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14th day, 2001 XP

Still in Nebraska, boy it's hot!  We had another really good day though, 
Weaver completed his 300th mile on the XP trail today.  When I say it was 
hot, boy do I mean it was hot out there.  It was like an oven.  It was 
really hot.  Did I mention that it was hot?  Thank god for all the great 
crews today, they really saved us meeting us with water so often to drink 
and cool with.

I did get a lot more photos today.  The scenery is starting to 
change.  We're not seeing as much corn (awww shuks).  More wheat, some 
actual trees, evergreens and a little different type of grass.  The trail 
was sandier in spots today, and we had more grassy areas and rolling hills, 
with real up and downs!

I think only one rig got stuck in the sand getting in and out of Rushcreek 
Ranch, where we stayed last night.  I heard it took three trucks to pull 
them out.  Everybody had to let the pressure out of their tires to get in 
and out of there.  There were over 40 riders yesterday. Scott Powell was 
1st and BC.  I don't know how many there were yet.  If it stays this hot, 
there will probably be less tomorrow.

I was worrying about Weaver earlier today because he keeps peeing.  He is 
peeing often, and a large quantity.  Then I talked to Pat and others and 
all their horses are too.  But, (duh) they are drinking a lot and we're 
electrolyting them good.  It just seems like a lot when your horse pees 
four times by the lunch check.  I quit worrying when I weighed him at the 
finish and he had gained 10 pounds <bg>, people are teasing him.  He really 
does drink a lot and spent most of the day trolling since there was so much 
grass along the way he goes along like a mower and has a mouthfull the 
entire way. I think we averaged a blistering 5.7 mph today.  I have to 
remember that a lot of people would be done riding 50 miles by the time we 
make it to lunch.  I was with Jas and we figured out that if we trotted a 
whole mile at a time, and then got off and walked for a few minutes that 
our feet wouldn't go numb and the horses would want to go, and so would 
we.  It's difficult out there in the hot sun for 11 hours.  The crews are 
great though, they take turns alternating and we had at least four of them 
out there after lunch plus the two ride tanks that volunteers put out so 
probably had water every mile.

The other half of the Mitchell's got here, and rode today.  April, Alicia 
and Jamie rode while Jim (dad) crewed along with Dolly for Kayla and 
Troy.  Kayla is the only junior that has ridden every single day so 
far.  All the kids seem to be having a great time.

I should go check out camp, there is a historical marker of some sort up by 
the vet area.  I swear there aren't enough hours in the day.  We start at 5 
a.m., just as the sun comes up, then spend nearly all day riding, get thru 
and take care of the horse I rode, the extra horse I didn't ride and next 
thing you know it's time for the 8 p.m. ride meeting. Between then we have 
to fix and eat dinner, mix up and give electrolytes, walk the horses, clean 
them up, longe the one that is going the next day to make sure he's sound 
so I can fill out his entry card by the time of the ride meeting and oh 
yeah take a sun shower!  Sometimes I even remember to refill my water 
bottles and put them in the freezer.  There is always something I forget to 
do every day, but usually it's not very important.

I can't believe that tomorrow is the end of our third week already!  It 
seems to have gone by fairly fast.  Next thing you know, we'll be riding in 

Happy XP Trails,

.....near Dalton, Nebraska

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