[RC] Nick Warhol- Virginia City100 Ride Story- part 3 of 4 - nick warhol
We rested a while, then attacked the huge climb. All the way back up that
mountain, in the heat of the day, straight up for a few miles, with the SOB?
s smack in the middle. For those who don?t know, the SOB?s (yes, that?s
what it stands for) are this set of three hills that are incredibly steep,
rocky, and generally annoying. You go straight down, then straight back up
for a couple hundred yards or so. These suckers are steep, but I liked
doing them in this direction better, and doing them in daylight was a whole
lot easier than is was at the Washoe ride. I led Zay down, and then up the
first, and biggest SOB on foot, making it a slight SOB for him, and a true
SOB for me. Once we passed these stupid hills, we trotted along a
moderately rocky road for a few more miles to a great rest and water stop,
just under the summit at the reservoir. Lots of goodies for riders and
horses; the horses were drinking an unbelievable amount of water all day.
(Actually, so was I.) That?s certainly a good thing out here. Five miles
of trotting on a decent road led us back to Virginia City, where we had to
go right through the paved streets in town to the base camp. Tourists were
looking at us a little strangely, and when you tell them we are doing a
one-day, 100 mile ride, they just say, ?Yeah, right! Can we rent horses,
Fifty-two miles down, another hour hold. I ate as much food as I could
find, the horses were doing the same thing. It was around 3 in the
afternoon and was pretty warm, but thank goodness it wasn?t unbearably hot.
If you tried to do this ride in July it would be pretty ugly. Zayante
looked very good, in fact he felt really good all day to that point.
(except for all the spooking, the turkey) Holly was her usual great self,
but the surprise of the day was Raffiq. This guy was a metabolic monster.
Susan was very impressed with how good he looked. Hugh Vanderford was still
going well, it was his horse?s first 100. After our quick hour, we left
camp for the second loop and headed South along the highway where the race
cars were blasting up the road. The next few miles were walking only, it
was slow going down a rocky canyon. We finally hit some roads and started
making up time. We wound all the way out of the valley, over towards Carson
City, where we picked up the Washoe 100 trail. After a nice water stop, we
hung the right turn back up the long valley again, more climbing. This was
trottable, but was still a lot of work. At the top we had to do a couple
miles of steep climbing that we walked, all the way to that Reservoir water
stop again. We spent more time here, since the horses were famished. The
sun was just setting as we headed back out, faced now with one of the
longest climbs in the ride. It was walk/trot on the roads due to the hills
and rocks, but it took a long time to get to the top. About halfway up the
climb, it looked like a fire was burning on the horizon. It was the moon
coming up, burning dark orange as it lifted above the mountains. It was
absolutely unbelievable how bright that moon was. Every rider was babbling
about it- you really could have ridden in sunglasses when that baby was high
in the sky. We passed up Virginia City; we were way, way, up above it on
the top of the mountain range, and then kept going north. Here?s where it
started getting tougher- lots of up and down, rocky, with not a lot of
places to trot. It was more slow going through the tough terrain in the
dark. The moon was like a spotlight, though, helping immensely. Dave Rabe
had marked the trail, it was done as well as any I have ever seen.
Speaking of Dave, he rode and finished the ride, just a few days after
flipping his ATV while out marking the trail. He was climbing up one of
those SOB?s and just looped out over backwards. Did I say those hills were
steep? He has an edema on his side that looked like a huge, blue tattoo.
After endless up and down climbs, the trail finally headed back down, way
down, to the highway crossing. More and more walking. We made it back to t
he base camp at about 9:30 pm, 77 miles down, 23 to go. That third hour
hold was feeling pretty nice at this point. All three horses were great,
Zayante feels the same as he did at the start. The spooking stopped
completely once the sun went down. Maybe he?s really an owl? Once again,
Judy was there for us, doing everything we needed. It was a very nice rest.
Poor Laura was pulled here for lameness. Drat! She toughed out those first
two nasty loops and would not be able to do the easier third. I would have
fallen asleep except for the fact I kept eating.
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