cruisin the woods

Jul 28, 2005
Grants Pass Oregon
well it seems that Brian Lingafelter's number is diconnected, emailed him for entry form and info on this event, have not heard back yet...this is my first event with TLCA so if anyone could contribute info, suggestions, and most helpful would be the starting location, Browns Camp doesen't show up in my atlas... Thnx.


Apr 8, 2002
Portland, OR
Cruisin’ the Woods 2004

(6th Annual Poker Run) Sponsored by Cascade Cruisers 4WD Club


Cascade Cruisers will be hosting the sixth annual Cruisin' The Woods September 24th and 25th, 2004. Day one is the TLCA members only guided runs. We split into groups divided by rig capability and tackle obstacles all day. CTW on day two is a family oriented poker run through the heart of the Tillamook State Forest in the Oregon Coast Range. Enjoy an included camp style breakfast then hit the trail for some wheeling and six games to test your driving skills. Collect a poker hand, and earn extra points for trivia questions answered correctly and trash collected along the way. Trophies are rewarded to the top three finishers. After the event stick around for a raffle.


Saturday September 24th and 25th, 2004 (Check in 6:00am – 9:00am).


Staging & late registration @ Brown’s Camp in the Tillamook State Forest OHV park.

Signing up?

Pre-registration is available by mail only. Cost is $30.00 per vehicle until September 10th. Registration forms post marked after September 10th or registering the day of the event is $35.00. Please download the registration form below, print it, fill it out and mail the form and money to Cascade Cruisers C/O PO Box 873535 Vancouver, WA. 98687-3535
Aug 25, 2005
portland oregon
hooligan996 said:
well it seems that Brian Lingafelter's number is diconnected, emailed him for entry form and info on this event, have not heard back yet...this is my first event with TLCA so if anyone could contribute info, suggestions, and most helpful would be the starting location, Browns Camp doesen't show up in my atlas... Thnx. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For more info on this event ( now called "Tillamook Trail Series 2005") see my new post in this forum or better yet go to our club website for info & on-line sign up form: also check the forum events section for more event details maps etc. hope this helps. toyrocs
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Dec 23, 2002
this is a most excellent event and I strongly recommend it to anyone...

I had the great fortune to attend in 2003 and here is my trip review for your reading enjoyment and to perhaps prepare you for what to expect.

Cruisin' the Woods 2003

Cruisen’ the Woods is in it’s 5th year as a Poker Run type event hosted by the Cascade Cruisers out of Portland, OR. This year, lead by Mark Hawley, the Cascade Cruisers made the event a TLCA Open event (open to all makes) and in support of that action, I dawned my TLCA President’s hat and made the 13-hour journey up to Tillamook State Forest. Fortunately for me, Bud Riley joined me for the ride and I had just secured my tow rig and trailer to avoid making that 1,350 mile journey in my 82 Hilux.

We departed Thursday at 7 AM allowing for all day to travel up there being as the Cascade Cruisers were offering a TLCA only run on Friday which would allow us to see and wheel many of the harder trails in the Tillamook State Forest as Saturdays Poker Run would primarily stick to easier trails to allow Jeeps and full size rigs the ability to get through without too much harm. Cutting over on Hwy 20 and shooting North on I5 was a long trip. As we neared Portland but were still a long way off, we laughed at the fact that we were still not in Portland but were awfully close to Seattle! Upon reaching Portland, we were astounded at the size of the city! We made our way across elevated freeways, criss-crossed nasty express ways, took off ramps which lead to more off ramps and through tunnels and eventually found ourselves on Hwy 26 headed West. It was dark by the time we hit Hwy 6 and climbed the minimal elevation into Tillamook State Forest and stumbled our way into Browns Camp around 9 PM that night.

PMC Member Neil Wilkendorf and his family were already set up and we found a nice empty site next to them. The campground was virtually empty but I knew it would not take long to fill to capacity. We moved in and set up camp. Neil’s folks were extremely gracious and hospitable and we were accepted as two lost sons. Neil’s Brother Lenny was already there and his other brother Troy was due to arrive Friday night. Although Bud and I were extremely weary from our journey, we found enough energy to stay up too late that night before rising early to join the TLCA Friday run at 9 AM the next morning. We were literally up at 8:30, had breakfast, made lunch for the day and off loaded the truck by 9 AM, in time for the drivers meeting.

Mark Hawley gave a brief overview about the runs for the day and broke the group into two groups, one of which was lead by James, our Cascade Cruisers trail leader who was to tackle some of the more difficult trails in the State Forest. The other group would chose some easier trails but each group was going to see much more of the forest on Friday than they would on the Saturday Poker Run. Neil and I left with James leading and Jerry acting as gunner.

Now rather than give you blow by blow account of the trails we ran (and we ran a bunch of them, the entire area is checker boarded with trails), I’ll just give you some high lights and impressions. As we began the day, most trails seemed extremely tame. Often we found ourselves descending a trail, to link up with another one and descend it. Bud and I even commented ‘here we are going down again’. But one particular drop was literally a cliff after a large rock. It reminded me of white knuckle hill in Moab… don’t touch the brakes or you’re going endo over your nose. It literally was a controlled fall and when Bud went to catch himself and hold on, the bag of Lays potato chips took the hit and exploded, sending Lays all over the cab of the truck. Ya, it was exciting. We then descended more trails and continued along our way. Now while on one trail (they had names like Archer, Hogs Back, Airplane, 7 Up and Pole line) we finally began to do some climbs and right out of the chute, James notes we are approaching one of the few big rocks in the area called Waterfall. I presume the name comes from the fact that water streams over it during winter. The line straight up was the toughest, with a tough option left and a tough line right, the by pass was to the early left to avoid the entire mess. I probably should have followed Neil on the by pass but Bud and I pressed ahead for the waterfall. From below, it did not appear to be too big, but as I approached it, it was evident the rock was nearly as tall as my truck is long. While I knew I probably could not make it, we pointed the nose just right of center and up the front end went….so much so that as I tried to climb it, both Bud and felt the front end leave the ground and knew for sure we were going over backwards! Needless to say, our sphincters tightened up and our faces went white as shear terror raced through our veins. Now I was in trouble because as I turned either left or right, the truck felt lights and tippy. Also, due to the tree on the rear right corner, there was not a lot of room to maneuver. Per James instructions, I would turn left, backup 6 inches, turn right, pull forward 6 inches, and slowly move the front end of the truck over to the right till I finally could back off of it without the bed getting stuck under a large tree root. The entire time, the truck is running rough due to the extreme angle pointed upwards and with each turn, the front end would lightly bounce up and down as if to remind me ‘You should not have taken this line idiot’. Oh, Bud kept asking me if he should get out…. No way! I could just see me loosing the ballast and going over. After getting the front end moved to the right and my panties removed from my … you know where… we were able to easily tackle the right hand line. Once on top, both Bud and I bailed out of the truck, our armpits saturated with perspiration and fear. We were no longer complaining about too much descending.

The very next obstacle or tough spot was right above the Waterfall, a nameless group of rocks that required a right hand line, very off camber, with a large stump at the top that you had to avoid. Actually, avoiding the stump is what made the rocks so off camber. James and another Cascade Cruiser member tried but had to bail to the left line. I gave it a whirl and despite nearly making it, I was also unsuccessful. Neil on the other hand, who had taken the prior by pass, was not to be outdone on this one. His aggressive right hand line put him way off camber as his passenger tire hung in the air above the large stump. He stopped there to let the inclinometer settle down. I noted to Neil ‘You’re either going to come up this rock and be in good shape… or you’re going over!’ Neil opted to give it a try and sure enough, the tire came up the rock and with a little throttle at the top, spanked the climb and emerged victorious. The Cascade Cruiser folks noted they were being whooped on their home field.

By now, we had also lost 3 or our group. We turned around and began to climb all the hills we descended, including climbing many new trails James took us on, many very steep in sections with lots of loose rocks and dirt. Later in the afternoon around 3, we pointed our trucks towards camp with one more stop, the infamous newly found Crusher Trails. James took us there and of course, we got excited due to all the rocks. Neil ran the upper Little Crusher trail where he took damage to the his passenger side front fender and we ran the lower Crusher trail, were we turned around at the bottom and came back up the side you descend on. While Bud and I were at the bottom looking as this incredible rocky climb on rocks that moved when you put a tire on them, very late in the day and tired, with no winch and running 33s, we opted for discretion and turned around to exit the way we entered. Neil and I noted to James that we could have probably spent all day right there.

James lead us back to Browns Camp where we called it a day and told stories to Neil’s folks about our antics for the day. It was a lot of fun and we actually felt as if we had seen most of the Tillamook State Forest and the many trails that abound there. Neil’s mom then went on to feed us dinner and we enjoyed a beautiful starlit night around the campfire as Neil’s brother Troy arrived. Oh, the campground was also filled to capacity and our tow rig and trailer had been hemmed in by other trucks and trailers and buses and you name it.

Now although Bud and I were still very tired (up late, up early, full day of wheeling), we still managed to stay up late again even thought I had heard a rumor that tech inspections would start at 6 AM and those who started the poker run around 7 would be back by 2. We figured this was us, first ones out, first ones back in. After all, the event was full with over 100 rigs in attendance. Needless to day, 6 Am came darn early the next morning as I got up and fired up Busu, heading over to tech inspection. The Cascade Cruisers were busy cooking breakfast and around 6:30, someone stumbled over to begin Tech. Neil and I were the first in line and thus, were done quickly. When Tamara opened registration, we got registered and then enjoyed the breakfast of pancakes with sausage and biscuits and gravy. The schedule they provided noted tech at 7 AM, the event to begin at 9 AM. This must have been the case because when Neil and I, along with Neil’s friend Rod in his Jeep, left at 8 AM there were a bunch of folks looking at us kinda strange who fell right in behind us as we left camp.

For those of you who are not familiar with a poker run, here is a brief idea of how it works. You follow a course that has already been laid out. Markers or signs point the direction at intersections. As you travel along the course or route, you will come upon checkpoints where you randomly draw a card to begin (and eventually complete) your poker hand. The Cascade Cruisers had assembled a course of primarily easy trails, which also had optional difficult lines noted by extra green markers. The optional lines were not recommended for full size or stock rigs. At the checkpoints, they also had games, quizzes and other tasks that you completed to acquire points. For instance, at each check point were small cruiser cutouts of various colors, you had to find the cruisers and keep count of how many and what color. The games consisted of Joust, the water game, rings, blind man and one where you lined up your front pumpkin with a cone which had a tennis ball on it, object was to line up the diff and not knock the ball off. One game you put your hand into a bag full of junk and had to identify as much as you could. Questions were also asked like ‘what does ODF and BLM mean?’ Often the passenger would be asked questions like what tires and how many lugs (Bud choked those miserably). Points were then tallied and the winners given awards at the closing ceremony (Raffle). Also, folks were asked to pick up trash and given a trash bag. Now I must point out that on Friday, one thing that Bud and I noticed immediately was the large amount of trash anywhere we looked in the Tillamook State Forest so the option of picking some of it up appealed to us and we set out with vengeance to gather as much trash as possible… and we succeeded.

Neil with Troy riding shotgun, Rod (AKA Hot Rod) in his Jeep with Lenny and his other passengers, and Bud and I pretty much hung together throughout the day although our order changed frequently due to checkpoints and traffic in general And although each checkpoint took a small amount of time to complete, we never felt as if we had to wait and there was never a time were there was a line of more than two waiting. It went quickly. We stopped frequently to pick up trash and the day went by too quickly.

As we neared the end of the route (we knew because we recognized some of the trails from Friday) we were astounded to find the last green marker pointing us up the cliff we had fallen off on Friday and took out the Lays on. HotRod pulled up in his Jeep and simply said ‘no way can you make that’. Now I need to back up here a tad bit… When Rod had arrived on Friday night with his jeep, the banter immediately began between Neil with his Toyota and Rod with his Jeep. Rod is sporting a t18 tranny (with granny gear) and an increased low range in his t-case. In other words, the Jeep was no slouch at all. Of course they joked around about who was going to have to pull who out, offer the strap, take the winch, etc. The banter was endless on Friday night and probably went on long after we went to bed. Saturday, during the run, all 3 of us would take the tough lines of various sections and were having a good time. When Rod said no way to the final difficult section, Neil was on it! He gracefully brought the cruiser up and spanked the left side of the cliff like obstacle. As Bud and I watched his line, there was no doubt we could make it and we followed suite. Neil pulled off to wait for Rod while Bud and I continued the steep climb up the pole line to the top, where we picked up a bunch more litter while we waited. Apparently, Rod gave it a try but was unsuccessful. He was very quiet that evening around the campfire and went to bed very early and very quietly.

Anyhow, back in camp, we turned in our cards. As they tallied Bud and I, they noted we were the highest points yet at 94. Neil immediately turned his in and took us with 102. Bud and I then wished we had not given him all those tips and pointers. Also, when we turned in our sheet, we politely asked for the maximum litter points as we were sure we had picked up the most. They awarded us 10 full points for litter. It’s a good thing too because Bud noted if they had not, we simply would have put it all back.

The Raffle started around 4 with lots of great stuff to raffle off, awards for best poker hand, hard luck and most points were handed out where Neil ended up taking 3rd (Bud and I were 4th but not enough for a trophy). After the raffle, Neil’s mom fixed us BBQ‘ed chicken with all the trimmings then went the extra distance to fix us a huge lunch for the ride home! We were a loud and boisterous group that night around the Wilkendorf campfire as we laughed and told stories and although Bud and I wanted to get most of our stuff packed, it just did not happen till 6 AM the following morning. Neil’s brother Lenny and Troy were hilarious and we had a great time. The ride home was just as long but well worth the fun we had.
Thanks Cascade Cruisers, excellent event, excellent time!
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