Detroit, Oregon
Looking north, Detroit, Oregon

Photo: Me in Detroit, Oregon

Update Oct 9, 2020: Much of what you see in the background, including the store referenced in this post, is burned and no longer exists.

Every season I eagerly await the melting of snow on NF 46 between Ripplebrook Ranger Station and the small resort town of Detroit, along the western slope of the Cascades mountain range. I attempted the route the last weekend of April but couldn’t make the connection and had to turn back. Today (Sunday, May 24th) I made it through.

The ride itself was standard fare: amazing curves, great scenery, and 80 miles without any stop signs or towns. I’ve ridden this road dozens of times a year for the past 13 years, so I essentially have it memorized. It’s a lot of fun and provides me with a great excuse to get out of the house for half a day.

This particular ride was interesting not because of the ride itself, but the ‘interesting’ gentleman I met in Detroit. I stopped at the small store and gas station to take a break and struck up a conversation with an older man loading stuff into a small and beat up cargo trailer parked next to the store. He looked to be in his 60s and had a long, mostly grey beard. At a glance, my first thought was he was an aging hippie.

We never exchanged names, so I’m going to refer to him euphemistically as Mr. Whacko. You’ll find out why shortly.

We talked briefly about where each of us was coming from and where we were going. Mr. Whacko didn’t seem to know where he was, and was also confused about where he was going. When I told him I was from Sandy, he asked, “Where’s that?” I pointed and said, “It’s about 80 miles north of here.”

“That’s north?” he asked, puzzled. “All this time I thought I was going south. Hmm.” He was serious. He then told me about his drive up “The Five” from Los Angeles, and how his vehicle overheated and stopped three times climbing up the Grapevine. He was driving a Honda Odyssey (which wasn’t anywhere that I could find nearby) and it had died several times along the journey. Mr. Whacko referred a couple times to some “Magic Oil” he put in the radiator to keep the engine from seizing.

Then things got weird. “The radiator has this gunk in it, around the cap, that is put there by the government. The magic oil I put in keeps that gunk from seizing the engine.”


The conversation turned to COVID-19, as I had seen him taking off a mask earlier when he emerged from the store. Mr. Whacko then informed me that he spoke with a doctor who had a female patient that had come down with COVID-19. “The doctor gave her hydroclox [sic] and she was cured in two weeks.”

He couldn’t pronounce hydroxychloroquine, but I understood what he was referring to. “The government is trying to hide it, but there is another doctor in Florida that said it completely eliminates COVID.”

Mr. Whacko further elaborated on his views of the government. “The government is putting military agents at the borders because of all the judges.” He explained, somewhat confusingly, that all the judges in America are fraudulent because the oaths they took were illegitimate. Don’t worry if this doesn’t make sense to you, because it didn’t make sense to me, either. He implied the military agents were to keep the judges from leaving the country.

I asked Mr. Whacko a few questions as his rambling began to pick up speed, but he quite deliberately spoke over me to keep me from seeking clarification. He’d raise his voice and talked quite a bit faster as soon as I’d start asking a question.

Our conversation (if you can call it that) turned to the law. “‘Statutes’,” he said, “aren’t legal because only laws that pertain to money are actually laws. Everything else — statutes — are unconstitutional.” He said something about universities and how they aren’t legal, either, but by this point he was conspiring so rapidly I began to lose track.

“Every time someone takes an oath, at the national or state level, it must have something in it about The Republic or it’s fraudulent. In fact, it’s illegal to be a Democrat in America because the word ‘Democrat’ doesn’t exist in the Constitution. Only the word ‘Republic’ does.”

He reiterated this point. “I grew up saying the Pledge [of Allegiance] and it says ‘…to the Republic.’ It doesn’t say anything about ‘Democrat.'”

You may be wondering if this guy was a Trump supporter. He never uttered Trump’s name nor even said ‘President’ during his rant. In fact, he never alluded to the position at all.

After several more conspiracy theories, many of which went by too fast to track, I asked him where he gets his information.

“The main [stream] media tries very hard to keep the truth from us, so you have to know what media to search for to find it.”

Then things took a turn into the macabre.

“You know about the babies, right?”

“Babies?” I asked.

“Oh, yeah. The government has a program where they scare the crap out of babies and then drain their blood. Important people drink it to harvest their adrenaline. It’s called ‘adrenoquine’ or ‘adrenoleen’ or something, it’s well known.”

“I’m sorry, they drain their blood?” I asked, confused.

“Yeah. They take babies and scare the crap out of them, really bad and cruel, and drain their blood so you can drink it, but only important people like celebrities and political people do it. It’s to get their adrenaline.”

Mr. Whacko elaborated. “All the people coming over the border from Mexico… they capture the babies and put them in cages and scare them really bad. All to drain their blood.” He paused for the briefest of moments, then added, “You can buy them.”

“Buy what? Babies?”

“Yeah, you can buy them, for the blood draining. There was some movie star, in Europe — I can’t remember his name,” he said, pointing to the west. “All this time he was claiming he had coronavirus, he was actually in jail. He bought a baby for $50,000. So he could drain his blood.”

I had tried to interject to ask some questions, but at this point, Mr. Whacko was so far into his rant that he was barely even taking time to inhale. I put in my earplugs and donned my helmet, wished him a safe journey, and left. He was still rambling as I pulled away.

I’ve met a lot of very wonderful people on my motorcycle, but this was the first one that actually scared me.