Spring Ride History
Methow Valley Annual Spring Trail Ride history
Central Washington will again play host to a relaxing weekend of riding
and fellowship on the last weekend in April. Situated near Twisp, the
event, commonly referred to as “The Spring Ride” marks the 31st year in
2015 and may be the winner in longevity of rides. Betty Wagoner
organized the first Spring Trail Ride out of Pateros in 1984. It was
just a day ride and about 100 people attended. The proceeds from this
ride were donated to the newly forming Backcountry Horsemen of
Washington organization. Wagoner, with the help of Ken Wilcox, then
began the development of the Methow Valley Chapter of the Backcountry
Horsemen. The chapter was ratified in 1986.
begin on Friday evening with registrations, shirt sales and a Dutch oven
pot luck. Participants bring their ovens and ingredients for a favorite
recipe and cook in an area set aside with multiple old iron hot water
tanks that have been cut in half lengthwise to accommodate briquettes.
The process is teaching for some and learning for others. Stories,
special tools and recipes are shared in the course of the cooking.
Saturday starts early with the recording of those that are left to
register and coffee around the campfire. The riders leave at a
designated time, behind the lead riders. Although the trail is marked,
one needs to be aware of the trail rider courtesy and remain behind the
leaders. A coffee stop with outhouses and friendly faces greet the
riders about two hours out… a welcome site in the sometimes
temperamental spring weather. This is also the site of the third poker
station and those that participate in the game obtain that card here.
Another hour or so up the trail will find the trucks, trailers and
worker persons buzzing around and you find you have arrived at the lunch
spot! Find a spot to tie your horse, who is pretty agreeable to that
idea at this point, a wash station for horsy hands and you are lined up
ready for the meal. The picnic lunch menu varies year to year but is
always welcomed. Lunch is pretty well unrushed and you are only
expected to be in front of the drag riders to allow the poker people to
know when they are finished with their task. There will be one more
poker station on the trip back to camp, and another in camp consisting
of a dart board with cards mounted on it, requiring a great deal of
skill to stab just the card you need.