Heading north to the ultimate shrine city of 'cross is always a trip into a strange world of people who go out to either race,watch or both in snow,hail, rain and/or hurricane force winds. All who went were given more than they bargained for as the snow fell on Saturday and created a slippery mess that formed into clumps of frozen wads of turf that tore off countless derailleurs and clogged bikes making a normally hard race even more painful. Sunday saw warmer tepmeratures and deep soupy mud that got deeper as the torrents of rain came unrelentingly the whole day. Gusts of wind in the afternoon blew tents skyward and them sent them smashing to the ground, all the while the war drums were beating as the battle on the course got more savage with each passing minute. Many strong riders were not up to the test , walking off in silent resignation.....all the while the drummers pounded until the tent they were under was starting to rip from it's moorings, forcing the drum corps to leave. Spectators normally happy to stand in the rain and wind fled for there cars during the elite events. Photographers ran around trying to capture every aspect of the experience from the muddy riders to the shivering spectators. This was Portland 2007.