While the poker run that kicked off the Justice McNeeley Foundation fund-raiser Aug. 28 at Sidewinders Saloon wasn't a race, it did draw an enthusiastic group of ATV riders. They brought just about every type of quad available, including small ATVs with less than 100 cc motors and the huge new 700 cc Polaris Sportsman twins.
Those models are to ATVs what Mercedes and BMWs are to automobiles.
A few motorcycles also entered the run.
A few minutes after 9 a.m., riders mounted up and navigated their way west on Hardscrabble Road. After leaving Pine and negotiating the twisting, turning road that leads into the national forest, riders were on their way, hoping to pick up just the right playing card at each stop.
There were three stops along the way and another at the turnaround just south of Strawberry. The final card was dealt upon arriving back at the saloon.
Although entrants were participating for the opportunity to win the poker hand, the ride also was fun and scenic. For those stuck in the back of the pack, it was also a tad dusty.
My son and I took along both of his daughters -- one rode with him, the other with me. The ride proved to be a great opportunity to spend quality time with both girls.
At the first two stops, my granddaughter, Jennifer, pulled out a pair of queens.
Oh boy, I thought, we can win this.
At the next stop, Jennifer drew a five.
Darn it, I was looking for that third queen. At that point, my son and I traded positions and he took the lead.
That proved the undoing of my poker hand.
At the turnaround, my son drew a queen. Had I stayed in the position I started, that queen would have been my third. Instead, Jennifer drew a six.
Back at the saloon, Jennifer anxiously shuffled through the deck and came up with another queen.
Which meant, had we stayed in the same riding position we started, we'd have four queens and probably won the poker run.