By Suzanne Ashe
The annual end of the season Box of Rocks will be held on Sunday, Sept. 25. The quintessential run to Upper Lake cabin will have the usual fast- and slower-paced participants, a few dogs and kids, plenty of adult beverages and helicopter rides down, said Mike Korsmo, one of the event coordinators.
The main difference will be that this year’s event is dedicated to 59-year-old Chris Maggio who was killed in May when his helicopter went down just outside of Skagway.
“’Magg’ was a really great guy. He loved to fly us down [after the event]; just liked he loved to fly the [sled] dogs,” Korsmo said.
The casual, mostly social race got its beginnings in the early 1990s —the brainchild of Bruce Weber. The name comes from the phrase “dumb as a box of rocks.”
“We always pick a “no ship” day, Korsmo said, adding that many people are off from work on the few days that no cruise ships come to port. “But some people sign up and party too much the night before and don’t make it,” he added. “Other times we meet folks along the way, who never signed up, but they come join us,” he added.
Participants are encouraged to sign up for the race at Temsco Helicopters. There is no fee for the event other than the $35 charge for the helicopter ride down.
“A couple of years ago, the helicopters weren’t able to land and we had to hike back. That wasn’t as much fun,” Korsmo said.
Although the little-over two-mile race is self-guided and self-timed, some people can get pretty competitive, Korsmo said, adding that it’s always a good idea to start out early in order to be up to the cabin by noon, when the return rides begin.