The Codger Pole

Posted by Brandon |

Like I said on Sunday, me and Death? went to Eastern Washington to see our Washington Huskies basketball team take on the Washington State Cougars this past weekend. (Look at those seats, boy the Coug ticket office sure treated us right!) I love road trips but the trip over to Pullman and back is really quite long and can be pretty monotonous if you don't know what to look for. Luckily we have a great hobby in geocaching that gets us to places we've never been before or at least gives us a reason to stop. Plus we have a healthy appetite to see weird stuff along the way. Roadside attractions are kind of a passion of mine.

So after the game (which included the Coug fans chanting "Huskies Butt Fuck", a very clever and not at all stereotypical chant for Wazzu fans) and a nice bite to eat at a Sella's, a highly recommended Pullman pizza joint, we headed back to our surprisingly plush and awesome hotel room at the Best Western Wheatland Inn in little old Colfax (population around 3,000). After getting stopped by the friendliest police officer ever (I had a tail light out), we hopped in the pool and hot tub and then went to bed ready for a day of oddities and wine tasting.

The next morning we checked out of our hotel room and headed into town to see the Codger Pole. The Codger Pole honors members of the Colfax High School and St. John's High School football teams that originally played against each other in 1938. That year Colfax was beaten 14-0 and the loss stuck in the craw of the city until the remaining members of both teams got together to replay the game in 1988. This time the Colfax Bulldogs won the game 6-0 in a game that forever would be known as the Codger Bowl.

To commemorate the victory a local artist created this 65 foot chainsaw carving (the tallest chainsaw carving in the world) out of five cedar logs. 52 players in all are captured in the carvings along with a full size player on top. The carvings of the players faces are incredible. Each one is very different and captures them in amazing looks ranging from smiles to grimaces to looks of worry and fear.

Of all the oddities I have seen the Codger Pole really is one of the coolest simply because of the detail that was put into carving all of the faces. It also is such a great story. I would have loved to attend the Codger Bowl. The entire town had a big party to celebrate including a pep rally complete with cheerleaders and the marching band from 1938, a bonfire, a parade and a pregame dance. It had to have been a blast to take part in.

The Codger Pole was just the jumping off point in a day full of touring around Southeastern Washington running into odd things. Tomorrow we'll take a look at the Jolly Green Giant of Dayton.