Well this was my third time crewing on Tevis (only got to ride once) and again it was an exciting trip. As usual, when we left our house to go to Auburn from Southern Calif, we started having truck trouble, and within 20 miles this time, blew out the starter and the cyllinoid. Hey maybe next time, it'll blow another engine after someone else owns it. Anyway , we drove up to Auburn via highway 99, with no air conditioning (don't ask) and I kept telling the kids, "Oh it's about 80 degrees dears" Really it was about 110. We were already getting dehydrated upon arrival to Auburn, despite many quarts of water and gatorade, and icecreams! We arrived in time for the long line at the barbeque. (Our car mechanic threw our schedule off!) Was happy to see the Santa Ynez contingent, Henry Logan was there and I was so happy that he came. We were standing in line and saw Potato with his button on his shirt, "Lose weight now, ask me how". I laughed my butt off all week about that! "Yeah just eat this stuff, and ride like hell for a hundred miles, and you'll lose a little weight" We ate like pigs during our whole vacation and I lost 3 lbs. I don't know if it was the altitude, or the hiking, or the excitement or what, but the weight came off. Last year riding I lost 6 lbs. Anyway,
Thursday, we drove up to Robie park, and this time actually stopped in Truckee to look at a few of the shops, which was very fun. Then we proceeded up to the basecamp. The 6 mile road was in good shape this year, and the very steep hill didn't seem as steep as before, the dirt road was very groomed. Shortly after we set up crew, our rider, Jonathon Bowman showed up. We had only met via email, after my vet referred him to me for crewing. Right away Curt (my husband) my daughters and I hit it off with him and then he showed us his horse, Kitt. Ahhhh, love at first site. A lovely chestnut gelding, whose picture can be seen on the Tevis webpage as he crosses Cougar rock. A former race horse, he was surprisingly calm and good natured even with my little kids in camp.
The next day (Friday)we went to have the vet check in, and as we stood in line waiting our turn, we saw a stallion really acting up, acting studdy, and then we saw him kick a woman right in the face! He got her Left hand by the little finger, and her left Jaw. I went over to see her (Nurse again) and she already had ice on it, and was very angry andhad a few words to say, as did some other people. I was glad she could talk, and had no bruising or bleeding anywhere! That was a close call. I didn't see her again until awards..she rode and finished! Kudos to a tough lady. A lot of people had trouble getting their horses to stand on the scale for the research project (Hmmm, train horse to stand on a wood scale)
After check in we went and dropped a few dollars at the vendors$$$, and I found a nice headstall for my scissors hacamore from Trailrite! we had hamburgers for lunch, the best! Then we had barbeque dinner. There was a huge number of yellow jackets this year, and another new friend Cheng Biv, got bit on the mouth. But he was ok. After that we went back and started planning for the next day, and I braided the horse...ooh la la!
That night, I was supposed to sleep real good, not a care in the world, not riding, nothing to worry about...ha. I tossed all night thinking about the drive, the ride etc. Woke up at 4:00, started to get ready to drive, and heard Jonathon ride off...a faint "Bye Beth" echoing through the trees. We were camped by Dick Dawson, who is in his 70's and had a few tense moments with his family as his horse spun around, totally amped for the ride, and snapped his tie down. One was improvised in the dark, he managed to get on and was off. We started the drive down the road, and came to a complete block. When we got going in the total and absolute dust, I was driving my truck, and Curt was driving Jonathons. Pretty soon, we came to where a driver had unfortunately gone over the edge with a beautiful truck, camper, and trailer. They were on their side. My heart was in my throat after that! Just followed the lights ahead of us, and hoped they were on the road, not to hit a tree or go off a cliff.
When we got on the highway, we pulled off right away to get diesel. In fact it was a station with no diesel,(1 THERE is NO Diesel in Truckee!!! Remember that!) But good we stopped, curt had got a nail in Jonathon's trailer tire and the tread was completely shredded off. Then ensued an interesting time figuring out how to change it. (2. If crewing, ask the owner of the rig how to turn their trailer lights on, and where they keep all the keys to the tire changing equipement!)
Finally we got to Robinson, just in time for the front runners. We set up next to the Santa Ynez friends, watching Marion Schlinger make gourmet sandwiches. Soon we hear that Sylvia was pulled and everyone was very anxious. We knew how good shape Harca was in, and assumed he got a cut or something. And you all saw that sad story. Well Jonathon came in looking like a coal miner's son, and (3. BABY WIPES!) we showed him some high style crewing. The horse was buffed and polished and looked real good, although cold and shivery and required two blankets.. Jonathon had only brought trail snacks, but we fixed that! (4. Gotta have some good chow at Robinson) The funniest thing was when he was moaning about how slow he was, and I pointed over and showed him, "Well Potato is still sitting here, you can't be so slow!" Surprise!! Soon he left with his friend Lisa, and off we went to Foresthill, for food! Prime rib for $5.00!
We went to our hotel, checked in (5. Bring lots of quarters for laundry), and then got back to Foresthill in time for...Potato! Watched him and his companions vetting through. Then waited and waited. Can't remember exact times, but I was getting worried, because then I saw Cheng and he was pulled. My friend Doreen was pulled. Lisa was pulled. Lots of horses were pulling. We went and waited on the road with Henry Logan, and Marion(Santa Ynez friends) and the Walls, and then finally here came Jonathon. They had a couple of people with hoses and misters down the road, so we were able to sponge the horse real good, and he immediately dropped and we went to the vet check. Jonathon was worried that Kitt wasn't gonna pass, and he wanted to quit. The vet checked him through, "Lookin good!" We went to Dr. Wickler? Cal Poly dude, "the good lookin one", and he drew blood for research . Doc explained that you wouldn't catch him riding this far. Jonathon again expressed his desire to quit. Then I explained as part of selling his soul to the devil for crewing services, he would be shoved vomiting onto his horse as long as the horse was up to the ride. He couldn't quit! Yikes, was labeled a mean crew woman. Then Curt escorted him to his shower (6. Solar shower works well in clean horse trailer), and again instead of trail snacks, we forced poor jonathon to change his clothes and eat a meal. Including much salt and potassium, washed down with gatorade. Kitt was again buffed and polished, and we all voted to take off his splint boots as he was getting a little rub spot. Then off they rode, with glo-sticks in place.
We went then to get something to eat, and got very wierd looks from the waitress. Mmmm, smelled good. The Japanese film crew was next to us in the restaurant. It was a interesting assortment of customers. We always make sure when we go up there to tell all the vendors that we are there for the Tevis. Went and slept in the hotel for about 3 1/2 hours. Then I got up, alone this time, and drove to the fairgrounds. We had the stall all fixed nice (7. Echo Valley feed delivers right to your stall!) with lots and lots of shavings. Then I walked over to the finish line just in time to see Jonathon and Kitt come in ! Covered Kitt with a army wool blanket, it was chilly. After we finished up, I went back and saw Dick Dawson finish with Santa Ynez friend Jim Mckibben, with about 10 minutes to spare! Yay!!! Henry Logan was with me and we talked with Dale Lake, He said that him and the vets were mystified why so many pulls this year. The weather was nice, the ride was slower. There were more injuries. Bad luck.
So that was our Tevis adventure, after which we went and saw Sanskrit, but that's another story!!! , Yours, Beth Glover