In a sport that features several father-son duos, the Waible family of Sweet Home, Ore., took it one generation further Wednesday at the Timber Carnival at Lake Sacajawea.
After Rob Waibel, 46, and his son, Xander Waibel, 24, finished the obstacle pole logging event, they turned their attention to grandpa — 78-year-old Bob Waibel swinging the axe in the masters springboard chopping contest.
Grandfather, father and son each competed in sawing, chopping and agility events, all while bridging the generation gap through a sport they've known all their lives.
"My dad taught me how to do it, and my grandpa taught him how to do it," said Xander, a Portland State University student.
In total, 35 men and women from Washington, Oregon, California, Montana and Canada competed at this year's Timber Carnival, at the corner of Louisiana Street and Kessler Boulevard. Participation was down this year, largely because the event took place on a weekday, event organizer Mike Wood said.
The loggers took home $17,000 in prize money at the Longview event, which is the first of the season for many.
For the Waibels, timber shows are old hat.
Bob entered his first contest in 1956, and he's competed on and off for 37 years.
A specialist with the axe, Bob has long been known as the "Rhinestone Logger" for the sequined suspenders he wears to events. He now competes in the masters division, and he took fourth place in the springboard competition Wednesday.
Rob Waibel, a teacher in West Linn, Ore., said growing up in the logging environment of his father helped him immensely in his own career. In the obstacle pole race, where loggers must run around and up an inclined tree and cut off the top, Rob took first place — two spots ahead of Xander.
"I learned this from just being around it. It's a sport with a really big learning curve, and you can't learn it in your backyard with a YouTube video," he said.
He added that all the loggers enjoy the camaraderie of the events and the chance to spend time with family.
"It's a really fun time when we can travel around."