Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One more time --- Hot Saws 'N Carhartts

This is the one you've been waiting for...let the chips fly!


The finale....the final day of the Buckley Log Show! What's it all about? Power, sheer power. Whether it's horse power measured in, well, horse power or man power, measured in sweat and tendon popping strength...that's the log show finale. It's the day everyone gathers at the arena to cheer on the competitors and their machines.

Good family names like Clinkingbeard and McBride and Frick take the center stage and show their mettle. Here Ty Hanson is finishing his first place climb in 3:14.93, only 7 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Ty had to climb a 75-foot spar tree (no branches) and saw through the top notch in a 7 inch log. The time stops when Ty's chip hits the ground.

One thing's for darn sure, there isn't a pair of Levis or Wranglers within five miles of this log show. Standard issue "Made-for-the-Woods" jeans are Carhartts. A good 6-7 inches are usually cut off the bottom so a chainsaw doesn't do it for you and eat your leg in the process! Add a heavy duty pair of suspenders, a hickory striped shirt or a t-shirt with attitude and you kinda look like a logger. A ball cap with a greasy stained sweat band, advertising your logging company, adds to the look. Lastly, a can of chew accessorizes the ensemble. Yes, this is fashion, in it's roughest, burly-man sense!

I love this guy's t-shirt. There's no need to explain how he feels about things. It says, "If it thinks, don't eat it!" Sweet.

Dueling Hot Saws are the reason many come to the log show. In Hot Saw Limited, guys use their own stock power saws to cut through the log. Admirable, but so hoo-hum.

Modified Hot Saws --- now we're talking a little out of the ordinary. Two men teams cut through a log using double-ended chainsaws. The trophy goes to the fastest time, which was just 18.45 seconds for Bud and Ty Hanson (again).

Check out the group of serious timers behind the contestants, crouching to get at eye level with the action. No one wants to say, "Uh, guys, I didn't get my watch started. Could you do that again?"

The end of the day comes 'round. The crowd starts to press toward the ropes that separate the boys (and ladies) from the men. It's Hot Saw UN-limited time. Get ready folks 'cause if you blink you'll miss the whole thing.

The defending champion is the Binford. Not your basic Stihl or McCullough, the Binford is a hand-crafted Hot Saw on steroids. Built from a Buick V-8 engine it makes mincemeat of big logs, in seconds.

It takes 4 men to carry the Binford to the starting line but only 2 men are allowed to hold onto the beast as it devours the log.

NASCAR has nothing on this. The roar of the engines, the sweat and money and training of the contestants. Where else can a crowd be covered with wood chips and be ecstatic about it?

Just like butter, the Binford cuts through the log in a record setting 3.03 seconds! The crowd cheers. High-fives all around.

What do you bet more than one spectator stopped by their garage later that day to glance at their ole Buick, minus the wood chips --- shook their head, and grinned?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One more time...From Historical to Hysterical ( Log Show Part Two)

Back to the Buckley Log Show, Day Two:


Back to the Buckley Log Show...

This part of the country (despite the spotted owl) is rich in logging history. A cute little museum at the log show grounds gives you an idea how hard loggin' life was before the chain saw, the huge trucks and the powerful machinery.

Serious logging depends on macho machinery. I wonder whose job it'll be to change this tire? Bring on the muscle, boys.

This little number is the one Hollywood has it's eyes on for it's next horror blockbuster! (Just kidding, but it makes for a great "visual"!) There's a big strap holding the wheels together because the nubby bumps on them are made for de-barking the tree. Not something you want to back into when it's going full tilt. Yikes!

An important part of logging history is the memories of those who've passed. I think as long as this International is part of the crew, "Big Joe" will be there too.

I gotta kick out of some of the "individual expression" on the logging trucks. No problem finding these rigs parked in the woods.

Oh crap...I hope that last one doesn't change the viewer's rating of my blog. Sorry, couldn't resist. Remember --- in the woods --- it's a man's world.

Part 3? Ahh, that's where we'll kick up the testosterone level a notch!

Monday, June 28, 2010

One More Time...The Men and Their Loggin' Machines

I missed the Buckley Log Show this last weekend...but there's no reason you should miss out on the fun! Here's a recap of the 2009 show. Still plenty of muscle and sawdust!


The last full weekend of June is the legendary eye-popping, heart-stopping, testosterone slathered Buckley Log Show in (pant, pant), Buckley, Washington. Man-o-man, there are sights to be seen, and smelled and of course, photographed. Sit tight and I'll fill you in over the next few days.

Heading south from my house I feast my eyes on the mountain, again. This is Mt. Rainier, all 14,410 feet of her. When the mountain isn't shrouded in clouds Washingtonians say, "The mountain is out today." As it was this day. See what I have to put up with around here? She, the mountain, is gorgeous. (I long ago decided she was female.)

On to Buckley and the Log Show grounds.

Like a frozen ballet of steel and forest, the trucks and their cargo are poised for all to admire.

Big boy's serious, workin' toys are put on display. Here's a local "tree hugger". Oh, not the husband....but the huge yellow jaws surrounding him. They grab the trees with a vengeance, shake the dirt from the roots, hold the tree for de-limbing and stack the resulting logs neatly on the truck.

More trucks and loggin' stuff soon. I'm almost afraid to show you one monstrous gadget from the Logging House of Horrors. I think Hollywood might be considering it for a torture machine in their next James Bond movie!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

In the company of clouds

Last weekend we travelled to eastern Washington to visit my Dad and to escape the rain. This year we've had record breaking rainfall with over 32 inches falling in our backyard, up against the Cascade Mountains.

Yikes, I needed to find some clear sky, maybe even some blue sky.

Along the way we got both. Some sun, some pretty un-gray skies and some gorgeous clouds. Clouds that didn't drip a single drop of rain upon our heads.

I feel better now. Thank you eastern Washington.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Missing: Enumclaw Mountain

In my backyard stands a mountain. A grand mountain checkered with rock faces and lush forests. It's appearance constantly evolves as weather patterns surround the 2,785 foot tower. The mountain's name "Enumclaw" was derived from a local Native American word meaning "strong wind" or "thundering noise".

The mountain is a huge presence in my life and I look to it daily to read what it has to tell me. It's sunny? My how the golden sunset lights up your shale cliffs. It's raining? Yes, you are shrouded in clouds.

The mountain has seen death. It witnessed a plane fly into it's vertical face many years ago, taking the lives of the three on board, and the life of our neighbor who climbed and fell on his way to the crash site.

When I looked to the mountain the other day (for a weather report or a sign or just a moment of beauty) I was surprised to see it was gone!

I didn't worry. I knew eventually the clouds would separate and there it would be again. My mountain, my friend.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wicked (Witchy) Weather

I live in western Washington where we're famous for our rain. Rainfall, rain gear, rainwater, rain forest...rain, rain, rain. My feet are webbed and Gortex plays a significant role in my wardrobe.

Lately it's been pouring and the rivers are jumping their banks. Memorial Day weekend was a non-event, just a designation on the calendar. The weather didn't blink. It continued to continue the deluge.

So when this showed up the other day, some 20 miles north of my place, I was pretty, pretty surprised.

Ahhhhh, yes (Dorothy) --- we ain't in Washington no more!

(Photo courtesy of Larry W.)

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