. Thank you for watching over us. This was a great first event for us. We have many questions and an idea for how to prepare for the Mountains to the Sea Rally :)

Fun run! Thanks for all your work. See ya next time.

Thank you, another great rally!!!!!

Congratulations to the top finishers

First overall and first in the Equipped category was the team of Bob Morseburg and Cheri Eddy with a total score of 90 over 23 scored legs.

Second overall and first in the SOP class was the team of Cody and Sabrina Garvin with a score of 116.

Third overall and second SOP was the team of Brian and Jamie Anderson with a score of 121.

Fourth overall and first in the Novice class was the team of Lee Nielsen and Chuck Winkler with a score of 138.

Congratulations to all!

Click here for the complete rundown

Click here for Rally Results

2022 Spring Opener

The Road Rally season got off to a rousing start with a gently trapped tour of nearly 100 miles


March 19, 2022
By Monte & Victoria Saager

Twenty-one teams ran the first rally in the 2022 Saturday Series on March 19. Competition was close, especially among the 13 entries in the SOP class. Of the five Novice teams, two were first-timers. And twenty of the entries were Cascade members. Go team!

About the rally

The March Saturday rally course was 94 miles long and took about three hours to drive. It started in northwest Portland and went south to end the odometer check at Willamette Park in West Linn. After meandering across North Wilsonville, the route traveled through the Ladd Hill area and along Parrett Mountain Road to the mid-rally break at the Johnson Landing County Park in Newberg. After the break, the rally headed south through St. Paul and east to end in Woodburn.

What ralliers said:

Great rally. New sights. Super fun!

Thanks for hosting the rally today! It was a delightful day!

It was a great rally! Thank you!

Thanks for the fun!

Thank you for the assist. I’m not sure we would have ever hit it right even on the return. Went from an awesome rally for us to a good rally. Still fun even though we couldn’t figure out what we did wrong until your correction. [This from a team who was getting mostly single-digit scores until they missed a turn and wandered off the edge of rally land. We saw them on the Richta Rallymaster Map and phoned them, got them turned around and back on the rally, with only one bad leg score to show for it.]


This rally included a few simple challenges. The first was an ITIS (if there is such) instruction which contained a pause.  Ralliers who forgot they were placed ONTO a road in the previous instruction might have incorrectly used the ITIS to follow the ONTO. But even if they refused that chance, they had another opportunity at the very next intersection. The correct action was to skip the ITIS instruction (and its penalty pause) and just stay on the ONTO named road.

The next challenge was also a main road challenge, at an intersection where the main road was determined by protection (back-facing yield sign). On course teams recognized the protected intersection and refused the first half of an OR instruction, instead executing the speed change in the second half. Off course teams used the first half of the OR instruction, so they missed a vital speed change, earning themselves a penalty.

The third challenge was a mileage trap. A route instruction directed teams to “watch for trucks for a half mile.” The instruction after that was a speed change at a 30 mph sign.  Teams who failed to wait the entire half mile before looking for the next instruction changed speed too soon and earned a penalty. On course teams drove by a 30 mph sign before the half mile was over and correctly waited until the next 30 mph sign after the half mile before changing their speed.

The last challenge offered an ITIS instruction to go left at an intersection with a particular sign. You come to what appears to be a T intersection and the referenced sign is there. But the road on the right has a dead end sign. So you can’t use the ITIS instruction there. Why? Because the instruction tells you to go left (L) but you can only go L at an intersection and there is no intersection there because there is only one choice for continuing without u-turning and the Road Rally Rules say, “An intersection is any joining of rally roads from which the contestant could legally proceed in more than one direction without U-Turning.” Whew!

That may sound like a lot of challenges, but they affected only four of the 20 scored legs. The road to TSD rally success is mostly about accurate driving and precise time keeping.

Congratulations to the top finishers

First overall and first in the Equipped category was the team of Bob Morseburg and Cheri Eddy with a total score of 93.  Second overall and first in the SOP class was the team of David and JoAnn Gattman with a score of 101. Third overall and second SOP was the team of Cody and Sabrina Garvin with 107 points. Honorable mention goes to the team of Marcus and Kerrie Gattman with 108 points.

Click here for the complete rundown

Click here for Rally Results

Rally School 2022

With the Pandemic still in focus, we offered our second Zoom Rally School combined with a next day road rally to test those new skills


February 18/19, 2022
By Monte and Victoria Saager

Cascade’s road rally season began optimistically with registrations for ten Season Tickets and four Series Passes. An additional 17 teams registered for this event, making a total of 31 entries for the Rally School Rally. A few ticket teams skipped school. So 22 brave teams ventured forth on the 2022 rally season inaugural.

For at least half of the 22 teams, this was their first Cascade road rally. And half of the entries included a Cascade club member. Go team!

About the rally:

The Rally School Rally was about 100 miles long and took about three hours to drive. It started in northwest Portland, followed Burnside out to Skyline, and continued on Skyline to end the odo check at Cornelius Pass. Then through the rolling hills of Helvetia, to Mountaindale, Roy, Hillside, and Verboort, before cruising into the mid-rally break at the Fernhill Wetlands. This fairly new visitor center attracts many birds and provided a chance to stretch legs. And then it was back in the car again for the rally’s scenic finale, a drive around Henry Hagg Lake, and the transit to the ending location at the Prime Time Restaurant in Forest Grove.

This was a lightly trapped rally, meaning it included some simple rally challenges. The first of which was recognizing that the word STOP in a route instruction means there has to be an intersection of roads, and a stop sign at a railroad crossing is not a STOP. One instruction told you to change your speed to 35 mph for one mile, but didn’t say what to do after one mile; the rules say you revert to your previous speed. There were two main road traps, one a left at T and the other an ONTO. A note asked you to pause at the second triceratops (there’s only one, but you drive by it twice). None of the challenges caused off course excursions, just timing penalties.

Virtual Rally School

Friday evening prior to the rally, contestants gathered around their Zoom screens for virtual Rally School conducted by Victoria Saager, Cascade Geargrinders co-chair and co-rallymaster of the Rally School Rally. Teams received their homework assignments on Thursday: study the Novice Guide, read the Road Rally Rules, and review the Rallymaster Notes and Route Instructions attached to their assignment email. Whew!

Right up front it becomes obvious that TSD road rally is not just about driving around in the country. It’s procedures and rules and following instructions. Of course, it is! Road rally is all about following instructions.

Victoria hit the high notes from the Novice Guide, emphasized that safety is the highest priority, and then opened the floor to questions.

What ralliers said:

We had a blast! Here’s a pic from today - we forgot to print our car numbers! 😂

That was a very fun ride! Thank you so much for organizing, teaching us everything, and calling to get us back on track!

Enjoyed the rally. Liked having to think, how to look for an ITIS and what to do. Good mix of speeds and roads. Good start to the year.

It was fun! We missed Heesaker and it threw us off course. Nerve wracking. Thanks for doing a great job. 😊

Thank you for all your effort putting this together.

If we had grading scores, we would be a solid C instead of the F’s in the past. This was my 5th rally and things were finally coming together.

Great Rally, thank you!!!

What the rallymasters said:

We enjoyed writing this rally. We used many of our favorite rally roads, roads we like to drive even when we’re not on a rally. Our goal was to present a typical Cascade Geargrinders Saturday Series rally, including most things you’d expect to encounter. It was a teaching rally. And it seems it was successful.

We did decide to discard two legs from the final scoring. We discarded Leg 15 which included the following note: Introduce Note Dyno: PAUSE 15 seconds at second triceratops. If you’ve run our rallies before you know we don’t get out into the Roy-Wilkesboro area without making some reference to the roadside statue of a triceratops.

After the note was introduced, you saw the triceratops, then the route looped around so you drove by it a second time. So, yes, you did see the triceratops a second time.

But after the event, it was questioned whether triceratops was a valid landmark per the rules. No, triceratops was not a landmark (RRR 4.4). It was all lower case, so common dictionary meaning (RRR 6). We believe triceratops was a valid action point for the note.

However, our purpose had been served, to bring attention to note instructions and how to use them. So we didn’t argue the point. We threw the leg.

Leg 25, the last leg of the rally, was also discarded. The checkpoint was located on the Hagg Lake dam. Unfortunately. one lane of the two-lane road over the dam was closed and traffic was being flagged across the dam. Although most teams got through the lane closure with okay scores, some did not. So we threw that leg. These things happen on a road rally.

Congratulations to the top finishers:

Finishing first overall and first in the SOP class was the team of Marcus and Kerrie Gattman with a score of 87, all single-digit leg scores except one leg which was a 10. Outstanding!

Second overall and first in the Novice class was the team of Lee Nielsen and Chuck Winkler with a score of 103. They got a zero on five legs and single-digit scores on all but two of the remaining legs. Great performance from this Novice team!

Third overall and first in the Equipped category was the team of Russ and Katy Kraushaar with a score of 123. They zeroed six legs. Impressive.

Thank you, rally volunteers:

Two checkout teams pre-checked the Rally School Rally one week before the event, making sure the route instructions worked, references were correct, speeds were appropriate, and more. Thank you to the team of Cody and Sabrina Garvin and the team of Edmund Frank and Jo Su.

Click here for the complete rundown
Click here for Rally Results