SUTHERLIN — Scott Haury has always had a love for the miniature.
Growing up, he used to build towns made from Hot Wheels tracks in his parent’s backyard, creating trails for the little toy cars in the dirt outside of their home. In the 1980s, he started using radio-controlled cars, commonly known as RC cars, small scale-model vehicles driven remotely with a controller.
Haury never imagined where his hobby would take him. Decades after using his first RC car, he’s now the owner of the Black Diamond RC Ranch in Sutherlin, a system of trails purpose-built for RC enthusiasts that stretches for over 3 miles in the hills behind East Sixth Avenue.
“This is pretty much my childhood, just on a much bigger scale,” Haury said. “I was playing with little Hot Wheels in the dirt, and now we’re here playing with these 1/6 scale monsters.”
The RC ranch is built for what enthusiasts call “crawling,” where drivers use large, rugged vehicles to traverse off-road and rocky terrain. During the winter off-season, Haury said around 30 people come to the trails weekly, but during summer competitions, the number can skyrocket into the hundreds.
“When we first started, there was probably like five or six of us,” Haury said. “And now it’s just a constant flow.”
Haury calls himself an RC “addict” — he owns at least 15 large RC crawlers and close to 400 RC vehicles in total, including helicopters, planes and drones — but his journey to creating an RC ranch began with an accident.
Ten years ago, Haury, who works in construction, was badly injured. He broke his back, crushing four out of five vertebra in his lower lumbar, and used a wheelchair for six months.
“That’s how it all kind of happened, is that I got bored