After impatiently waiting for weeks, we finally got a chance to visit DirtFish Rally School. I can safely say it was worth the wait. Although they technically weren’t open for business at the time of our visit, construction is in full swing and many of the courses and trails are ready for driving (more on that later). Just finding the place is a bit of a challenge. Deep in the middle of nowhere, past the Snoqualmie Reservation, a delicious Herfy’s Burger, and a one-way bridge (what is the point of this?!?) we found ourselves at the former headquarters of logging industry giant Weyerhaeuser. The guys at DirtFish have taken to restoring the former administration office building to form the schools headquarters. The refurbished antique structure will include classrooms, offices, locker room facilities, and a lobby featuring a number of collectible rally cars, including an example previously driven by Colin McRae.
The office was nice, but we were eager to check out the playground: 275 acres of rally junkie paradise. Greg, the manager, was happy to oblige and gave us a guided tour. The property has a number of relics left over from its Weyerhauser days, including some very large abandoned buildings. During his visit, Travis Pastrana noted he would like to see how many donuts he could pull inside one of these buildings. We smell a challenge coming on. We cruised by the gravel skid pad which still looked hazy with dust from the last driver to let lose a flying stream of rock and debris. Finally, after touring a number of the off road trails in Greg’s luxury sedan that probably had no business being off road (the guy is a true badass), we ended up at the toy shop itself, the DirtFish garage. Inside we found multiple race ready Subaru STi wrapped in the latest DirtFish logo graphics and ready for action. Don’t worry, you can see the pictures in our photo gallery.
After snapping some photos and shooting some video, it was time to ask the inevitable question, when will the cars be in action? This of cause was code for “When can we get in one of these $100,000 beasts and have some sideways dirt flying fun?” Two of the drivers picked up on our not so subtle code and immediately offered us a co-pilot seat on a blast around the training course. My colleague and I donned the always attractive race helmets and strapped into the five point harness in of a pair of already muddy STi sitting out front. The course had just been watered and before I could say “wait don’t touch which button” we were blasting out of the gates and power sliding through turns with a rooster tail of dirt in our wake. After negotiating the slalom at speeds that made me re-think ordering chili fries with my Herfy’s Burger, we hit speeds close to 70 MPH on a brief back straight away. Our run ended with a few more tail wagging power slides and a rush of adrenaline that lasted long after side stepping the window to exit the vehicle. Good Times.
Our final verdict: For those of us who dream of motorsports glory and are deterred by the idea of wrecking our own vehicles or the legal consequences of hooning the family sedan on public roads, DirtFish is the place to live out your gasoline soaked fantasies. They have the vehicles, the facilities, and the personnel to provide world class rally driving instruction and one seriously unforgettable experience.