Kayak Log Race 2009
Myself and Mark have been risking life and limb clearing log
jams on the North Fork of the Nehalem River, and salvaging the
logs. After cutting four fat spruce logs and four smaller cedars,
our attention turned to getting the logs down to where we could haul
them out. I hatched the idea to host a kayak log race where
participants would come and tow logs in exchange for prizes, mostly,
however, it was just a good excuse to get sixteen of my friends on the
water for a fun afternoon of unusual kayaking. These days
when people think of traditional kayaking they tend to think of
Greenland rolling, but salvaging wood is an equally important part of
being a traditional kayaker. These logs will make a lot of kayaks!
a 3 mile paddle to the logs, we cut them free from the bank, and
everyone was on their own to decide on the best strategy for winning.
Bob and Reg were our most interesting team.
Reg decided that towing a kayak with log was easier than towing a log
with a kayak.
Andrew showed up with Dick and together they covered the action from
Despite towing with all their might, and me assigning more paddlers to
bigger logs, it became apparant that there could be no semblance of a
race here because the logs traveled at widely varying speeds no matter
how many people were pulling.
"Why aren't you pulling any harder?"
"We'd be there already if you spent less time talking and more time
Despite logs of different size, ability still played an important
role. When I finally caught up with Ginger she was A MILE AND A
HALF in front of the nearest competitor.
Gin has more pull in her soul than anyone I've ever met.
Gin is still smiling in this picture, this was right before I
disqualifyed her for being too fast. Did I mention that all race
rules are decided by me and subject to change at any time?
Gin lives with me and I didn't want the race to appear rigged!
Bringing the logs in at the other end, Rueben and Greg were relieved to
be unchained from this monster.
Tying up the logs to haul out in the morning.
Harveys brother Don also attended, he and Edith and their son Adeiv
towed two logs in the second guideboat.
Here Reg is powering up my new racing kayak, I built one of these
for a larger athlete and fell in love with it, so I built one for
This race was a lot of fun, the weather was perfect, and it wasn't
nearly as arduous as we expected with the strong tidal flush.
Most importantly it was a great excuse to eat a bunch of pizza at the
end. The only part that didn't work out was, well, the
race. With the logs acheiving vastly different speeds, and people
from the front always going back to help people in the back,
meaningful competition was completely impossible. At the end
prizes were essentially awarded rather than won. I gave
away a Greenland replica, but the other prizes (a bottle of beer which
I later drank, a copy of Harveys book, and kayak model) went
unclaimed. Not only that but there are still five more
smaller cedar logs left to float down the river, which means only one
thing, another log race. Stay tuned....
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