About 30 people joined the Roche Percee Trail Ride and Wagon Trek this year. And even the considerable amount of rain that almost flooded the campgrounds located at the Roche Percee former ball diamonds didn’t affect the weekend plans of those, for whom these annual rides are a fixture in life. However, the weather did tweak the schedule.
“It was the first year of the trail ride that we actually had a weather delay. We were supposed to leave at 9 (a.m. on Saturday), but we didn’t end up leaving till lunchtime. We were waiting for it to quit raining,” said Dallas Spencer, trail boss for the ride.
The area got over two inches of rain, but the group planned the trail accordingly and still got to go out for a ride later in the afternoon on Saturday.
“It wasn’t raining when we left, but it rained pretty good on us on the trails,” said Spencer.
This time the riders and trekkers covered well over 30 kilometres. Spencer personally checked all routes prior to the event.
“I go check them out and make sure they are passable for both horses and wagons. Lots of times there will be maybe an old tree or something fall down on the trail, so I have to go get it removed so we can go on the trail during the day of the ride,” said Spencer.
Each day the group took a different direction. The first day of the ride they made a big loop around the area east of town through pastures. Saturday the group headed north of town. And on Sunday they went west of Roche Percee and rode at the valley near Shand Power Plant.
Most participants were horseback riding, while two groups preferred to go in the wagons. But only one wagon made it through all three days.
“There was one incident. We had one of the wagons tipped over. He wasn’t able to finish the ride. Nobody got hurt, but the wagon broke, so he wasn’t able to finish the ride,” said Spencer.
These trail rides and wagon treks have been going for well over 20 years, and Spencer was a part of it for 15 years.
“I really enjoy it. It’s a really good way to get out with the family. And I really enjoy it for my daughter that rides with me, because she enjoys it and I like seeing her and other young kids out on the ride,” said Spencer.
This year there were quite a few younger people joining the event and a number of kids riding horses or sitting in wagons. And these rides always have something to amaze participants.
“Being in Estevan, you would never know that some of the rock formations exist down here in the valley unless you went on the ride. It’s always interesting to see that. You think that it’s just a flat country, that there is nothing to see, but there is,” said Spencer.
The other great part of this tradition is people, who come from all over to spend a weekend with a great company surrounded by beautiful nature.
Planning for the next year ride will start in spring. The contact person is Gaylene Wyatt.