Monday, July 26, 2010

Darby Logger Days

A rare site: A hot saw hottie competes in The Cookie Stack. A competion of skill.

When the sawdust blizzard cleared, Paul Bunyan, the American legend, was staring me in the face. The burly, bearded man of the woods thrust a chainsaw high over his head and gave a victorious roar to the crowd packed into the bleachers behind me. No, he was not on a killing spree; he had just placed first in The Cookie Stack.

The Cookie Stack is one of the twenty timber sports competitions, including the axe throw, pole climb and speed chop that comprise the biggest festival of the summer in the Bitterroot Valley in Montana- Darby Logger Days. Like sawdust to honey, the event draws accomplished athletes in the lumberjack industry from around the country to flex their muscles and demonstrate their skills. In celebration of an industry and tradition that defines western Montana, it aims to keep America’s logging heritage alive.

The narrow main street of Darby was jam-packed with Harley-Davidsons and red, white and blue. The fairgrounds hosted booths with strong Libertarian messages, like: In God I Trust; the Government Is Another Story! Raffles auctioned off handguns and shotguns; corndogs and snow cones were served up to the kiddies.

Listening to the hollow thud of axes hitting wood stumps, the revved-up, buzzing whine of chainsaws and the casual voice of the MC, I marveled at this slice of the American pie, so completely foreign from my Midwestern roots. In awe of the remarkable diversity of American culture, I vowed to keep on truckin’ from sea to shining sea.

This post was entered into the totally awesome Grantourismo - HomeAwayUK Travel Writing Competition for July. We would love to hear your thoughts on the post in the comments section!

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Makes me want to explore more of the US. We're loving being in Austin now - how very different it is to New York and anywhere else we've been in the US before!

    Thanks for entering our Grantourismo competition! Best of luck!