Washington Trail Blazers

Trophy History of the Trail Blazers


In 1956 a Trail Blazer who practiced dentistry during his spare time repossessed a set of false teeth. He donated them to the club and asked that they be (a) known as the Clackers Award, and (b) presented to any member who excelled in talking too much at a meeting. Anyone who perused a list of the members at that time would easily know who received them first -- yes, that most deserving, golden voiced master of oratory, that Clarence Darrow of the Mountains, the Trail Blazer’s own Senator Claghorn: Jack Brandmier. (from Andy Jackson’s Master-of-Ceremony notes for 50th Anniversary)


Sometime in 1949 or 1950, Elmer Miller was sponsor of a stocking trip. He was supposed to pick up Clayton Kilbourn. Clayton waited and waited. After an extended time, he heard the phone ringing in his house. It was Elmer, calling from North Bend. He said he forgot to pick up Clayton; he told Clayton to take a taxi and they would wait for him. At the next meeting, Jack Pfister said that since Elmer was too dumb to remember to pick up Clayton he deserved a Dumbbell—and gave him one. (from Andy Jackson’s Master-of-Ceremony notes for 50th Anniversary)

Cowbell and Cane

In May or June of 1946, R. A. Long, a judge in a Seattle Juvenile Court, was riding with some Trail Blazers to a meeting of the Vashon Island Sportsmen’s Club. After the meeting they headed for the ferry landing. They drove around in the dark for quite a lengthy time. Finally, they made it to the ferry landing -- but they missed the ferry. At the next meeting, Judge Long presented a Cowbell so one couldn’t get lost and a white cane for one to follow. The trophies are to be worn by the most fitting member, the one who is lost most. (from Andy Jackson’s Master-of-Ceremony notes for 50th Anniversary)

The Golden Trowel

Clayton Kilbourn received a new and very appropriate trophy (The Golden Trowel), a symbol of King of the Mountain Moles.(from 1965 Trail Blazer Annual Report )

The Golden Skillet

“We got back to camp and started cooking dinner over the fire and the stove. I thought I was splurging on weight by bringing my tiny backpacking lantern but Hans pulled out a large skillet and a BBQ grill for the fire. It was the following meal that helped to earn Hans the first Golden Skillet award. He offered to carry out my freeze-dried food if I helped him empty his commissary. Hans packed in elk meat prepared in delicious brown gravy with garlic. He also had baked potatoes ready to slice and put in the skillet. He had oil and spices for the fish on the BBQ grill. He provided rolls with a white zinfandel jelly. All was delicious.” (from Jeff Mix’ Simms (Trout) Lake Trip report dated September 29, 2001)

“Mike Swayne and Jeff Mix think Hans Helm is the worthy recipient of a new trophy the Golden Skillet. They have experienced his backcountry cooking and think it is worthy of this new award. The golden skillet trophy is to recognize those who display excellence in backcountry culinary arts. The recipient of this award is required to cook for the group on future trips.” (from the October 4, 2001 Club Minutes)