As we travel, I like to look to see if there is a local fair or event going on. It is rare that we actually hit on the right day, but this time we did. We planned to be in Palmer Alaska, not far from Anchorage, on Saturday June 24. It was the day that the Alaska Scottish Games were being held at the State Fair grounds in Palmer.
We have never been to Scottish games, so we decided to go see what it was all about.
We spent most of the afternoon watching three competitions.
One was the Caber Toss.
The object is to pick up the caber, which is the size and shape of a small telephone pole, and toss it so that the end the contestant starts holding goes up, over, and ends up away from him. If he manages to flip it, as about 1 in 10 contestants did, the score is based on how it lines up with the direction he was facing when he let it go.
It looked really hard. First, one or more of the other guys stands it up straight before him. Then he has to get a grip on it and lift it straight up to about waist level. At this point he tires to run forward keeping it vertical until he is ready to toss it up and hopefully over.
I think Craig did a pretty good job capturing the toss in the nine images below. He shot about 150 images in short bursts. Most were discarded.
Another event we enjoyed watching was the "Weight over Height" event. The contestant stands with his back to a bar above him, swings the heavy weight between his legs and throws it up over his head trying to get it over the bar.
Neither of these two were successful, but the pictures are the best to give you an idea of what they were trying to do. These were 54 pound weights, and I felt there was some danger of having one smash a contestant in the head!
The third event was the "Heavy Hammer Throw."
I rather expected to see a big sledge hammer, but instead they used a heavy ball on a handle. These were really big "professional heavy event athletes", and the distance of their throws was impressive.
I have never been to a Scottish or Highland Games before. I'm glad we went, so as to add it to my "Been There Done That" list, but I doubt I will jump at the chance to go to another.
While at the Fairgrounds in Palmer, we watched the clouds playing around the mountain tops.
It's one of the things I came to Alaska to see.
Finally, this shot. It was taken at about 10 PM at our RV park. The sky was still blue and daylight prevailed.
Next stop: A Musk Ox farm.