Most everyone that has ever owned a "Crusty Demons" or "Moto XXX" video has heard of Reche Canyon in Calif. Myself, I was fortunate enough to grow up nearby, long before the hills were painted with video cameras and two stroke engine exhaust. Living down the street from families such as the Albrechts and the Emigs, I was lucky enough to become Lil' Doug -- the kid on his Kx 60 who somehow could sense you driving into the Canyon and beat you to your front door step. My summers were filled with riding the different sections of the hills like 'Midway,' 'Playground' and the infamous 'Kamikaze' jump.
Trail rides consisted of crossing the 'Trail Of Death,' hitting the whoop trail over to 'Jedi' and snaking back down under the canopy of trees. We would then work our way back to 'White Track' or sometimes rip the fire roads to the spring for a drink of water. And getting gas was easy -- the Hitchin Post store sold gas and had a deck we could stash oil under.
One of the most known jumps was the 'Tire Double.' We called it that because after every day of riding it and we would stack used car tires on the lip to detour any passerby riders from hitting it. I can remember every single time someone came to my house to ride, they would say, "Take us to that tire double jump."
From Nicholson, Freeman at Crusty's to Jordan, Kurt at Moto XXX, we spent the latter part of the '90s and early '00s shoveling jumps and running from the police. As everything does in life though, my days there eventually ran its course and came to an end. I don't get the opportunity to spend my days shoveling after a good rain anymore, but I do enjoy a trail ride out there and like seeing the younger kids building jumps from Beaumont to Temecula.
Last month, I revisited Reche Canyon to see what was left in the tank. Though it was dry and dusty, the green grass was starting to poke through the brown hillsides. We started on a couple hip jumps near the 'Ramp Spot' and then worked our way back into the hills. First stop was the iconic 'Trail of Death.' We then headed out from there to 'Jedi' to snake down the trail, enjoying the cool pockets of air trapped in the narrow canyon. After that, we headed through the hills, working our way back to our final jump -- 'Kamikazi,' the vertical wall jump that was made famous by Seth Enslow in the early "Crusty Demons" movies.
And just like old times, the canyon produced. It may not be what it once was, but hitting the old spots and reliving the memories of years past sure was fun.