It is a cold, but clear February day around the outskirts of Pilot Rock. The air is crisp, except for one place, the Bike Pit. In this almost nondescript field, parts of the outlying track are hidden behind a deep haze of dust, the only audible noise the revving of several dirt bikes.

Out of the cloud comes a lone figure, bike and rider, blasting through the vale onto the far end of a jump. It looks fluid and effortless, but underneath plenty of work is being done.

Unlike others who come after, this figure looks somewhat slighter of build, but the skill is evident anyway. It's the product of countless hours of working and training and trying to become the best rider she can be.

For the last six years, this has been the calling of Jamey Parks. Her ambition to sit atop one of these powerful machines has been with Parks since childhood, but only recently has she realized that dream.

Living with her family in Baker, she had little leeway to get going on her own or even purchase a bike to practice. This prompted a move farther north, near Pendleton - still out of the way, but close enough to a circuit, a start.

The start came via Mark Street, a longtime rider himself. With Street's help, Jamey was a quick study. After just starting to ride, she immediately jumped into competition, riding a circuit out of Washougal, Wash.

The Washougal Motocross Park hosts the American Motorcycle Association National finals. The people she races against in AMA, though, are not professionals. Like her, they are trying to make a way in the sport.

Parks has been racing in Washougal as well as other places like in the Tri-Cities and in Portland during winter months.

Racing in the women's division - an open division for women over the age of 12 and riding bikes between the 99-250 cc - Jamey has enjoyed some success, winning from time to time.

The Washougal circuit runs for only five months out of the year, though, making it necessary to stay sharp during the remaining months.

It's different than the summer, when she can be out riding every day and racing all the time. Parks resorts to indoor racing, which usually happens on the west side of Oregon, for some of the late fall and early winter.

But the summer is where she can make her mark. During races at Washougal, she can battle better competition, and has even raced in men's races at 125 cc. Also during the summer, Parks has at times fired up her bike alongside some of the best riders in the Women's Motocross Association, which holds it's fourth round in Washougal the same time as the AMA Nationals.

And it is against these riders Parks hopes to one day compete regularly.

"It has always been my dream to go pro," she said. "All I can do is keep practicing and try to get better times, and hopefully get sponsored. Racing against other riders from the WMA is a big motivation for me."

It's not an easy road. Breaking into the professional ranks takes not only time, effort and practice, it also takes money. As it is, Jamey spends close to $200 dollars on travel, camping, race fees and other expenses, and as an amateur rider, that's a stiff tab over such a long stretch.

As it is, Parks works a separate job to generate funds and finds help from friends who travel with her, her family and Oregon Power Sports in Pendleton - which helps her out with bike parts once in a while.

But the real money is in sponsorship. According to Parks, sponsors take care of all fees and help out with keeping the bike in racing condition.

Finding a sponsor, though, leads to her next biggest obstacle. For all of the things northeastern Oregon is, it is not a hot bed for motocross.

It is nearly impossible for big companies and the WMA to take notice of Parks while she is operating out of this area. As soon as possible, Jamey wants to move on from here and settle into a place where she can finally be under the scope of the people who write the big checks in the sport.

Until that happens, though, Jamie is going to keep riding and getting better. There is not much that can deter her dream.

It isn't a fear of injury.

Jamey has been through almost everything, from minor wipeouts to brutal crashes. She has had concussions, bumps and bruises - everything short of breaking a bone.

"I just try not to think about them," she said. "Everyone deals with injuries, it's a part of racing."

It isn't fear of failure.

It's all about patience, according to Jamey. She has the skills, and she has the drive, it's only a matter of time. More importantly, it may be her dream to succeed in motocross as a way to earn a paycheck, but it isn't the end of the world.

"Even if I never go pro I won't quit riding," Parks said. "It's been one of my goals in life to just stay active in this sport."

There is something more simple and satisfying in revving an engine and taking off on a dirt track, only visible from a distance by the rooster tail of dust blowing out behind her.

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