Gateway: Living

Saws blaze, chips fly at annual Key Peninsula Logging Show

Longtime logging show contestants Morris Hamilton and Jason Henningsen, from Belfair, put their backs into the Double-Bucking competition as their chip drops from the challenge log.
Longtime logging show contestants Morris Hamilton and Jason Henningsen, from Belfair, put their backs into the Double-Bucking competition as their chip drops from the challenge log. Special to the Gateway

The 30th annual Key Peninsula Logging Show played to an enthusiastic audience Saturday at Key Peninsula’s new Gateway Park.

Many called this year’s event the biggest one in history.

Competition amongst loggers who hailed from all over Western Washington was, as always, intense, but saturated with good humor, camaraderie and more than one practical joke. A seemingly limitless supply of logs for various competitions was provided by Manke Lumber of Tacoma, Shelton and Sumner. The KP Community Services, sponsor of the event, sold hamburgers and other fairground-like culinary delights. Peninsula Light, political aspirants, KP Citizens Against Crime and a plethora of vendors added the right note of summer fun.

Photos would fill a year’s worth of newsprint; there were so many competitions and other activities — all of which garnered audience attention.

Longbranch logger Chip Chandler, dripping with sweat after an arduous exercise, said he’d written a poem some time ago at day’s end of a long logging exercise. He kindly recited it:

“Eleven loggers going home. Caught up in a blizzard storm. A tree across the road awaits, cut it up, we won’t be late. Three saws now will buzz the air, hungry saws, just like a bear. The snow and wind is at our back, something that we all can hack. The moments pass, moving quick, this weather soon will make you sick. Now the saws are put away, their echoes have no more to say. With gloves in hand and boots in mud, a scratch or scrap to draw some blood. We drag away this heavy load, only just to clear the road. The limbs are cut and dragged away, the logs, the rounds, no other way. We move this beast, all in stride, it is our job, it is our pride. Now we’re done, we walk away, saying ‘thanks,’ each in our way. From separate crews we all have come, Eleven loggers going home.”

Pretty well sums up the unwritten code of the Puget Sound logging community. It put a delightful cap to the day’s memories.

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