Annual poker run ready to roll
Anyone who has ridden a snow machine in Moffat County for any length of time probably knows the name Larry Ward.
“Larry was the guru of snow machines in Baggs, (Wyo.),” longtime friend Yvonne Weber said. “He had every part and every tool you might need to keep riding.”
After growing up in Rifle, Ward lived for a time in Craig.
Six years ago, Ward died of a heart attack while doing what he loved best: riding his machine through powder on Bridger Peak near the Wyoming border.
“He loved the speed,” his wife, Jan, said. “He was a drag-racer for a time, then he got into snow machines.”
Three years ago, the Little Snake River Lyons Club named its annual poker run after Ward. During his years in Baggs, Ward never missed the event.
“He was always up there early, marking the trail,” Jan said. “After the race, he would check the course to make sure nobody was broken down on the trail.”
This year’s poker run, scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday, will begin and finish at the trailhead in the Medicine Bow National Forest at the end of U.S. Highway 70 heading east out of Baggs.
In a poker run, riders stop at checkpoints and receive cards for a poker hand at each stop. The best hand at the end of the run is the trophy winner.
Poker hands are $5 a hand with special bonus rounds for deuces.
“You can play as many hands as you want,” Weber said. “For any deuce you end up with, you can roll the dice to win a big pot of cash.”
Proceeds from the poker run go toward college scholarships, as well as eyeglasses that the Lions Club distributes each year. Last year, the club gave $3,000 to the ambulance in Baggs for equipment.
“We get lots of riders from Craig each year,” Jan said. “Last year, we had about 150 riders in the poker run.”
Trophies will be handed out at the Dixon Club after the ride. For information, call Shel and Yvonne Weber at (307) 383-7976.
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Continuing its push to expand the state’s rural regional busing network, the Colorado Department of Transportation added a new route at the beginning of the year between Craig and Denver, operating each way daily.