The 2023 Cascade Sports Car Club rally season gets started with a merry romp through the west hills to Scappoose


Saturday, March 18, 2023
By Monte and Victoria Saager

The weather was perfect for a rally – blue sky, temps in the 60s. Beautiful! Twenty-four teams entered the March 18 Saturday Series Rally. Four pre-paid entries sat this one out, and two registered entries canceled just before the rally started. So eighteen teams charged out of the starting gate. Before the odometer check section ended, one team headed home. Seventeen teams finished the course.

About the rally

The rally was about 90 miles from the start in northwest Portland to the ending location in Scappoose, and it took about three and a half hours to complete. The route traveled along Hwy 30, then climbed up Logie Trail to Skyline and down Rocky Point Road back to Hwy 30. Then out around the Scappoose Dike, up into the foothills of the Coast Range to Yankton for a break at the Yankton Store and Restaurant. After the break, the course wound through Warren and around the Scappoose Dike the other way, ending at Fultano’s Pizza in Scappoose. The clear weather afforded some spectacular views.

What the rallymasters said

Just about the time we were finishing course development and starting to measure, calculate and test drive our event, it snowed. And snowed. A lot at higher elevations. For a few days, we were homebound, snowed in. When we finally did venture forth, we skipped the high spots on our route, knowing that we weren’t equipped for driving in the snow. When we did get on those roads, we found snow piled deep along the roadsides, but road surfaces were mostly clear except in a couple of the very highest locations. With expected temperatures in the 60s, we knew the rally roads would be clear by rally day.

Most of the roads on the March rally route have been rally roads before, but we strung them together a little differently this time. We did use one road new to us – Hankins Road – which connected west St. Helens to the Yankton area. And we used the Scappoose dike roads in both directions, first at the beginning of the rally and then again at the end.

Fourteen of the 17 scored legs were tour-like with no intended deception. There were three simple challenges. The first challenge involved a forced turn in Leg 12. Two teams navigated this challenge correctly, one of whom zeroed the leg. For all others, it was a very costly max. You are traveling on Smith Road looking for this instruction: L at “GENSMAN” (go left at a sign reading Gensman). You encounter a sign that identifies a sideroad on the left as Gensman. The road straight ahead is signed no outlet.

Since a road marked no outlet is not a valid rally road, there is no intersection here. Since you must be at an intersection to take the action L, you cannot execute the instruction L at “GENSMAN” here. You are forced left here (it’s the only way you can go) and you continue looking for a place to execute the instruction L at “GENSMAN”. And of course there is another sign reading Gensman a short way down the road at an intersection identifying a sideroad to the left as Dart Creek. This is where you execute the instruction L at “GENSMAN”. So you take Dart Creek, wind around a loop that takes you full circle, where this time you go straight at the Dart Creek sideroad and continue on.

Those who took the shortcut (used the instruction at the no outlet) reached Checkpoint 12 about 8 minutes early. As some consolation, they got an extra 8 minutes at the break at the Yankton Store.

The second challenge was in Leg 17. A route instruction directed you to CAST 35 for 1 minute then CAST 25. The next route instruction was L on CASCADE VIEW. Cascade View is a loop with two roads with the same name entering the neighborhood. If you accurately averaged 35 mph for 1 minute, you would drive past the first Cascade View entrance and go left on the second one. If you weren’t so accurate, you would take the first entrance. In either case, teams going around this loop in either direction went past Checkpoint 17. However, those who took the first entrance reached the checkpoint early, earning penalty points. Most SOP teams and a couple Novices got this one right.

The last challenge was a note inviting you to PAUSE 20 seconds at a sign with a deer on it. This note was in effect the last 14 miles of the rally. You had to continue to execute the NRIs while keeping an eye out for this deer sign. Just before the miles ran out, a deer sign appeared along the rally route. Unfortunately, the sign you were looking for had one deer while the sign along the route had two deer. The note and its pause were never used. Those who paused at that wrong sign earned penalty points on Leg 23.

What ralliers said

Nice baby deer. Reminds me of ducklings. [You had to be there.]
Thanks for a great event!
Was a fun day, thanks for the route!
Thanks for holding the exciting event.
Great job as always!

Exchange with a rally team, after no app controls were being reported from this team:
Team: Do you have us now? We were signed in to the April rally. We’re in the March rally now.
Us: Oh, that’s what happened. How were your scores in April?
Team: Nonexistent.

Congratulate the top finishers

First overall and first in the Unlimited class is the team of Bob Morseburg and Cheri Eddy in Car #30 with a score of 11 over 17 scored legs. Wow!

Second overall and first in the SOP class is the team of Ryan Rink and Simon Levear in Car #14 with a score of 91. The top two finishers were the only teams to correctly navigate the “Gensman” trap in Leg 12. In third place overall and second SOP is the team of Cody and Sabrina Garvin in Car #6 with a score of 120. The David and JoAnn Gattman team followed closely with a score of 126 to finish third SOP.

First-time ralliers Perla Zhu and Jacky Jing in Car #23 finished in first place in the Novice Class. Second Novice is the team of Hallie and Joseph Edge in Car #11. Steve Gieske and David Finch in Car #22 finished third Novice.

Congratulations to all!

Click here for the complete rundown

Click here for Rally Results

Current Series Standings


What time is it?  It's Learnin' Time!


Saturday, February 18
By Monte and Victoria Saager

The morning of the Rally School Rally was overcast. The skies were grey, but the pavement was dry. Great road rally weather. Cascade’s first rally of the 2023 season attracted 28 entries, including 11 first-timer teams.

After reviewing their assigned homework, teams gathered at a Friday evening Zoom meeting for a rally school review of rally rules, procedures and protocols. Questions were answered to prepare for the practice rally on Saturday morning.

About the rally
The rally course was about 85 miles from the start in northwest Portland to the ending location in Forest Grove, and it took about three and a half hours to complete. The route traveled through Washington Park, along Skyline and into Washington County, on roads used for Cascade road rally for decades – West Union, Helvetia, Jackson Quarry. The route then made its way down Mason Hill and into North Plains for a mid-rally break, ending at the Jessie Mays Community Park.

After the break the course headed out Pumpkin Ridge, through Roy, up Clapshaw Hill and down Hillside, through Verboort, and on to the ending location at the Prime Time in Forest Grove. Several teams met up at the restaurant and shared stories, some true we suppose. Some teams went from the end of the rally to Mike Nagle’s Celebration of Life.

What ralliers said
From the rally winners, David and JoAnn Gattman: This was a fairly easy straightforward rally, but did give exposure to ITIS, Notes, and generally reset the mind to get rally season officially started.

From second SOP, Russ and Kate Sherrell: Great roads, as usual. Good challenges without being so “trappy” that we felt like we couldn’t do it. It was a great start to the year. We’re really looking forward to learning to rally together more consistently. Rally school was a good reminder of the basic rally rules, and the differences between CSCC rules and other rallies we participated in when first learning to rally.

From the first place Novice team, father and son duo Jeff and Nicholas Crews: Thanks for the fun event. I was going to wait a bit to see if my son wanted to do another one, but he suggested we do it again as we were driving home, so we will hopefully attend more!

From third Novice, father and daughter Isaac and Scout Miller: We were on the way home when the email came in with the results. We rolled the windows down while stuck on Hwy26 and started whooping and hollering. It was pretty exciting and unexpected. 

From other ralliers:
Thank you for all of the work put into keeping this sport alive and encouraging new participants. It was really great to see so many new (to us at least) faces. Looking forward to the next one!

Thanks for offering the rally school -- it's obvious how much work goes into it, and we appreciated the opportunity to participate!

The rally was awesome and exceeded our expectations! We really appreciate all the hard work that must go into creating a rally course and putting together the notes and instructions. The rally course had a perfect balance of straightforward and challenging -- it kept us engaged but never so frustrated that we wanted to throw in the towel.

We like solving puzzles, learning new skills, driving, and exploring new areas -- the rally offered all these and much more! We enjoyed talking with the other teams at the start location -- everyone was so friendly!

The school taught us everything we needed to know to run our first rally together. The most helpful aspect was probably learning how to understand and work with the route instructions and rallymaster notes (via all the handouts and the Zoom meeting) -- it's a whole new language that would have been a real struggle to learn any other way.

What the rallymasters said
Some of this event may have seemed familiar. We reused parts of an event we put on a couple of years ago. Since rally school is a teaching opportunity, we retained some “tried and true” rally challenges.

A number switch (numbered route instructions printed out of numerical order) had some cars traveling through a rural neighborhood in one direction, while other cars went the opposite way, providing opportunity for rally cars to wave and wonder...are we off course or are they?

A spelling trap offered another opportunity for some teams to go one way while the others took a different route. Everyone rejoined a common route, with those who didn’t notice the spelling error getting a few extra penalty points.

Two instructions offered a lesson in defined terms vs signs. Both opportunities occurred at railroad crossings:
PAUSE 15 seconds at STOP ITIS
PAUSE 15 seconds at “STOP” ITIS

In the first case, STOP is a defined term, so you’re looking to pause at an intersection with a legal highway stop sign at which the contestant must stop. Since an intersection is defined as a crossing of rally roads at which the contestant could proceed in more than one direction, and since no such intersection exists at the railroad crossing, the correct action is to skip this ITIS instruction and its pause. In the second case, you’re looking to pause at a sign that reads stop. There is clearly a stop sign at the railroad crossing, so the correct action is to do the pause there and not skip the ITIS instruction.

Two notes were included. One was used only by cars who fell for the number switch. The other note was a sign hunt to pause every time you saw a particular sign. The note was introduced near the end of the rally and was correctly used three times.

Congratulate the winners
There are no prizes for this practice rally, but we do recognize winners. Fame and glory!

First overall and first in the SOP class was the team of David and JoAnn Gattman with a score of 118. With just 3 more points, second overall and second SOP was Russ and Kate Sherrell with 121 points. Lee and Patricia Nielsen finished third overall and third SOP with 178 points.

All three of the top finishing Novice teams were first-time Cascade ralliers. First Novice with a score of 233 was the father/son team of Jeff and Nicholas Crews. Second Novice was the team of Gene and Sandy Buzzelli with a score of 244. Finishing third Novice was the father/daughter team of Isaac and Scout Miller with 321.

Congratulations to all the rally school rally teams! You are all winners!

Click here for the complete rundown

Click here for Rally Results

Current Series Standings