If it’s Tuesday, it must be Calgary

calgary01I’ve covered a lot of ground and have seen a lot of cool cars since my last entry. Not long ago, we were out in Joseph, OR for the Oregon Mountain Cruise. Joseph is an absolutely beautiful little western town situated at the base of the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon. The show took place right on Main Street and as you can see from the picture, it’s hard to imagine a more photogenic setting.

This was the 21st year for this show, and while it’s not all that big (about 250 cars) it really brings in some fantastic vehicles. I think my favorite was a ’53 Studebaker Commander coupe that had been made into a convertible.

Now, it’s no secret that I’m a Stude guy, but I don’t think there’s anybody that wouldn’t consider this car drop dead gorgeous.


The day started out bright and sunny, but as clouds started to roll in over the mountains, it was clear that we were going to be playing beat-the-clock to get this show shot before the weather changed. The rain held off till about two o’clock, but then it really came down for about a half hour.

At a lot of shows, this is when everyone scrambles for their cars and heads for home, but to my surprise, I don’t think a single car left Main Street. Most folks had to come a long way to get to this show, and they weren’t about to let a little rain dampen their spirits. After a while the rain let up, the sun came back out, and the festivities went on. This really was a great show, and it’s going to make a killer episode.

As long as I had come all that way tho, I figured I may as well hang around for a few more days so after we wrapped, the producer and I embarked on a three-day backpack trip up into the Wallows. This is a range I spent a lot of time in when I lived out in that area in the late 70’s, and I’m pretty familiar with it. Ben, on the other hand, had never done anything like this, and I may have forgotten to mention that our packs would weigh about 45 pounds apiece.


The weather was a mix of sun and downpours all three days, but it all worked out. The view from the tent was pretty spectacular although we encountered a fair amount of snow at the higher elevations.


The whole trip was about 20 miles round, and we were both feeling fairly beat up when we got back down.

We flew back to E’ville and were only there one day before we headed up to Indy to shoot the Road Rocket Rumble. This is a great traditional hot rod show that was celebrating its 10th year. It draws several hundred cars and really crams a lot into four days. There were no fewer than 10 rock-a-billy bands performing through the weekend along with seminars, a Burlesque show, pin-up contest, flame throwing, and burnouts. It’s incredibly cool and all the more amazing when you realize that the club that puts it on, the Indy Road Rockets, has all of nine members.

There was everything there from rat rods to a car that was reminiscent of Big Daddy Ed Roth’s space age Beatnik Bandit; not to mention an extremely “colorful” crowd. We had an absolute blast!


Another couple days at home, and I’m now on my way to Calgary, Alberta to do a feature on a very large and diverse collection there. The owner has a little bit of everything, but I’m thinking we’re going to focus on a couple of his unique sports/race cars from the 50’s. After that we’ll be home for two days before heading off for Hilo, Hawaii to shoot Cruisin’ Paradise. Hey, somebody’s got to do it!

It’s actually pretty hard for me to keep track of all the dates and places this time of year. All I know right now is; if it’s Tuesday, it must be Calgary.

Happy Motoring,

  1. Tim Painter says:

    Whew, Dennis! Your “work” schedule tires me out just reading about it. Seriously, it is great to see that you work in something in addition to your shoots, when possible. My wife and I recently drove highway 101/1 in our truck/camper from southern Puget Sound all the way down the coast to San Diego, well over 2000 miles. Olympic National Park, Cape Flattery, the Oregon coast (where replacemnent water pumps for Power Stroke diesels are available), Redwood National Park, the Monterey peninsula, Big Sur, etc, etc, made for an unforgettable trip. What a beautiful country we live in!

  2. Steve Hudson says:

    Glad to hear the rain didn’t ruin your backpacking trip in the Wallowas. We drove through one rain storm after another on the way home on Sunday, and wondered how you were doing out in the mountains. At least it held back for most of the show on Saturday. Thanks for the kind words about the Studebaker. Getting the “Dennis Gage Stamp of Approval” is about the best complement I could imagine.

    P.S. You need to checkout “Cruise The Gorge” in The Dalles, Oregon. Not only is it another great small town show, the area is chock full of hiking, mountain biking, snow skiing, motorcycling, fishing, boating and windsurfing opportunities.

  3. Dennis Gage says:

    The backpacking trip was great in spite of some rain. I really enjoyed the Joseph show and hope to get a chance to come back to it sometime. I sure did like your Stude and I’ll have to look into Curise the Gorge. I’m always looking for an excuse to get out to the Pacific Northwest!

  4. Bertha says:

    Some beautiful photographs there, Dennis! You know you have quite ‘the eye’ and could be a photographer, if/when you ever get out of the TV business!
    Glad the ‘Wet’ Coast weather did not dampen your enthusiasm nor, desire to come back out to ‘Lotus Land’ soon again!
    Hope to see you in Canada again, soon! ;)

  5. Dennis Gage says:

    I may have an “eye”, but what’s also required for photography is “skill”. And unfortunately, that’s something I really don’t have all that much of. As for coming back out to Lotus Land, I’ll actually be shooting a couple Chip Foose hot rod pickups in Abbodsford, B.C. on Thurdsay. I’m hoping for a dry day on the Wet Coast!

  6. Rick Patton says:

    always watched you…….
    great show
    you are coming to Wheels of Time car show in Macungie,Pa. late August.
    i know that this request is out of the ordinary, i would like to meet you for 5 minutes in Macungie.
    i designed, a auto handtool that iam introducing to the market soon.
    its very unique, it will uncurl your moustach when you see it. iam a average guy with this dream………
    i have shown it to Eastwood, in Pottstown, Pa.
    they are interested………
    guess, iam just looking for a professional opinion.

    Rick Patton

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