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2008 Owyhee Fandango - Idaho
Images by Steve Bradley
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Pre-Fandango: Thursday

Thursday May 22 2008

That's it! I'm not looking at the weather report anymore! Now we're up to 70% chance of rain on Friday - which would actually be nice, for the dusty trails and the thirsty wildflowers - and no wind, which is great. However, now thunderstorms are added to the mix Saturday and Sunday, and you all know how terrified I am of lightning! Steph said, "You better ride fast!" We decided to stop looking at the weather report during the day, because it kept getting worse. But no matter what, it will be cool, in the 60's and 70's, great for the horses.

UPS and Fed-Ex are making trips several times a day 5 miles down the dusty road to the Teeter Rancho to drop off boxes of ride awards and glow sticks. John Favro is fine-tuning the lawns, and the rakes are still flying on some of the riding trails around basecamp.

More arrivals today: Christoph Schork's gang from Utah, Belgians Caroll and Leonard (whom I stayed with a lot last summer), Tony and Diane Dann from northwestern Idaho, with their cool gelding Strike I may get to hop on tomorrow. John and Deb, the ham radio operators are here to set up for the ride; this has become an annual event for their radio club. Tom Cerino, a massage therapist, is here. I bet he will be busy on Monday evening! Blue Moon caterers have filled the outdoor refrigerators for the meals starting tomorrow night.

Leo and I rode with Bev on her 3 horses; True Colours is a nice strong little gelding that Bev has her eye on for Tevis this year. Caroll rode with us on Jose. Caroll and I will ride the 50 on Sunday, Leo the 75, and Bev the 100.

And the wind blew on, and the trailers kept pulling in after dark.

At least a dozen people gathered around our dinner table for a meal I made especially for Leo and Caroll, who cooked me so many great meals last summer in Belgium. This is again what I like so much about endurance: people from around the world getting together because of a common interest - horses. USA, Scotland, Belgium, Spain, El Salvador clinked wine glasses. We were actually missing a couple from Argentina, and a Shaikha from Dubai, but they are due in tomorrow. And all the foreigners were very impressed with the local wine from the Sawtooth Winery.

It's Connie's birthday on Saturday, which she's celebrating by riding her beautiful black horse Finneas. She also made her special famous fabulous cake, and we had an early celebration piece for dessert.

Merri Melde