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Fall XP, Day 3, 4, 5

I don't think this went thru the first time, so I'm sending it 
again.  Sorry if it's a duplicate.  k


Is it ironic to have a horse fall on you at the Fall XP?  Hmmmm......well I
have to admit that it wasn't that bad as long as I kept moving.  I kinda
figured the next day would be worse.  Each day we didn't start until 7:30
a.m.  It seemed soooooo late compared to starting at 5 a.m. on the last few
weeks of the 2001 XP.  I'd told Calina that I'd sponsor her today.  She was
going to ride Splash, and I was riding Weaver, our chestnuts.  I looked out
the window in the morning, commenting about how it was so light out.  It
was so light because it was already 7 a.m.!  I know I had the alarm set,
really I did.  I've never overslept for a ride before. :^D

It was another beautiful day.  I was still wired with the gps, some people
noticed that I looked a bit different, with an antenna duct taped to the
top of my head. (I was marking waypoints on all the turns, and recording
tracks) The day before I luckily had been wearing a shirt with a pocket to
put the GPS in, so that when we fell nothing was attached to the
horse.  Today, I felt brave and decided to keep the GPS in the front
snug-pax and let the cord flop around till it wound up to the top of my
head. Afterall, I was riding Weaver and I guess he has just as much of a
chance of stepping in his first hole as Rocky did the day
before......riding Weav is like riding a tank though.  He's so solid, and I
feel so safe and secure on him.  Gawd, if he landed on me I wouldn't be
around to tell about it <G>, so where the GPS went probably wouldn't matter
much at that point. ha ha   Next year the riders will hopefully have nice
accurate topol maps.  Wonder if they'll include all the bonus trail?  :+D

Today was Calina's first day riding.  She had school so just came to ride
Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We were riding with Laney Humphrey too.  The
trail was nice.  We missed a turn and went up a nice little canyon where
luckily the trail dead-ended before we went very far.  We weren't the first
ones to go up it, there were tracks and manure on the trail.  On the way
back down we passed Scott and Beth who kept going, I guess they didn't
believe us that we had all been led astray.  Then further down we ran into
Claire and Trilby and some others who were also going the wrong way.  We
went back down to the turn and saw were we screwed up and got onto the
correct trail.   Again we had another pretty good climb into the lunch
check.  Anne was so nice and set up all of our crew stuff for us, so when
we got there the horses already had everything waiting for him.  We went
over and got our sandwiches and candy bars for lunch.  I had one, Calina
got three. <G>  She only weighs 80 some pounds so she can do that.  We were
having a good time, the horses felt great and the trail was
beautiful.  It's a lot of fun to just go zipping along thru the mountains,
up and down and around turns, jumping over logs and things.  We left out of
lunch and went down a long steep singletrack trail down the side of the
mountain.  We got off and led.  Calina slipped and fell down just over a
big log and her mare jumped over the top of her to keep from squashing her
and then stood with her front feet out, hind feet on top of the log and
Calina underneath.  The kid crawled out unharmed and then we got to the
bottom and then got back on.  This is where we really screwed up. I'm not
sure why or how it happened, maybe it was the 8 or 10 ATV's that were there
spinning circles on the arrows and moving the trail markers around, or if
we just totally spaced out, but we somehow managed to get ourselves back on
a trail from another day.  Hey, it was marked and I'd never done this ride
before so didn't know.  So off we went, then finally we get up to the top
and went "uh-oh".  This ain't right. So, I pulled the GPS out (duh, why
didn't I do that sooner?), and could see right away where we made the wrong
turn.  I could see where camp was since I'd marked waypoints all day and it
was pretty obvious that we were going the complete wrong way.  If I had
looked sooner, or bothered to look at the map or written directions I would
have known that.  So we turned the horses around and they cruised back down
the wrong trail and the rest of the way in to the finish.  Along the way we
passed two more riders who had made the same error (is that comforting or
what?), and I told them that I had a GPS and they were going THE WRONG WAY.
They wouldn't listen and insisted that we were going the wrong way.  I
don't think they quite grasped the concept of what a GPS is and what it
does/ they kept going.  They did make into the finish in time
to complete.  I'm not sure, but I think that Trilby even finished before
us.  Well, maybe not.  But I saw her in camp not long after we got in.

So we did a few extra miles.  Oh well, the horses were still happy.  We
were happy.  My butt hurt but so what, at least I got to ride a horse
another day.  That's better than not riding with a sore butt,
right?  Things could be worse.

Three days down, only two left.  It was going by so fast.  The next day I
was riding Rocky again.  I went ahead and entered him on the card and put
it in the drop box the night before.  We walked him and I longed him and he
looked pretty good.  At first he didn't like me icing that leg/knee, but
after the 2nd time and being walked he was okay with it.  I told him that I
understood, that I wasn't real impressed with how the ice boot had felt on
my butt the first time either.

Calina was riding the black mare, Kaibab.  She's a little more laid
back.  We started off in the morning going across a creek.  I knew that
creek crossings weren't her favorite thing, since...well.....I better not
tell but let's just say I was a little worried about getting Calina across
that creek crossing. Well, I had her stick the horse right in Rocky's butt
and she just calmly walked right across like it was no big deal.  So we
were off, in the nice singletrack trail with all the logs to jump over.  At
least I think that was this morning?  Ah well, it was one of the mornings
<g>.  5 days, it's all a blurr.  I still remember Melbeeta tho.  ha

We had another nice spot for lunch.  Everything was going pretty good.  My
raspberry was not happy, so I tried to keep Rocky in a trot since that hurt
less.  I tried not to do anything that was too exerting like running off
the horse or even walking up anything steep.  It still hurt too much to
breath.  We were doing really good until almost to the finish when we
stopped seeing ribbons.  I knew better, but alas, I'm still getting used to
the idea of following ribbons again.  It's like a new concept and my brain
is a little cluttered with all these details ya know.  So we went about a
half a mile out of our way before turning back and seeing the very obvious
turn that was marked with like 20 ribbons <sigh>.  So up the hill we went,
thru the gate and then the trees.  Rocky called out, I guess he must have
heard Weaver in camp thru the trees or vice versa.  One more time thru a
creek and we were trotting in to the finish!  Wow, another day down and now
only one more left.  It sure goes by fast.

Dave had come with me on the ride, but with the stipulation that he wasn't
going to crew or have anything to do with horses.  So today he'd gone on
another hike in Bryce Canyon and brought back fried chicken for dinner.  We
finished early enough that I had plenty of time to play fetch with the dog,
get the horses cleaned up and visit with Sharon and Crockett for awhile. I
even got to shower.

I longed Weav and made sure he was okay to enter for the last day of the
ride, and he was.  So I filled in his card and entered him.  Then got
everything ready.  I even got up on time!  Calina decided to ride with me
again and was on Splash again.  I told her when we started out that with
all the things that have been going wrong on this ride that I hoped nothing
else bad happened to me.

The ride this day was really nice.  We rode on the outside of the pink
cliffs, on a nice narrow trail on the side of the mountains.  Lots of up
and down, winding and curving.  Beautiful scenery.  I'd been taking a ton
of photos all week.  We rode with Eflta for awhile.  She left us, then
Calina was leading for awhile when all of a sudden Splash went off the
trail and as luck would have it she was caught in a bunch of
brush.  Without the brush she and Calina would have fallen quite a ways
down.  Yikes!  It happened so fast, I told Calina to hang on, and she did
while the horse turned around and got herself pulled back up onto the
narrow trail.  They were both frightened and the mare had branches around
her legs making things worse.  We got her all straightened up and got the
tack put back on and then walked the horses until Splash calmed down
again.  We still had a few miles to go to lunch, and it took us awhile to
get there.

We finally made it in after what seemed like endless climbing.  Of course,
I was worried about Calina's horse falling again which didn't happen but
nevertheless, the trail was narrow and there were cliffs and dropoffs the
whole way.  After lunch the trail was on regular trails and we wouldn't
have to worry about falling off anymore.  whew!

The horses were typical endurance horses, each wanting what the other one
had.  So we switched the food around and they were both happy.  Lavonne was
serving up bbq'd beef sandwiches along with the regular assortment of
sandwiches -- tuna, turkey, roast beef.  Everything always tastes so great,
sandwiches are especially good when somebody else makes them for
you!  After lunch we were trotting down a nice mountain trail and came
around a bend and up ahead were two large elk!  They bolted so fast that I
didn't get a chance to take a picture, darnit!  We made it all the way into
camp without getting lost even once, and had finished fairly early.  Well,
I think it was 3:30 or 4 p.m.  So not real early but we had until 7:30 so
not too bad.  We even let the horses gallop in for a short stretch at the
finish.  It had been a really fun day, aside from the horse falling off the
cliff >oops<......alls well that ends well. :+))   I let Calina ride Weaver
around bareback later with a rope halter and lead rope and I told her that
he fit her really well, to which she exclaimed "what do you mean, I'm not
fat!!".  Just how much do you suppose I'd have to ride him to make him look
thin?  Maybe we could draw stripes on his side and just pretend that he has
ribs? <G>

Other riders had some mishaps too -- bees caused Maureen Sezler's horse to
roll on top of her.  Another rider, Lani (??) got lost coming back to camp
and was lost for several hours.  She was on the right road leading to camp
but didn't know which direction to go.  I think I really like the idea more
and more of riding with a GPS, even if it's not to follow the trail just to
have it so you can find yourself.  Now that I know how to mark waypoints
I'll probably do that more often on rides where I'm not familiar with the

Happy Trails,

& Rocky, 4,430 miles
& Weaver, 4,620 miles

Photos:  (5 pages to each of these links)

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