It always amazes me to see the spirit, resilience, hospitality and camaraderie that you find in the residents of the Chilcotin. They have weathered the pine beetle epidemic, declining cattle prices, drought, and fires, yet they still thrive.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to take part in the 3rd annual Alexis Creek Daze. It is an honour to be asked to attend. For those of you who have not taken the Highway 20 drive to the Chilcotin, the scenery is outstanding, from prairie landscape to the view of beautiful snow-capped mountains, bordered by grazing cattle and plentiful hayfields.
The morning started with the mountain bike poker ride, won by Cole Feldinger, and the horseback poker ride, won by Claudia, who is from Switzerland. There was a great demonstration of reining put on by Sharon Gates and Wildwood Reining, and Crystal Grier from the Miller ranch showed a horse in training. And of course there was what we all look forward to at a community event – a delicious lunch cooked by Kelly Feldinger. Nothing beats a hot dog and hamburger barbecue.
For me, the highlight of the event is always the horseshoe tournament. The first year of this community event, there were only about 6 teams. Last year, approximately 12 teams played. Al Madley and I have been partners since the start of Alexis Creek Daze, and were undefeated up until this past weekend. This year our competition was very tough, with 20 teams registering. Local players were joined by participants from as far away as Australia, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Unfortunately, this year Al and I were knocked out, but we will be back stronger than ever next year.
The day continued with arm wrestling, a talent show, the ever-popular beer gardens, chili competition, and chili dinner, and ended with a slide show by Cris Czajkowski and a silent auction.
Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.