Lumberjacks

On any cruise you have the option of choosing multiple things to do in port, and in Ketchikan I chose two, the walking tour I described in my last post, and a lumberjack show in the late afternoon.  I’m still not sure why I decided it would be fun, although it had its moments.  But it was primarily a huge testosterone festival, with two competing teams of lumberjacks (U.S. and Canadian) showing off their skills with long-handled axes, two-handed saws, and gasoline powered chain saws.  The photos I took are the last 13 in the Ketchikan gallery.  I’ll share some of them here.  Here’s one of the U.S. contestants:

Lumberjack competitor (U.S.)

See what I mean by testosterone?

They began with a demonstration of chopping a short log in half, using a long handled ax, while standing on the log. 

Chopping log in half while standing on it

They also competed at throwing the ax at a target painted on the end of a log:

Throwing axes at a target

And chopping a log in half while not standing on it:

Chopping a vertical log in half

Finally, they chopped a log in half while standing on a “spring” – the board he’s standing on is not supported except where it’s bolted to the bigger log, and it springs up and down.  I believe this is a Canadian competitor.

Chopping while standing on a springboard

And of course, they had gasoline-powered chainsaws.  There’s a photo of them in the gallery using one to cut “leaves” (thin round slices) off the end of a log, which they also do with two-handed saws.  Why you need to do that escapes me.  But the one that blew me away was the attempt to “carve” a rabbit out of a short log, using a chainsaw!  Here it is in progress – see the ears?

Carving a rabbit with a chainsaw

And here he is holding it up by the ears.  It doesn’t look like a rabbit to me:

This is a rabbit?

The announcer didn’t seem to believe it either, they were arguing about something in the next photo in the gallery.  They had a competition to see who could climb a pole faster, and they finished with the classic log-rolling contest.  Here’s the American competitor again:

Running along a floating log

I also got a shot of both of them doing it at once but this shows the technique better.  As you can see, there were a number of heads between me and him.

But I missed the best photo of the event.  It happened so fast I couldn’t get my camera up before he moved.  Remember the photo of the U.S. competitor?  He’s holding a long-handled ax in his left hand, next to his thigh.  Now imagine that shot with a chainsaw in the hand, held at about that angle!  Testosterone city…

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