A little spotty weather did little to hinder the Quesnel Outback Quadders Society’s first annual ATV Poker Run.
If anything, it might have helped it.
Forty-eight ATV vehicles with drivers and passengers from as far away as Burns Lake, Prince George and Williams Lake ripped through the various pathways on the Deacon Creek Trails just off the Barkerville Highway.
The Observer had its arm gently twisted into taking out a fluorescent green Wildcat side-by-side.
The side-by-side, for readers who may be new to ATVing, is like a dune buggy where the riders sit next to one another, instead of behind one another.
The ride started off quite smooth: the vehicles have incredible suspensions.
New quadders who are used to just driving cars, might wince at the pot holes, rocks and giant bumps on the muddy paths, but a few minutes in, it is apparent that it would take fairly extreme conditions to give the side-by-side any problems.
Within ten minutes some more formidable obstacles in the form of two-foot-deep mud-filled puddles reared their heads.
This occasioned a slow down in speed but little else.
Of course, mud flew everywhere, covering every available surface, including some ill chosen jeans and footwear, but it was far too much fun to spend any time worrying.
The Quadders have been managing the Deacon Creek Trails for two years and have created three new trails, a new parking lot and two new outhouses all through a volunteer effort.
They had planned to throw their first poker run last year but like many events throughout the Cariboo in 2017, those plans were ruined by the wildfires.
Throughout the region a real sense of community exists between the riders.
“We take turns supporting other town’s poker runs,” says Quadders president, Norm McNabb.
“We were just in Prince George recently and in September we’re going to Burns Lake.”
Shawna Talbot took first place at the event with four aces. Second place went to Jim Bonner who drew four 10s and third place was won by Merv Roberts with a full house aces over jacks.
Prizes for the poker run included shirts, a barbeque, ball caps, helmets and much more.
Irene Miller, 80, took an early morning spin around the course.
“I’m trying to convince my husband to get (an ATV),” she says.
“But he’s quieter than I am.”
She says the experience is like camping or horseback riding in as much as it gets you out into the wilderness.
“There’s usually a lot of people of like mind, too.”