As they made their way on the last leg of the 17th annual Tl’etinqox (Anaham) Annual Horse and Bike Ride to the Williams Lake Stampede Thursday morning the weather was in full co-operation.
Shawn Alphonse was doing traffic control on the east side of the Sheep Creek Bridge and said the weather was better than it had been for the ride in previous years.
“Last year it was pretty hot, lots of riding in 35-degree weather. This year we’ve had a bit of rain and clouds,” Alphonse said.
On Thursday, the Williams Lake RCMP were also assisting with traffic control.
Each year the riders depart from Tl’etinqox, located one hour west of Williams Lake, and spend five days riding and camping along the way.
“I’m here for the youth,” said elder Harley Jim as he and the other horseback riders pulled in to wait for the bike riders and two walkers to arrive.
Pam Alphonse, who is one of the ride co-ordinators, said the ride this year also included youth and adults from Yunesit’in (Stone) and Ulkatcho (Anahim Lake).
“We even have someone from Vancouver this year,” she said.
That Vancouverite was Deep Sandhu, who said he was invited by a good friend to participate.
“My father was the owner of Jack Pine in Williams Lake,” Sandhu said, adding it’s been a positive experience and a great initiative by the community.
Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse was participating in the ride when it departed on Sunday, but left Tuesday to attend the Tsilhqot’in National Government in court this week as it has filed an injunction to stop Taseko Mines Ltd. from exploratory drilling for its proposed New Prosperity Mine Project.
“We do it for the youth,” Alphonse said of the ride, which sees participants camp along the way.
On Thursday evening, the riders camped at the RC Cotton Site and will be part of the Daybreak Rotary Stampede Parade on Saturday morning.