By Trask M/C, 2003

      For twenty-five years – 1971 through 1995 – the Trask Mountain Two Days was a qualifying round for the United States entry at the International Six Days Enduro (formerly the International Six Days Trial).

      In late 1970, at the District 28 Sanction Meeting for events to be held in 1971, the Trask Mountain Motorcycle Club applied for a sanction to stage a One Day Reliability Trial.  The American Motorcyclist Association had just become the FIM-affiliated organization for the United States, and was thus charged with selecting the teams for our country’s participation in the International Six Days Trial.  The Trask Mountain MC was the only club in the country that had applied for an event of this type.

      The AMA requested we host a Two Days event to be used as a qualifier for the United States ISDT teams (Trophy, Silver Vase, and Club teams) and the Trask Mountain Two Days was born.  A club member had a copy of the FIM regulations for reliability trials from the ADAC, one of the two West German affiliates. Translated into English, these rules turned out to be the only set in this country, and the 1971 event ended up being the sole qualifier that year, with sixty-seven hardy souls entering that first effort.

      The first two days started and finished at the Yamhill County Fairgrounds, on the east side of McMinnville. This meant that competitors had to ride through town on Highway 99 West, adding considerable zest to the event.  For the local citizenry, trips to the supermarket took on new meaning, as riders intent on making up a few minutes threaded their way through traffic.  The McMinnville police more or less looked the other way initially, but in 1973 finally requested that riders stop pulling wheelies on their return journey to the Fairgrounds at the end of the day.  The Fairgrounds remained the headquarters for the event through the first nine years, enriching local folklore immeasurably.

      As the ISDT featured two hundred mile days at that time, the early editions of the Trask Mountain Two Days regularly exceeded that mileage each day, all in a single huge loop, with the second day run in a reverse direction.  Special Tests were Terrain Tests, some up to eight miles in length.

      The first four years were held in good weather conditions, but in 1975 the entry was badly mauled by sleet and snow during the event.  Heavy snowfall made it almost impossible for support crews to get to the checkpoints.  Some sections of trail ordinarily utilized at Trask were covered in up to five feet of snow.  This was in the middle of May, mind you.  To this day, in the Fall, hunters still turn up rusted Bultacos, Puchs, and Montesas, abandoned in the brush as their owners struggled out on foot through the drifts.

      The Final Motocross Special Test became a fixture at Trask in 1977, the first year the course finished at Mulkey ORV Park, southwest of McMinnville.  From 1980 through 1984, the event headquarters was the ORV Park.  All riders not on Bronze medal level were required to compete in the Motocross.  For many woods riders, actually lining up for a motocross was a new experience, not without some mental distress, followed after the start by physical distress.

      The Two Days became Three Days in 1980 and 1984, staged on Memorial Day weekend, the only three-day period in the Spring when logging crews weren’t in the woods.  The loggers may have been out of the woods, but numerous campers were happily set up in the nice wide trails cleared for the event, not realizing what those colorful little markers signified.  Camper  ignorance ended on the first morning, when early-numbered riders rode through many still-slumbering campsites.  Coolers, coffeepots, and dreams were shattered.  Clumps of goose down and holofil fiber clung to bushes along the route for weeks afterward.

      Early in 1985, an optimistic club member – rumored to be the same bonehead who thought up the event in the first place – suggested the club approach Bryce and Barbara Mitchell, the owners and operators of the Flying M Ranch, with the idea of running the Two Days out of the Ranch.  This would eliminate the long pavement sections necessary to reach the actual course loop which were features of both the Fairgrounds and ORV Park sites.  Happily, the Mitchells consented, and the final form of the event began.  Being able to utilize the Ranch and its environs proved to be a great boost to the quality of the Two Days.  The two hundred camping spots,  twenty-eight-room motel, excellent dining facilities, numerous restrooms, and the beautiful setting were a positive change.

      The number of entries increased markedly during the years, reaching over five hundred by 1990, after which it was limited to four hundred riders.  Support personnel and spectators brought the total number of people in attendance to around two thousand, perhaps slightly more.

      The Club planned to end the event in 1995, and did so.  The Trask Mountain International Two Days passed into the history books as the longest-running AMA Qualifier, as well as a perennial rider favorite.

      So there you have it, a short history of Trask Mountain.  Don’t think it wasn’t fun for us, too.  Most of the time, anyway.

 --- The Trask Mountain MC

 Denny Bershaw, Jay Cayton, Carl Mendenhall, Mike Poe, Allen Sitton




1971        Jeff Penton                    125cc.  Penton

 1972        Dick Burleson                125 cc. Penton

 1973        Jeff Penton                     175 cc. Penton

 1974        Jack Penton                    250 cc. Penton

 1975        Dick Burleson                  250 cc. Husqvarna

 1976        Jack Penton                     250 cc. Penton

 1977        John Fero                          250 cc. Yamaha

 1978        Dick Burleson                   500 cc. Husqvarna

 1979        Dick Burleson                   500 cc. Husqvarna

 1980        Ed Lojak                            250 cc. Husqvarna

 1981        Frank Stacy                       250 cc. Suzuki

 1982        Ken Maahs                        250 cc. Husqvarna

 1983        Kevin Hines                        250 cc. Husqvarna

 1984        Kevin Hines                        250 cc. Husqvarna

 1985        Fritz Kadlec                        250 cc. Husqvarna

 1986        Geoff Ballard                     500 cc. Can-Am  

 1987        Larry Roeseler                   250 cc. Kawasaki

 1988        Larry Roeseler                   250 cc. Kawasaki

 1989        Kurt Hough                         250 cc. Kawasaki

 1990        Kurt Hough                         250 cc. Kawasaki

 1991        Kurt Hough                         250 cc. Kawasaki

 1992        Rodney Smith                    250 cc. Suzuki

 1993        Rodney Smith                    250 cc. Suzuki

1994       Rodney Smith                      250 cc. Suzuki

 1995       Rodney Smith                      250 cc. Suzuki


Okay, so five guys can’t put on an event.  A lot of thanks are in order:

 The Trailsmen Motorcycle Club (without whom the event wouldn’t happen)

Bryce and Barbara Mitchell and the Flying M Staff

American Motorcyclist Association Amateur Activities Division

Wesley Allen and the communications crew

Acerbis Plastica USA (many years of Special Test Ribbon)

PABATCO (for the classic Hodaka Banner)

Malcolm Smith Racing (thousands of course markers)

John Rothlisberger

Tim Erickson

John Barnum

Wally Brosamle and Mulkey ORV Park

Dr. Scotty and the Wanton Former Maidens

Jerry Duncan and Pat Garvey

Charlie Keller and the little Neanderthal Girl

Walt and Jean Williams

Glenn and Helen Reid

Ralph Williams

Susan and Bob Brunner

Everett and Kathy Moore

Jerry and Pauline Morrell

Al and Carol Parker

Wayne Melby

Dan Hatcher

Bill Leppo

Greg Mardock

Tom Young

Alvie Seward

Kenneth Payne

 Willamette Industries:  Graydon Adcock and Dan Upton

 Bureau of Land Management:  Jeff ‘King’ Kovach, Neil Carr, and Richard M. Prather

 Boise Cascade:  Rudy Frazzini, Monica Jelden, and Don Wales

 Yamhill County Sheriff’s Department: Sergeant Rob Nou and Deputy Butch Clason