The Battle to Be King of the Lumberjacks
At U.S. logging championships, woodsy traditions meet modern-day hype—and the machismo is covered in sawdust.
In a backstage dressing room, giant, bearded, thick-necked men are getting ready to compete. The air reeks of body odor and ethanol fuel. One burly man gently thumbs his ax to check for any dull spots on the edge. Another sucks on a wad of tobacco chew before spitting the juice into a cup. A father and son tighten the bolts on a souped-up, ultradestructive chain saw outfitted with a 55-horsepower motor from a dirt bike.
It is like a prelude to a scene in a backwoods horror film: testosterone-charged brutes preparing for whatever menace might cross them. But within minutes, the showman in them is evident. They each grab a weapon of choice and head into the bright lights of