Masthead header

Outhouse Races Are The Shit

I’ve never seen so many people excited to be stuck on the crapper.

And yet, here were a couple dozen teams doing just that, blazing through Main Street during the 27th Annual Outhouse Races in Conconully, Washington.

I nearly lost a lung laughing at these folks stretching out before the races. You definitely don’t want to get cramped up during the outhouse races, that’s for sure. Most looked for strength from liquid courage. Seemed like a good way to stay warm on a dry but chilly day.

I love how something so simple yet so fun can transform a quiet, scenic town into a place that is, well, The Shit.

Folks came from across the region to compete. And beyond. A couple cats from Alaska were on the early stages of a kamikaze roadtrip down to Argentina. They made it a goal to participate in local events along the way, like this one.

Others had more of a game face. They were pros, been here before and knew the tricks to claim victory.

Doing some half-assed research online on outhouses, I found this. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. It made me smile:


Probably the most recognizable symbol associated with the traditional outhouse building is the familiar crescent moon carved into the privy door. Actually, the symbol is an ancient one and was a sign for womanhood in colonial days and on the frontier.

Its male counterpart, Sol, was either a star or a sun burst design also on the door.


(I’m speechless.)

Oddly enough, there are rules to the Outhouse Race. The thunder box must have three wooden sides, a roof and be equipped with a toilet seat and toilet paper. Two pushers and one squatter make up a 3-person squad.

One cat strategically stashed beer in his bucket. Now that’s thinking a head.

The turnout – and energy – in Conconully (pop. 185) was great. Lots of smiling people. Lots of wonderfully surreal scenes. Lots of laughter.

According to the organizers, this event is the longest continual outhouse race in America. (Pacific NW, holla!)

No serious injuries, but there were definitely a few wild moments as outhouses either flipped on their side or slid out of bounds. Thankfully everyone’s flight response was in high gear.

The races were good on their own. Very good. But then they got better. Much better.

The bucket races involved the pushers wearing, well, buckets on their heads. The squatter acted as the GPS. Not sure if they were allowed to text at the same time.

I’m beginning to believe that all sports – weird or not – should be played with buckets on heads. LeBron, Pujols and Peyton, you’re good. Real good. But could you win MVP with a blinding bucket on your head? Yeah, didn’t think so.

I’ve discovered that people enjoy weird sports as a way to socialize, party and have physical phun. But I’m also noticing that towns like Conconully, a pretty and pretty remote spot, are creating their own identity by being a place where (fun) shit happens.

I feel like I’m dropping the ball a little, that this entry is ripe for even more double entendres. Ironically, I have a friend who is a teacher who says that my blog is blocked on her school computer. Can’t imagine this entry will help placate the net nanny.

Anyway, thanks to everyone involved for making such crappy photo ops.

  • E.J. HArris - January 17, 2011 - 11:44 pm

    Another fine adventure, Sol. I love the blog.


  • andy - January 18, 2011 - 12:09 am

    lots of good photos here! and FYI a “head” is the nautical term for the crapper, shitter, God pot.. dude, this shit was gold-en!


  • Chip Litherland - January 18, 2011 - 6:21 am

    What a bunch of crap. In a good way.


  • Jared Soares - January 18, 2011 - 7:20 am

    Too Epic!


  • Bish - January 19, 2011 - 11:52 am

    Great pix Mr. Sol!
    Quesion: If does their business in it… is it really an outhouse?
    I think that should be part of the race. (just my $0.02)


  • Jennifer Emerling - January 22, 2011 - 12:04 am

    What a shitty–I mean, great event! I’m so glad it exists and represents the weird people up in the PacNW. You captured it so well. Nice work!


  • Roger - January 27, 2011 - 4:59 pm

    Nice pictures Sol, I was the guy you parked across from that had the Shell shitter. Yea we have to do something out here in the sticks to have fun. Great pictures and no it is not just the cameras. I really enjoyed your other pictures also. Thanks


Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *