5The Mina Care and Share parking lot was packed with anxious drivers, riders, kids, dogs and emergency crews as the Mina Poker Run began on Saturday, June 6.  With a 75-mile trek ahead of these ATV’s and 4-wheel Jeeps, a full breakfast was served by the kitchen crew, headed up by Tom Bergeron, Sr.

“We served over 75 breakfast meals to help raise funds for our volunteer fire department.  It helped out the groups that will be running today too, as we send them out well-fed.”  There were no complaints as the guests enjoyed homemade breakfast burritos or biscuits and gravy, with fresh fruit and beverage choices available.

The signup was handled smoothly as the organizer and director Barbara Lancaster and treasurer, Sherry Rhyne processed the pre-pays and the new signups in an experience manner. They entered 50 vehicles and over 100 participants to the event this year.  The trail was completed a year in advance, with an east and west side layout which varies year to year.

The trail organizer, Tom Willis, from Fernley explained, “I’ve been involved in this run for over seven years now and my wife, Diane, and I just love it.  Every year we see familiar faces, their kids and their dogs come along and we just enjoy the day.  Last year we covered the west side, so this year I actually completed the east side the night after we finished last year’s race.  I couldn’t sleep until I got it down on paper that same weekend.”

Willis explained the route would include Cedar Summit, Warrior Mine, Onco Mine and down to Mina through the gold mines.

“It’s not a race – it’s a ride.  We encourage exploration and photos to be taken.  Some use their GPS units to stay on route, while others want to be the first ones done.  We have certain spots mapped out for them to stop and get their card for the poker game, but again it’s all about the camaraderie and helping out the Mina fire group.”

An evening of more food, fun and visiting was planned that evening, under a huge army tent, specifically set up to continue the enjoyment of the outside atmosphere.

This successful event was enjoyed by outside visitors and locals that agreed, they would never miss the excitement of the Mina Poker Run.