2013 Hobo Olympics


 Imagine getting together a bunch of young people whose common roots are a love of travel by rail and the camaraderie of the hobo life.

Imagine coming up with a list of crazy and challenging competitions that simulate the hazards and craziness of the hobo world.


Put this altogether and you have the
First Annual
Black Butte Hobo Olympics!


These videos, while taken amidst the chaos with a small 'point and shoot' camera, reflect some of the spontaneity of that unforgettable Sunday afternoon.


01 - Coming Together

The contestants gather in front of our legendary 1920's wooden boxcar
awaiting the Lighting of the Olympic Torch


02 - The Lighting of the Torch

After the torch lighting, the contestants head for the Siskiyou wye for the first event:
Steady on the Rails


03 - Our Spiritual Adviser

Looks on approvingly as contestants are introduced for Bo's In Jeopardy


04 - Roll 'em If You Can


Our now weary contestants attempt to roll and light a cigarette on a wet and windy day


05 - Last train out of Black Butte, part I

Sleeping hobos have only a few minutes to wake up and catch the last train


06 - Last train out of Black Butte, part II

The bo's have to climb out of their bedroll, put on their shoes, and pack their gear
before running through the field to catch their train


07 - Bloody Beans

The Bloody Beans Competition. In this event, our hobos take a break around the campfire for a meal of hot beans.
First, each contestant must open his or her can of beans with a P-38 can opener.

[If you have never used a P-38, check this link.]


08 - 'Bo Shoes

'Bo Shoes....a more convenient version of horse shoes.
Every good hobo carries a bucket and railroad spikes are everywhere.
While it didn't make the video, our very first contestant got two bucket bottoms on his first two tries out of three!


09 - The Hobo Discus Throw

Hobos are masters of creativity, even in their recreation.
This event was the last in the nearly six hours of competition.
The task was simple. Just throw the 'discus' as far as possible.

In the Hobo Olympics, the 'discus' was a seventeen pound iron rail tie plate,
originally used on the nearby McCloud Railroad.


The Discus Throw was the last event of the day. Unfortunately, after the competition ended,
one of our very honored guests--Guitar Whitney, a 92-year old veteran of the rails--had a minor accident
and the house videographer--who doubled as the Olympics medic--had to take him to the hospital.

Thus, we have no video of the awards or closing ceremonies. If you have any video or still images from this period,
please let us know.