Directed by Brian Van Buskirk
(2007) 123 minutes
by Sev Pearman
“Get Lost: Oregon” is a self-made adventure documentary that features 8 riders on a 1500 mile dual-sport ride through Oregon. The riders are on a variety of bikes ranging from big BMW GS’s and KTM’s to 250 thumpers. A support van would meet them at the end of each day, where they would set up camp. They were to do most of the filming themselves, and all of this was done without any major sponsorship. Like most documentaries, there’s footage of the riders mixed in with one-on-one camera commentary at the end of each day. Van Buskirk also narrates.
A very likable part of the film is that the riders are not actors. They have distinct personalities and although many of them hadn’t met before the ride, there seemed to be instant camaraderie and very little squabbling about who’s a better rider or who has the best bike for the journey (or maybe most of that stuff ended up on the editing room floor). Not only do they come from different backgrounds, but different parts of the world. The U.S. and Canada are well represented, as well as two riders from New Zealand. As it turns out, the Kiwis needed a little off-road training, but took to it well.
During the journey, the group would occasionally split up. Sometimes the smaller bikes would set off on single-track trails, but it wasn’t always the smaller bikes in the nasty stuff. Seeing someone manhandle a 500-pound GS through gnarly, slick sections really makes me envious of that rider’s abilities.
Every night, the riders would arrive back at camp, usually with a story or two to share with the rest of the group and the cameras. Some of the stories were better than others. Often times, there’s footage of them drinking shots late into the night, usually followed by drunken shenanigans. Occasionally, I would find myself glancing at my calendar, trying to pinpoint exactly when the next MMM staff party was….
It goes without saying that there’s plenty of gorgeous scenery, and lots of great riding. Everyone seems to get along and provide help after the occasional crash or mechanical mishap. But it’s not all sunshine and lollipops, folks. One of the riders goes missing and the rest of the group doesn’t see him for over 24 hours. A search team is sent out. But then he shows up again and they throw a big party, where two of the local girls apparently think they’re being filmed for a “Girls Gone Wild” video.
Overall, I really liked the film, but a minor complaint would be with the sound quality. I was constantly adjusting the volume control. It has an…interesting soundtrack as well; mostly by bands no one has ever heard of.
Taking a break from her Sunday crossword puzzle, Susan quipped that the movie seemed more like someone’s vacation footage. If vacations were more like this, I’d be taking a lot more of ‘em.