RIP Mawr Wallace (Clan MacPherson and Friends; Enumclaw 1999)
**UPDATE Oct. 23, 2008: Mawr Wallace was killed this past Sunday by his stepfather, allegedly in self-defense. When we knew him, he was extremely friendly, warm, kind, and a wonderful friend. I am so saddened by this loss that it is hard to find words. I wish that life could have turned out differently for him. :(
One article about his death can be found here: www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/story/514172.html **
This was taken at the Enumclaw Scottish Highland Games. It was my son's first clan gathering.
We've been going to the Enumclaw games since ... I think 1996? (my dad can put in a comment to correct me if I'm wrong) It's the only major highland games in Western Washington... well, that is within reasonable driving distance for us, and one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, it's the only one I usually go to... in Cali we would go up to 6 or 7 a year. They are sooo much fun.
My favorite thing to do (if it's not devastatingly hot) is watch the heavy athletics. Unfortunately, there's no grandstand (this is nothing like the awesome Pleasanton highland games in Alameda, CA) so if there's no shade, and it's over 100, we all pretty much just sit at the clan tent or go shopping in the exhibit buildings. But if it's tolerable, the athletics are alot of fun to watch.
The caber toss is basically a huge guy in a kilt, picking up a telephone pole and balancing it on it's end, then tossing it forward trying to flip it end over end in as vertical an angle as possible... 12 o'clock is perfect. If it doesn't flip, it doesn't count. Then there's the weight-for-height, when they toss a 45lb. weight up over their head, trying to clear a bar directly above them. In cali, I think someone got to over 19ft. when I was there. And of course there's the stone-throw, which the shotput was adapted from.. where they throw a 25 lb. stone as far as possible.
My favorite one is the strongman walk, though you don't see it very often. They put 2 markers 50ft. apart, and the man carries 100 lbs in each hand (for women I believe it's 75lbs... or maybe it's a total of 100 and 75... I'll have to look it up). They walk as many times back and forth as they can... it can get pretty crazy. One year at the Roseville Highland Games in California, a woman was out there along with her husband, cheering him on. (She was an athletic competitor too... I can't remember more than her first name, which was Shannon - but I believe she wore the "loud McLeod" tartan.) It was so intense; he kept going, and every time he'd struggle she'd be right there in his face urging him to continue. I wish I could remember how many times he went around those markers...
*Originally uploaded early 2005*