Trails group holds poker run, draws 130 participants

Community members park their off-road vehicles near Meeks Cabin Dam during the Southwest Wyoming Off-road Trails poker run on Saturday, Aug. 21. (COURTESY PHOTO/ Jon Cicarelli, Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources)

BRIDGER VALLEY — Not even the weather could dampen the success of the Bridger Valley SWOT ATV Poker Run that took place Saturday, Aug. 21. The spotty rain showers and stiff wind were met by the resounding talk of the crowds that it “wasn’t too hot” and there was “no dust.”

The event started in Mountain View, went to the American Legion Hall in Fort Bridger, then to the Piedmont Kilns. From the kilns the route went over to Meeks Cabin Dam area and then up and over the forest and back to Mountain View, totaling some 90 miles.

The Town of Mountain View teamed up with the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and Southwest Wyoming Off-road Trails (SWOT) in order to plan the event and get it off the ground.

“For a first-year event to have over 130 participants and over 60 side-by-sides, motorcycles and Jeeps shows how our communities can use this to add revenue to southwest Wyoming,” SWOT Vice President Todd Griffith said. “I think the committee did a tremendous job of organizing the event, soliciting prizes and getting volunteers from the town of Mountain View, SWOT and the great people of the Legion Hall in Fort Bridger.”

Penny Robbins, Mountain View Town Clerk and one of the event organizers, said “For the first year I believe it was more successful than I expected.” She added, “Everyone seemed happy with the run even though it went from cold to warm and dry to muddy roads.”

“Most of all I hope everyone had a good time. I know I did and we’ve already started planning for next year’s ride, July 23,” said Robbins.

The event was designed as a way to spotlight SWOT. “It’s great PR for Southwest Wyoming and the Town of Mountain View” Robbins added. The majority of riders were from Bridger Valley but also came from Kemmerer, Evanston, Alpine, Sweetwater County and the Wasatch Front.

Randy Webster and his wife, Nora, rode in the event and said, “Our weekend ride was the most organized ride my wife and I have ever been on. Great job by all. What a great team effort.”

The payouts for the event were: 1st place, Wally Jones $1172; 2nd place, Angie Foster $703; and 3rd place, John Nichols, $469. The proceeds from the event were split between the American Legion and SWOT and also used to fund the prizes.

Tom Dean, past department commander and sergeant of arms of the American Legion, said, “I think if we just get the word out it’s going to spread. I had two people stop me down at Benedict’s to say thank you for putting that on. I think for our first time we did outstanding.”

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