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LONG X ride story (managers perspective)

Well I'm back in Colorado after putting on the Long X ride in the ND
badlands august 11 and 12. 

14 riders started the 50 on saturday and 13 completed. 
11 riders started the 25 and 10 completed.
10 started a 12 mile fun/poker ride and all completed.

Then on Sunday only 2 people started the 50 - both completed
               only 2 people started the 25 - both completed.
again had 10 start and complete the 12 mile fun ride.

This will be my last year managing this ride and I'm very
pleased that everything worked well.  The weather cooperated,
with temps dropping to lower 80's from the high 90s and 100's
with humidity (in western ND!) of the previous weekend and start
of the week.  The trail was in pretty good shape, except for one
spot where my sister and I had to chip away 10-12 cubic feet of
hillside to widen a path that had eroded to only 6 inches alongside
of a big hole, and a few branches and downed trees that needed to 
be sawed.  Last year when I marked trails I'd had all kinds of
extra ribbons on clothepins but wound up with barely enough this 
year - guess the 40 mph wind + rain on friday last year detroyed more 
markers than I thought at the time!.  Also had some cattle stealing
markers this year.  They were in a section where the trees were 
sparse and I'd used sagebrush to clip ribbons on.  This doesn't
work with curious curious cows around.  But we were on FS permanent
marked trails and the cows left enough markers that it worked out ok.
I was better organized than previous years with the awards and
the paperwork and all the riders were in pretty early so this
year we got to have our potluck and awards in full daylight
which was nice. 

Special thanks to ride vets Vince Stenson, Joe Baber, and Jody Smith;
vet secretaries Kacie and Kayla Helgeson, Lynette Helgeson for checking
folks in and filling out land use permits. Helgeson family for helping
mark the 1st loop for the 50 mile riders; my sister Naomi for helping me
build and mark trails plus P/R and generally keeping things on track.
Nancy Teigen for P/R, trail marking and general help. Gary Loder, our
indispensible water hauler and trail marking; ride spouses Drew Goddard
and Dale Fett for helping all the riders as well as the official ride
volunteers and a big thank you to all the riders for coming to the ride,
taking great care of their  horses and being courteous to the vets and

Most riders told me they had a good time; all in all a very good way to
end up my management of this ride. I hope to find some trails and start
a new ride in the cave hills of SD in '03 or '04 after taking a year or
2 off managing to concentrate more on my own riding. Cave hills will
still be a long distance management effort for me but will be closer
than the ND badlands and will go from a long 2 hours to only 30 minutes
from my sisters place near Bowman ND.  Plus it will be closer for my
sister and the core group of volunteers we've had coming Bowman that
have really made the ride a success.  Some of the local ND folks don't
want to lose the Long X ride so perhaps they'll take it over.  I'd love
to actually ride it if they can club together and take it over but will
see what happens - it is not an easy ride to organize with 2 state
agencies + the F.S. having to issue permits and all wanting special
language on their insurance certificates, plus having to find someone to
truck in water as the campground has no electricity and hand pumping
water for 36 competing horses plus the extras would be pretty tough,
plus there is one spot on the trail where we've always put water. 

Teresa Van Hove
(former Long X RM, aerc# M17417)

Results will follow in a few hours after I get the AERC paperwork ready
to mail off.

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