Friday, December 7, 2012

Carrying Logs and Deer on his Back, meet David Moraska

I can only imagine what people must have thought as they came up on this strange sight. To see a guy riding down the right lane of M95 in Iron Mountain, Michigan heading south towards Wisconsin with a full grown deer on his shoulders. This isn't a fawn or even a small deer. This is a big doe with its tongue sticking out as if she was getting her last taste of fresh air.

Many Michigan hunters display their trophies no matter how big or small they are. Many put them on the back of their trucks, some put them on top of their cars. Sometimes you might even see one carry their score with a 4 wheeler or maybe even on a snowmobile. But have you ever seen someone use a bike?

His name is David Moraska and he does this once a year right around this time. He is 58 years old and built like an ox, he should be considering he just went 2 miles down the road on his single speed bike to a butcher located in a garage in Kingsford, Michigan. Here you can see him as he passes a coffee shop, then past Grede Foundry before making his turn back west.

Many in this small town have seen David before, they just don't recognize him with this deer on his back. While still on this subject, let me say this deer is the real deal. He killed it with his rifle, it is not roadkill as some has suggested. He let this deer sit in his garage for a few days to stiffen up, not from rigor but from the very cold air upper Michigan winters provide.

I moved here in early 1999 not knowing what to expect, my first winter here was a fast learning experience. Cold winter nights and much snow all around, this is truly the deep north. Living in Memphis, TN for 6 yrs before, this was a change I wouldn't soon forget. My cousin had always told me about this guy who walked around town carrying a log. He said it was a huge one too, sometimes he saw a chain wrapped around it. For a few years I thought he was pulling my leg, I had never saw him before. Until that day..

When I first saw it, I couldn't believe my eyes. This was before I carried a camera with me, heck this was before I wanted too. This was the first time I wished I had one. This guy was walking at a slow pace down the sidewalk with this huge log over his shoulders. He was strapped to it as if he was being crucified. It was truly a crazy thing to see. Many told me at the time he did it for religious purposes, it seemed like an excuse I could live with at the time, it was the only thing I heard people say. After that I saw him a few more times over the next few years, this was around 2004 I think.

In 2009 I really started getting into recording and editing videos, I started carrying a camera on me at all times as much as I could, never knowing what I might catch on camera. All I can remember is the one day I left the house without the camera. I only ran to the local gas station and noticed he was near my house carrying his log. I ran home and grabbed the camera to see if I could film him. My problem was I couldn't find him, where could he have gone too carrying a huge log? After this day I kept that camera on me no matter when or where I went, I wasn't going to miss him again. Right in front of my house it happened..

He told me this is his "cool down and pump" which I guess is something he works out with. Sure didn't sound religious to me, more about that later. He says he does this all year long, more so in the winter. This is a transformer pole that he sometimes wraps in chains which weigh 150# by itself. I asked him how much this pole weighed and he said as much as any other pole this size. I noticed he had a special bracket the log fit onto as he carried it around town. After this I got to know David a little more, our friendship began. Wanna see the chains he carries? Check out this video with music behind it..

In February, 2012 David got a hold of me to let me know he was planning on a night adventure. He asked me to meet him on top of Pine Mountain near the ski jump. I was a little late getting there and he had already walked down the hill. He saw me and turned around, going back up to the top.  You can't change the mind of a guy carrying a log, trust me.. This night time video, David opened up a little more about why he does this. He is beginning to trust me, knowing I want to show others this amazing guy no one knows about.

So the next time you see someone doing something absolutely crazy, just remember it is only crazy if you haven't or can't do it yourself. Instead of guessing or assuming why someone does something differently than you or I, go ask them questions.. You never know what you might learn about someone you just met.

Jason Asselin,
Iron Mountain, Michigan

No comments:

Post a Comment