A young man from Taiwan really immersed himself in the forests of the North Thompson Valley when he took part in a Mantracker event near Birch Island a week ago Sunday.
“It was heart-stopping when the riders were at my back, just a few meters behind me,” said John (Chang-Hung) Chiu. “They were yelling loudly, but I just kept moving.”
Chiu was one week into a four week stay at Pete and Barb Pelton’s farm in Upper Clearwater when he learned about the upcoming fundraiser event.
Barb Pelton let him watch the television series on Friday so he would know what the event would be like, but he was still keen to try.
In the Mantracker series, two men on horseback track and chase down two people on foot who act as “prey.”
In the Birch Island version, five riders on horseback tried to find four people on foot.
Purpose of the local event was to raise funds for the North Thompson Ladies Drill Team.
More than one chase happened during the event, which started from the McNeil’s ranch near Birch Island.
For his chase, Chiu was joined by local residents Lars Kolind, Ryan Foisy, and Rich Lee.
They were chased by Elysia McClennon, Hazel Dowds, Bill Dowds, Adam Nelson and Mario Wödlinger.
During the chase, the riders found the Taiwan visitor difficult to find, as he would remain perfectly still, even when they rode close.
“I would be quiet when the riders were around, and watch what they were doing,” he said.
Chiu comes from the city of New Taipei in Taiwan. He works at an office job in the city government. Visiting the North Thompson Valley and Wells Gray Park, and taking part in a Mantracker chase, is different from his normal life, he said.