<% appTitle="Ridecamp Archives" %> Ridecamp: [RC] NCR (Long)

[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]
Current to Wed Jul 23 17:36:50 GMT 2003
  • Next by Date: Re: [RC] NC results
  • - Jim Holland
  • Prev by Date: [RC] NC results
  • - Sandy Bolinger

    [RC] NCR (Long) - Jim Holland

    The final East Coast NCR was another great event. Got there on Wednesday
    late afternoon. Camped between Shelly Nash and Amy Yatsko. After setting
    up camp, got to help Shelly a little and watch the leaders in the 100
    come in. Amy's mare "Kit" pulled at the 3rd 100 check, then buddied up
    with Sunny and they both mooched carrots and apples off us and Amy all
    weekend. He was really upset when Kit left! Nice weather for the 100's,
    although it was hot and humid.
    Had lunch with Laura Hayes and Mark. Great beef stew with dumplings,
    crab salad, cold beer, topped off with Joan's Lemon Poppy Seed Cake. If
    you didn't take Laura up on her invite, you missed a good deal! 
    The prediction was for high winds and rain sometime during the ride on
    Friday. Everybody was putting up awnings and stowing gear, fearing the
    worst at bedtime. Got up to feed Sunny a little after midnite and saw a
    few stars and only light clouds. Hopeful to get at least part of the
    ride in before it got bad.
    Still just light clouds at the start. Sunny is unusually quiet and
    relaxed at tack-up...strange. Warmed up and waiting for the start with
    my hand under his mane, he's standing quietly, but I can feel him
    trembling with excitement. Controlled start down the paved road to the
    trail that climbs up the mountain to a gravel road. Going up we're just
    kinda hanging back in the pack. Objective is to ride smart, take what
    the trail will give us on this day, and finish with a strong and sound
    horse. Sunny (nor me) is not good enough to run for glory on this trail
    with these riders. 
    Reached the gravel road as the sky began to lighten in shades of rose
    and pink. The old sea saying of "Red sky in morning, sailor take
    warning" immediately came to mind. Winds calm, its humid and sticky.
    Lots of riders passing on the road, light gravel downhill and I'm still
    hanging on, fighting Sunny who wants to run in the early morning cool.
    He's got my S-hack flipped over and with all activity, I can't reach it
    to fix it. IMHO, much too fast a pace for the leaders at this point.
    Fell in behind Charlotte Byrd on Melissa Crain's horse "Quantum Leap".
    What a nice, well trained horse. All those horses blowing by and he's
    just holding a nice steady trot. When we hit the single track, I noticed
    Charlotte "whistling" once in a while. That's her cue to tell Quantum to
    slow down like I use "Hey, Hey, Hey" with Sunny. Charlotte did a great
    job training him and rode a smart ride. I know Melissa and Tommy are
    proud of both of them.
    Eighteen miles to the first check at Stony Cove. The "attendent" had
    parked Joan over in the clay on the left. Grey pipe clay. Yuck! Once it
    got wet, you were carrying 10 pounds on each foot! Vet scores not great,
    Sunny drinking a little, but not eating, so decided to back off even
    more and re-evaluate at the second check in 10 miles. Out on the blue
    loop on time. The trails were well marked with lots of confidence
    ribbons, and "horseshoe" pictures at the turns. One of the best marked
    trails I've seen, but somehow both Bob Steller and I both missed the
    turn at a trail junction and took the road back to camp. Tracked down
    Amy Whelan, who quickly determined the problem and we trotted back to
    the junction and rode the section we missed. Thanks, Amy....  Could't
    believe I missed it...certainly wasn't a lack of marking... must be old
    age and lack of exercise! Bob and I tried to get a "senior citizen"
    trail discount, but no luck! <grin> Bob's 67 and he was jumping on and
    off that big Arabian like a junior! 
    At the second check, Sunny's vet scores are up, mostly A's now, and he's
    drinking great but still not eating. Out on the 3rd loop headed for the
    vet check at Black Sulfur Road, 15 miles away. The skies are gradually
    darkening and the wind is picking up. Seems to take forever on a tough
    section of trail along ridges, switchbacks, through creeks. Lots of
    rocks, even a few trees and limbs, and a lot of downhills. A mile from
    the check, it started to rain with periodic high wind gusts. Vetted
    through in the rain with a blanket on. Sunny's finally decided he's
    hungry and wants to eat. I agonized over letting him stay longer,
    considering the weather. With 8 miles to go and the weather
    deteriorating, we give him a couple of extra minutes, then head for camp
    and the finish. 
    The trail is hard packed in most places, and the rain has created a
    light film of mud which makes the downhills feel like they have been
    greased. Much of this trail is back the way we came and Sunny is
    fighting me to run again. We're walking the downhills on the single
    track all the way. Slow trot down the pavement and up the gravel road to
    the trail into camp the way we started the ride. Larry Lewis on "Jim
    Bob" from Wichita caught up with us on the gravel road and we rode in
    behind Darolyn and another rider, all of us taking it REAL easy. This is
    a great opportunity to blow a completion. Around the field to the
    finish, everybody taking it easy in the mucky pasture. About halfway
    around, Susan Kasemeyer comes cantering around the field past everybody
    and across the finish with everybody cheering! WOW, MOM, not sure I
    would have done that, but it shore was purty!
    Vetted out in the rain and wind, happy with the completion.  Didn't know
    where I finished and didn't care! (Finished 10th LW) Whew! What a ride!
    With this ride Sunny went over 1000 miles. He now has 1040 miles and
    needs two points for his IAHA Legion of Honor.
    Right after the banquet and awards, we were blasted by driving rain and
    wind for several hours. Sunny looked like he had been "pressure washed".
    Fortunately, it was very warm.
    Great banquet....great party! Nice fleece jackets and a numbered print.
    Thanks Tommy Crain and John Crance...for letting an old guy sit in with
    the band. You guys are awesome! Tommy tells me his band will be playing
    at the Convention.  Don't miss it!
    Here's another verse to the "Night Rider's Lament".
    Oh, but they've never seen a hurricane dawn,
    Never heard geese on the wing,
    They've never rode with Endurance Champions,
    And they've never heard Amy Whelan sing.
    Brittany Dial's horse had an  unusual problem....behaving
    strangely...turned out to be a wild onion colic....apparently he
    snatched a few on the trail. Heard that Ken Marcella figured it out by
    smelling onions on his breath! <grin> He was OK and back in camp by the
    next day. 
    Great job by the vets.  Dr. Jim, I'll try to relearn to the words to
    some of those old Webb Pierce, Hank Williams, and Bob Wills songs by
    next time. Thank you for running a great ride.
    Becky and Ken Siler were ride photographers and they were awesome! They
    were everywhere! Took THREE pictures of Sunny and they were all "frame
    'em and keep 'em". She captured one of me out on the gravel road with my
    s-hack flipped over <blush>! I actually coveted some pictures of other
    riders because they were such great shots! Thanks, Becky! You guys are
    just amazing! 
    Thanks, DBDR, for two great National Championships.
    Jim, Joan, and Sun of Dimanche
     Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
     Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
     Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp
     If you are an AERC member - PLEASE VOTE in the upcoming By-Laws 
     Election!!!! (it takes 2/3rds to tango!!)