Check it Out!
Day 18, 2001 XP
Today's ride was the most beautiful and most difficult one so far, terrain
wise. We had several thousand feet of climb. In fact, Jas, myself and Pat
finished 10th, 11th and 12th together in 11 1/2 hours -- we were hurrying
because we only had a half an hour till cutoff and most of the riders were
still behind us! The terrain is really rugged, with lots of trees and
mountains....and just what are those odd shaped hard things all over the
ground? Could it be ROCKS? :+0
I rode Weaver today, his 2nd day this week. I think he's doing pretty
good, about his only problem if you could call it that is that I need to
warm him up good in the morning, especially when it's cold. He gets going
and motors along beautifully all day long, I really enjoy riding him
because he takes care of himself and doesn't act like an idiot.
Following the GPS and written directions is a lot of fun, everybody seems
to have mastered it pretty well. The written directions are really good,
it's hard to imagine putting together that much detail especially when we
are now going over cattle trails and cross country. It's pretty cool
though, since we're on a lot of the Oregon and Pony Express trails there
are wagon ruts and things to look out for. It's kind of neat to imagine
the pioneers going thru these same areas as we are, headed west. The
difficulties they must have encountered compared to ours must have been
staggering. I'm having a hissy fit because my cell phone doesn't work most
of the time <G>. As if that's important <not>. Well anyway.....
This morning I think everybody kind of took off, figuring that hey what's
going on with people top tenning and taking 9 hours <G>.....so they left us
behind. As it turns out, a lot of people must have pulled at lunch because
we were only averaging a blistering ~5 mph and still managed to squeak into
the top ten, since there were a couple of juniors ahead.
This morning we rode past more areas with wagon ruts. Lots of cattle gates
to open. The good thing about cattle country is that there are lots of
stock tanks so we often stop and water and scoop the horses. At lunch Pat
says "I don't know if I can leave from lunch, my horse grew something funny
during his hour hold". Somebody (me) <bg> had attached a scoop to the side
of her saddle. So now we can all scoop in unison and cool those horses
down. They are handing for watering them too, when the creeks are really
hard to reach.
We went thru a lot of really nice cattle trails and soft dirt roads today,
then near the end of the ride we had quite a climb up a very large
mountain.......it was pretty hot today tho luck would have it some large
clouds that would occasionally cover the sun and cool us. Once we got to
the top we found a couple of large puddles for the horses to drink from and
to scoop them with. It's always a delight at the end of each day to see
camp off in the distance. Today it is in a large grassy field. A small
group of us are parked out on the road alongside a grassy area under some
large shade trees. Everybody in the field has to pay $10 a night. Dave
knew I'd want the shade, and he is happy not having to pay another $10 to
stay the night somewhere.
I hope that Rocky is okay to go tomorrow, Dave said he walked him about a
mile from the lunch vet check and let him graze a lot. He looks good, I
sure hope he isn't as big of a twit tomorrow as he was yesterday. He needs
explaining to him that after doing over 400 miles these last four weeks
he's supposed to mellow out! Dork.
Each night I try to remember to do everything, but I'm not sure I have it
totally together. I really need to get a lot done and it's hard when we
are taking so long to ride. It's funny how a 9 hour day seems shorter,
finishing an hour or two before the cutoff seems so luxurious. I took so
many photos today that I filled up the card on the camera, so it'll take me
awhile to go thru them. Getting up day after day and riding 50 miles is
getting a lot easier, it's all the other stuff that is difficult.
This morning we had to ride down past some railroad tracks and cross them.
Wendy Milner's horse stepped right square into the center of a track and
the wood at the crossing and got it's foot stuck. Luckily, the horse stood
still and Shawn Bowling jumped to the rescue and wedged the foot out and
got it unstuck. We were all a bit nervous because a minute prior we heard
the whistle from a train that was coming.
Steve Shaw rode part of the morning and then from the vet check he, Kat and
Joan rode out a few miles and then back again. Just to see some of the
trail I guess.
As far as I know, the same four riders have still done every day. Phyllis,
MJ, Terry and Kayla (junior). Where are all the guys? There are three
horses still that have done somewhere around 14 of the last 18 days and
those are Zane Grey, Lancelot and the mustang from Oregon that Carol
rides. Lance is ridden by a junior, Jamie Mitchell and they are doing
really well. Jamie has to take days off sometimes so the rest of her four
member family can ride. Today her sister Alicia and mom April
rode. Alicia and Troy (another junior) tied for first place, riding with
Dave Rabe. Calina rode with Joan and Kayla who finished just behind
us. Vicki Greene pulled at lunch, we passed them walking on the trail
earlier so then Terry really had to catch up. She probably caught up with
the last group with Trilby, John Parke, Shawn, Chester and a few others.
Ride meeting is in 15 minutes, I better get going! Geez, where does the
Happy XP Trails,
....in Wyoming :+)
Check it Out!
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