Loretta Lynn Ranch, Hurricane Mills, TN — August 4, 2019
The 38th Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship presented by Lucas Oil at Loretta Lynn Ranch wrapped up last week, just outside of Nashville, TN. For those who closely follow the sport of motocross, the event is huge. A must-see extravaganza of everything the grassroots of the sport embodies.
For those who occasionally catch the professional motocross riders on television soaring over the big jumps and rumbling through the dirt moguls on the track, you might not realize the magnitude of Loretta Lynn’s MX. Here is a peek at the week’s activity.
Over 20,000 riders nationwide sign up in an attempt to qualify for the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship presented by Lucas Oil at Loretta Lynn Ranch. They compete in area qualifiers where the top eight in each class advance to regional semifinals. Riders as young as four-years-old, up to seniors age 50 and over, look to advance past the regionals that send just eight riders to Loretta Lynn for the finals.
Just 42 riders in each of the 39 classes and age groups make it to the National Championship. The top 10 in each class earn trophies for their accomplishment. For a look at the daily activities of a rider progressing through the three motos that make up the Championship check out The Lasco Press Coverage of Ryan Valade, Day 1, Day 2 and The Finals.
Loretta Lynn’s Ranch is located approximately 70 miles west of Nashville, TN. The billboards point you to Exit 143 on Interstate 40, a ten-mile drive north brings you to the entrance of the Ranch.
The setting of Loretta’s place is beautiful. Rolling hills and cascading streams dot the landscape deep into the Tennessee forests. Campsites on the hill adjacent to the entrance are well shaded.
Dry camping, as well as full-hookup sites, are available. A camp store, ice cream hut, swimming pool, and swimming in Hurricane Creek all make for a comfortable stay.
Loretta’s Ranch house is located on the back of the property.
A replica of her childhood home from Butcher Hollow sits on a hillside adjacent to a small complex that includes a gift shop, museum, and country store.
Tours are offered or you can just stroll the grounds next to the creek with a man-made waterfall that acts as a partial dam. Tunes from Lynn’s incredible career drift through the air as background music.
Setting Up Race Camp
Riders and their families begin driving in from almost every State in the Country the weekend prior to race week. Full hook-up sites are reserved for riders competing, they enter a lottery to see who qualifies for the premium parking places. Everyone else fills in the remaining campsites.
Vendor set up near the track, families with young children seem to gravitate to the creekside spots. The non-stop flow of campers keeps migrating to the overflow fields where generators run continuously in the humid heat of August.
Water delivery and mobile septic services keep the dry campers storage tanks in order. Everywhere you look moto-bikes are under canopies, on stands, or in trailers. Being worked on, cleaned, polished, tuned up, displayed or stored. Along with all the supplies set out that are required to support a race team and family camping event over the course of a week.
The main thoroughfare through the ranch is a County Road, monitored by the Sheriff’s Department. Their presence is visible all during the week. Camp roads are dirt or crushed gravel, organizers keep them watered down to help eliminate dusty conditions. Keep your head on a swivel, motorcycles, motor scooters, golf carts, and four-wheelers weave in and out of vehicle traffic. Picture driving in a densely populated third world country.
Monday is practice day. Motos begin Tuesday morning at 7:30 am and continue every 30 minutes all day long. A brief intermission allows everyone to grab a quick lunch. The moto order roles through 3 complete cycles over 5 days.
The top 10 finishers in each are lined up as they exit the track. The top 3 receive medals and are interviewed on a viewing stand adjacent to the start area. Trophies to the top 10 finishers in each class are presented Saturday afternoon in a group setting that culminates the week.
Attending the Event
If you are planning to go, come prepared. If camping is in your plans, bring food and water as well as adequate supplies to last you for a week. Arrive as early as possible, campsites are “first-come, first-served.” Check-in prior to the opening weekend is allowed for an additional fee.
Depending on your cell phone carrier you may or may not have service. Cell phone hill, one of the high points on the property is a non-stop gathering place as campers sit on the fence hoping to acquire a signal. Wi-Fi is spotty and it’s a 10-minute drive north to the town of Waverly for the closest restaurants, grocery stores, and reliable phone/internet signal access.
All that taken into consideration. Being there is a Blast! If you love motocross you will love the AMA National Championships at Loretta Lynn MX. Daily admittance tickets are sold for those not wishing to spend the week in a campsite. Hotel accommodations are available in the area. A night out in Nashville is just an hour’s drive away. A family member competing at Loretta Lynn MX, the memory of a lifetime.