The Desert 100
in Odessa WA (2008)
Michael and I have read about the Desert 100 race
in Odessa Washington and decided we wanted to be a part of it, it
sounded like fun and should not be too difficult for us, boy were
The trip started with Michael and I loading our Dads camper onto my
truck, getting it loaded up with 3 days worth of food, the bikes,
lots of gas, and finally headed to Odessa on Friday.
Its a 2+ hour drive from Waitsburg, but we finally saw the sign for
Odessa and headed out of town to the camp site and the site of the
race. Unfortunitely, we were greeted with rain on and off on the way
Finally we arrived at the Desert 100 campsite, WOW!
I have never seen so many differn't kinds of RV's, tents, trailers,
in such a small area. Honestly, imagine driving to the middle of no
where and stumbling upon a camp like this:
As we have read, the Desert 100 is a very popular event, so we had
to wait inline with a bunch of other campers and RV's to get into
Finally we got through the line and paid our $5
entry/camping fee and were told to go find a camping spot, anywhere.
No direction, no right/wrong way, just don't camp in the roads. They
really leave the camping and parking completely up to you. We finally
found a spot and got everything unloaded and setup
and quickly started wandering around. I quickly found a kids 50 cc
motorcycle with training wheels, never seen this before.
Norma (My Mom) and myself rigged up some flags before we left, and
I used some of my old DJ light stands and Michael put it on top of
our camper, this helped ALOT to locate our camp in the sea of RV's.
We were the only ones with a blue flag labeld "Team Bessey"
Originally thought to be a corney idea but overall, very helpfull.
You could find our camp from the county road!
It rained most of Friday afternoon, pretty miserable
and cold but that did not stop Michael and I from exploring the place.
This is what most of the trails around camp look like. There was 1
or 2 motorcross tracks the kids were riding around.
Saturday morning we awoke to sunshine ... and frost
on the bikes.
When we arrived it rained and was pretty miserable, now we awaken
to frost and fairly cool temperatures, we both thought we were in
for a rough and miserable ride. We went to the riders meeting for
the dual sport and family poker runs. And then we realized we were
in the desert, cold nights, warm days. It got warm enough that we
didn't have to wear face masks, gloves, bibs, and the rest of our
I took this picture on our way back from the riders meeting, dead
ahead you can see our blue flag on top of our camper. You may notice
the family and party camp areas, Stump Jumpers set the camp up, about
1/3 is family and 2/3 is party. We were just on the Party side, which
didn't turn to be too bad. They had lots of porta-potteys, apparently
there was not enough of these last year.
Several Vendors show up for the event
Accessories, energy drinks, and several tire changers. Flat tires
are a very common problem at this event, and they had plenty of customers.
I think it was $30 to fix a flat.
I saw these bikes wondering around camp and could
not resist to take a picture
two twin KLR bikes, pretty new looking and no dirt on them!
Michael and I started our poker runs. Michael did
the Ironman on his YZ 426 and I did the Dual Sport on my KLR
. There is also the Family run, to summarize all of the runs
use the same track, with some minor exceptions. The family run is
a fairly amature ride, nothing real technical, most amatures can tackle
the course with no problem. The ironman does the Family loop, but
goes off course a couple areas to more technical and difficult terrain.
The Ironman and Family loops do the loop twice, the dual sport does
the loop once, and then heads out to several county roads around Odessa.
Michael and I started riding together and met up at the safety checkpoints
Several points along the course are safety check points with medics
and quads ready to respond in the case of someone getting hurt, and
we were both glad they are there. We saw a couple injuries on the
poker run with EMT's tending to them.
Due to the rain the previous day, the dust was not real bad until
later Saturday. And there was a watercrossing on the course
Michael used his helmet cam and got some video crossing the creek,
you can see it here (13
Michael and I finished up our first lap, and split
up. He headed off to do his 2nd lap of the ironman and I hit the county
roads for the rest of the dual sport ride.
Michael finished his ride before I did (by about
2 hours) does he look tired?
Here is Michaels bike with his trophy shirt
And finally my bike after the ride
Overall, we did pretty good. We both survived and completed the entire
ride, but not without some battle wounds. I dumped my bike on one
of the creek crossings, and my left side panel fell off. Michaels
GPS fell out of his holder. But we both survived and were able to
ride back to camp, thats always a good ride in our book (No tow ropes
Sunday is the day of the Race, originally Michael
was planning on doing the race but chickened out (We were both really
sore) Michael and I were both really impressed by the average skill
level of the other riders. We both thought we were intermediate skilled
riders, after going to this event both Michael and I learned we are
more begginner skilled riders.
Although Michael and I were not doing the race,
we attended the riders meeting
They went over all the rules and how the course was layed out, at
the end of the meeting everyone fired there bikes up and headed to
to the starting line of the course. I was near the starting line and
caught a video of the line of bikes, check it out here
I had my camera in my hand, heard the cannon, and turned the camera
on as quickly as possible, The video is here
To start the race they used a cannon, and all the sudden 500+ dirt
bikes came to life and took off. An awesome event to watch! This year
they seperate the group into two seperate waves, the 1st group was
the 100 milers doing 2 laps, the second wave was the 50 milers doing
Finally Michael and I loaded up the camper, the
bikes, and the trailer and headed for home.
Overall it was a fun event, and reccomend it to anyone who owns a
dirt bike and is up for a good ride. After the event I read several
stories from riders that did the race, stitches, concussions, broken
back, flat tires, lots of broken bikes. There was a rumor a guy riding
a KTM ran into a barb wire fence at 40 MPH, but he was able to walk
away. Honestly, the race is for the hard core riders and I will leave
the abuse to them.
I assure you Michael and I will be doing this again
next year. We had so much fun and highly reccomend the event to anyone
that owns a dirt bike. You will want to bring a camper, you can tent
it, and several campers did at the event, but it was cold. Our Dads
camper does not have a furnace, and it was a cold morning! Also the
last couple of years it has rained during the event. So beg, borrow,
or steal a camper, you will be glad you did!
You can read other peoples stories here: