Poker Run a cool way to spend the day in Moffat County |

Poker Run a cool way to spend the day in Moffat County

Snowmobile Club raises $2,200 for local scholarships

Andy Bockelman
Liz, left, and John Babb get their vehicles ready to go at the beginning of the Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club Poker Run on Saturday morning at Freeman Reservoir Trailhead. The annual fundraiser for local scholarships brought in more than $2,200 this year.
Andy Bockelman

It’s a good day when you’re atop a Ski-Doo or Arctic Cat, revving the engine loud enough to wake the dead and yet nobody minds. Even better is when they smile at you and gun theirs even louder to up the ante, so to speak.

Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club’s annual Poker Run offered all the chills and thrills one could hope for, complete with miles and miles of open powder Saturday starting at Freeman Reservoir Trailhead north of Craig.

The recently damaged snowcat used by the Snowmobile Club was shipshape once again starting last week, as members spent hours grooming trails for their big get-together.

Organizers said the event brought in $2,260 for local scholarships, with more than 80 outdoor enthusiasts contributing to the pot of a different kind of poker game, getting a chance to win a playing card at each of five stations along the route to make the best possible poker hand.

Shane Zimmerman had the best hand of the day to claim 25 percent of the purse, while Karson Fedinec and Harold Brown also took home cash prizes.

Few went home empty-handed, with dozens of various prizes donated by local businesses given out at the award ceremony in the evening at The O.P. Bar and Grill.

Still, for many, the best prize was simply the opportunity to spend the day out in the region’s natural splendor in winter.

Among those hitting the trails were John and Liz Babb. John, a longtime snowmobiler, was pleased to be able to experience the run with his 17-year-old daughter.

The location is ideal for the sport, he said.

“It’s kind of like our own secret place in the world, and I’m at the point where I like to share it with people, yet I don’t want everybody in the United States coming here,” he laughed.

The lineup included single riders and families consisting of all ages, the youngest of whom was 6-month-old Ryker Wartluft, nestled into the coat of his father, Kenny.

Among the dads with kids present was also Kevin Daugherty, whose son, Kolton, 4, and daughter, Karyssa, 7, could barely wait to hit the trails with their father and grandfather, Walter.

“They ride with us right now because they’re still a little young, but they have a good time; that’s all that matters,” Kevin said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

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