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12th day, 2001 XP

We had a really great day today.  We are in Julesburg, Colorado right 
now.  I'm in the truck working on the computer, just finished all my 
photos. I got some really good ones today.  Dave is busy bbq'ing chicken 
breasts for dinner, and the horses are grazing on the tall green grass.

The weather was a little overcast, in the low 70's today. When I finished 
and got back to camp it was 70 degrees with 45% humidity.  We were actually 
really comfortable today, it was nice.  I rode Weaver, before lunch I rode 
with Pat Verhuel, Skip Dyke, Terry Nance and Debbie (from Texas I don't 
know her last name).  Then after lunch I walked and let everybody leave me 
but later caught up to Terry and rode with him the rest of the way in to 
the finish.  He was riding his mule Benny.  We rode thru more of Nebraska 
today and the last 5 miles or so was in Colorado.  So now I've ridden Weav 
in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado.  Pretty cool!  Tomorrow I'm 
riding Rocky so he'll also get to go thru some of Colorado, and then back 
to Nebraska again.  The scenery has changed some, at least there is some 
different looking grass here.

It was an easy day for us, at least for Pat and I.  We were both riding our 
sane horses so just kinda cruised thru it.  We both also have horses that 
think that Nebraska is terrifying <G>, so those days we're a little more 
jazzed up.  Of course, we don't want to fall asleep and maybe miss one of 
those fascinating corn fields.  The corn is growing, it's getting higher 
and higher......pretty exciting.  :>)

This week is a lot easier on us I think, than the last one was.  It's the 
third week now, and we've got two days of it down and three to go.  Maybe 
we are just getting used to doing this on less sleep, or our bodies have 
figured out that we don't really need any (sleep that is).  I mean, how 
hard could it be to get up at 4 a.m. every day and ride a horse 50 
miles?  Today we passed thru a time zone, so started at 5 a.m., which made 
it seem really early for some reason when we got up but it is nice 
tonight.  I'm waiting for the sun shower to heat up a bit more.

Everybody has it figured out to where they don't have to get up until 20 
minutes till start.  At least it seems like you don't hear a peep in camp 
until then, and then just like magic.....poof......all the horses instantly 
be tacked up and have riders aboard.  It's kinda strange.

I've been seeing a lot of the regulars out on the trail every day.  There 
are a couple more people that have done each day that I may not have 
mentioned before just because I didn't know -- Terry Wooley,  and can't 
remember if I mentioned Sandy Skinner or Phyllis Bartholomew or not.  There 
may be another person or two, I just haven't ridden with or seen anybody 
else enough to know.  I think that Bud from Alabama may have ridden every 
day too.  There were less than 30 riders yesterday, and a little over 40 
today.  There are several new horses and some new riders in camp.  Pat 
Verheul, MJ Jackson and Kayla Ramsdell (junior) have still also ridden 
every day.  Kathy has ridden Zane every day, except for two half days he's 
done them all and is getting  BC a lot.  I haven't been paying attention to 
who is winning or finishing in the front every day.  I usually don't even 
see those people, just the regulars farther back.

We have train tracks right next to us here, oh joy we get to hear more 
trains.  Will we ever be able to sleep again without the sound of trains 
all night?

Last night Rocky rolled and got his rope wrapped around himself somehow and 
the bungee tie at the top broke.  The bottom half is cotton rope.  We 
checked him over and couldn't find any rope burns or anything so hopefully 
he wasn't hurt.  I have him tied shorter now (he wasn't tied that long 
before), so hopefully that won't happen again.  So many horses in camp have 
rope burns it's not even funny.

It was kind of nice not having to take any easyboots off tonight, or put 
them on this morning.  Right now both horses have easyboots glued onto all 
four feet without a heel strap.  It works really well, I'll just leave the 
boots on until they wear out or until they come off.  Sure makes things 
easier, and no worry about losing a shoe.

Tomorrow we ride back into Nebraska.  It should be another nice day though 
I think it is going to get warmer again.  I rode a little faster today on 
Weaver, mostly because it was cool, we still took nearly all day, I think 
we may have averaged as fast as 6 mph <G>.  I'll slow down if it gets 
warmer, and let the horses graze a bit more.  I hope Rocky is okay after 
getting tangled last night.  He seems okay now, I sure hope he's a bit more 
mellow tomorrow than he was on Monday.  Rocky seems to get wound up after 
getting days off, and Weaver seems to have settled into the routine a bit 
better (probably why he's gaining weight, the dork <G>).......and is really 
happy to just cruise along at a 8 mph trot and 4 mph walk.  The only 
problem that *I* am having (as a rider) is that I am having a difficult 
time sometimes riding my own ride.  You get stuck with other people, and 
out here in Nebraska, there ain't no where to get rid of them!   Looking 
forward to something besides rolling hills.

Trilby rode today, hope she does okay.  I saw John Park out there on 
Skoldjur again, the Mitchells rode today along with Kayla and Troy.  They 
are supposed to ride with me tomorrow.  They've been riding with Jim or 
Dave Rabe.  Dave (crew) trailered Troy's horse from the vet check 
today.  Horse was okay but Troy had been bucked off and didn't look too 
good.  There are other juniors here, but I think Troy and Kayla have been 
riding the most, Kayla hasn't missed a day yet.  Elena and Jamie did a ride 
and tie one day, and another day Elena did one with Kat.  Tinker rode Wes 
today.  Louise and Clark, both from UT, went home.  Wayne and Elaine took 
the day off, as did a few other people.  I think it's better to take a day 
off and get the horses in good shape than trying to keep going and screw 
them up.  Most of the people are pretty sensible about that....but.....I 
won't name any names but rest assured, there are a few people here with dim 

Smells like dinner is done.

Happy XP Trails,

...currently in Julesburg, CO
only 28 ride days to go! 

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