by: © 2009 Aaron Kathman, 
Travis Pastrana, pushing his Subaru Impreza WRX sideways during the 2009 Oregon Trail Rally, will compete again this year on May 14 to 16.


Rally's coming

Travis Pastrana, Ken Block, Dave Mirra and Andrew 'ACP' Comrie-Picard are some of the star drivers who will compete in the Oregon Trail Rally, May 14 to 16 at various locations, including Portland International Raceway.

It'll be round four of the Rally America Championship, and the Oregon Trail Rally will return to the Columbia River Gorge region for much of its racing after last year's inaugural went off well.

This year's race will also feature PIR (May 14), where special staging will be held in front of fans; most of the racing is done in the backwoods on closed roads.

Rally racing has been called 'real cars, real roads, real fast,' and drivers navigate their sporty trucks and cars through challenging desert, forest and mountain roads and through any kind of weather - all without knowing the rural route beforehand. Drivers operate 'transits,' or street-legal cars, between each of the off-road stagings. There are 16 stages in all.

Pastrana is a former freestyle motocross star and the returning Oregon Trail Rally champ (he won six times in 2009); Block is a popular YouTube attraction; Mirra is a BMX legend; Comrie-Picard is a fan favorite.

The PIR stage is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. May 14.

For more information, go to


'Smash Putt'

It's called the 'Smash Putt! Miniature Golf Apocalypse,' run by the Department of Culture Collective and it's best described as artists-inspired miniature golf and, mixing in zany behavior and some libations, mayhem may ensue - with ball destruction, centripetal actuators, accelerator pads, ball bouncers, moving walls and secret passages part of the fun among the 13 holes of the course; holes are made from drill presses, catapults, spinning objects, vertical mazes, buzz saws and one even uses high-velocity air-powered gatling guns.

The course has been constructed for the event at an old warehouse at 1719 W. Burnside, and food and drinks will be for sale.

Seriously malicious competition, as the event promotes, is par for the course.

It'll take place the next two weekends (Fridays through Sundays), April 9 to April 11 and April 16 to April 18. It starts at 6 p.m. and goes into the next morning each day, and kids matinees are set for noon to 3 p.m. April 10 and April 17.

Tickets to participate are $10 to $15 and can be purchased at

The event started in Seattle, has moved on to include Portland and perhaps other cities.

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