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April 06, 2010 3:30 am

High Desert 100 coming Memorial Day weekend

Written by Tribune Staff

Baja-style race and rock climb lures 4x4 drivers from around area

The Powell Valley four-wheelers club has always held races at times throughout the year, but the club is hoping this season to increase its visibility with the High Desert 100 over memorial Day weekend. The event, also being billed as the Big Horn Basin Baja will include a rock climb competition.

"We own about 100 acres north of town,” notes club member Matt Norby, who is helping to organize the 2010 race and climb. “We try to hold two or three races during hte year, but Memorial Day has always been our big one. That's always been our weekend.”

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Racers are divided into two or three classes depending on the amount of modification to the trucks and the number of entries.

“We get a little bit of everything most years,” said Norby. “You'll see everything from the folks that do this as just a hobby to the fully tricked out professional sorts of four-wheelers. We try and group everyone by class to give everyone a chance.”

Race lengths differ by class, but range up to 70 miles for the pro stock division. Racers are required to make one pit stop over the course of the race, during which it is mandatory that at least one tire be removed and replaced on the vehicle.

“It adds a bit of strategy to the race,” Norby notes of the required stop during what can be a 2-3 hour event. “If you need to stop to change a flat or something, it's nice to know that everyone else is going to have to stop as well, so you're not out of the race. At the same time, you don't want to stop so early that, if something goes wrong, you might need to stop a second time.”

Interest in the Memorial Day race has increased over the last five years. Club members are using the event not only to attract drivers to Powell, but to increase the visibility of the club in general.

“I think one year we had to cancel the race just because it was raining so hard,” Norby said. “Other than that, we've run it in just about every type of weather imaginable. I know at least one year there was snow out there.”

Much newer is the rock climb, which was started last summer and received rave reviews from both spectators and drivers. Participants are required to navigate a pre-set track set among difficult, rocky terrain. Drivers must pass between cones at various locations with penalties for hitting cones. The object is to complete the route in the least amount of time or to progress further along the course than the other competitors.

“As far as I know, this is the only event of its kind in the state of Wyoming,” Norby said. “We get drivers from around the state as well as Montana, South Dakota and Colorado some years.”

Spectators are welcome during the event. Norby notes the course is laid out in such a fashion that approximately three-quarters of it can be viewed from a vantage point near the finish line.

Racers will report for a tech inspection on Saturday, May 29. Racing action begins at 11 a.m., Sunday, May 30. The rock crawl will take place the afternoon of May 30, tentatively scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.

“It's a good way to bring folks to Powell and let them see what we're doing out here as a club,” said Norby. “The club itself is more family-oriented and we'll get together during the month to go out on some of the roads in the area.”

Those wanting more infomation on either the High Desert 100 or the Powell Valley Four-Wheelers can contact Norby by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .