Whittle the Wood cut short Friday by wave of wet weather
By the end of the day Friday, people were few and far between on the grounds of Loudy-Simpson Park.
Where the sounds of rock music would traditionally be carrying through the air for the third day of Whittle the Wood Rendezvous, the only sound was that of a generator used by carver Joe Srholez, having put down his chainsaw and utilizing smaller power tools work on the features of his dragon carving beneath a waterlogged tent.
Wet weather cut short the action of Whittle the Wood Rendezvous, including the musical performances, with local band Black Mountain Riot and the Front Range’s Movers & Shakers on the schedule to take the stage for the first of two days of concerts.
Organizer Dave Pike said the Craig Parks and Recreation staff is working on rescheduling music for Saturday, providing the rain doesn’t carry over for another day.
Stump 1 — Nate Hall; Rams butting heads
Stump 2 — Matt Ounsworth; Animal totem
Stump 3 — Jim Valentine; Cowboy
Stump 4 — Damon Gorecki; Bench
Stump 5 — Justine Park; Skull with feathered headdress
Stump 6 — Joe Srholez; Dragon
Stump 7 — Chad Stratton; Wooly mammoth
Stump 8 — Bongo Love; Hummingbirds
Stump 9 — Robert Lyon; Horse
Stump 10 — Robert Waits; The Lorax
Stump 11 — Fernando Dulnuan; Angel with lion and lamb
Stump 12 — Ken Braun; Velociraptor
Prior to the precipitation, the park was full of people getting a look at the progress made by the dozen carvers in the competition.
Craig spectators Karrissa and Brooklyn Garcia both weighed in on their favorite entries. For Brooklyn, she was torn between Srholez’s dragon and the carving across the way, Chad Stratton’s wooly mammoth.
“I love the detail on them,” she said.
Stratton’s prehistoric pachyderm was one that was bit tougher than he thought. Tusks, trunk and ears weren’t so hard as one feature that separated it from a typical elephant.
“It’s really hard to show hair,” he laughed, adding he planned to carve petroglyphs into back end of the piece to convey its time period.
Karrissa, on the other hand, preferred an animal totem by Matt Ounsworth, who included an array of animals in the carving, 20 specifically, including a bear and fish up top with a variety of smaller creatures below.
“I was going for 20 animals for the 20th anniversary of Whittle the Wood,” he said.
Karrissa was impressed by the idea.
“That 20 animals for 20 years makes it even more special,” she said. “He’s been moving along really fast, too.”
Ounsworth said the concept didn’t come to him until he began making cuts, as he didn’t want to plan too far in advance.
“It all depended on my log. I got second-to-last choice,” he said.
Wednesday, June 12
9 a.m. Stump selection and carving until dusk
Thursday, June 13
9 a.m. Carving until dusk
Friday, June 14
9 a.m. Carving until dusk
4:30 p.m. Live music by Black Mountain Riot
5:30 p.m. Bear River Young Life Barbecue and Classic Car Cruise at Yampa Valley Bank
6:30 p.m. Live music by The Movers & Shakers
Saturday, June 15
8 a.m. Friends of Moffat County Education Wake the Whittler 5K and Family Fun Run
9 a.m. Carving
10 a.m. Beer garden, arts and crafts and food vendors
10 a.m. Shuttles begin
10 a.m. Bear River Young Life Classic Car Show in downtown Craig
1 p.m. Quick Carve Competition
1 to 4 p.m. Thunder Rolls Cornhole Tournament
3 p.m. Live music by Tylor & The Train Robbers
3 p.m. Carving competition judging
5 p.m. Carving competition winners announced
5:30 p.m. Live music by Leftover Salmon
8 p.m. Last shuttle
— All events at Loudy-Simpson Park unless otherwise noted. Admission free Friday. Saturday tickets $5 in advance, $10 at the gate for adults. Free to ages 12 and younger. For more information, visit whittlethewood.com.
Justine Park had a similar numerical idea, crafting a skull base with a headdress, complete with 20 feathers she styled separately from the remnants of her stump. The light features were part of her entry last year, as well.
“It’s kind of symbolic with life and death and hopefully I’ll get a flower in the back, too,” she said.
Among the other entries were Robert Waits’ rendition of Dr. Seuss character The Lorax, a horse reared up on its hind legs by Robert Lyon, and a velociraptor by last year’s winner, Ken Braun.
Many carvings were almost completed by Friday afternoon, following work done Wednesday and Thursday, with most of the artists already painting, burning, or varnishing.
As organizers and carvers hope for clear skies for the Saturday grand finale — which includes the early morning Friends of Moffat County Education Wake the Whittler 5K, afternoon Quick Carve Competition and music by Tylor & The Train Robbers and headliner Leftover Salmon — spectators have already gotten in the spirit.
“I love the atmosphere and all the action,” Karrissa said of the event. “It’s so good for Craig.”
Following the Memorial Day weekend, one of Moffat County’s signature events will be continuing into the summer.