[RC] frantic 50 - Larry Miller
The worse thing about this swimming episode that Laura is talking about, is
that the year before, we had 5 inches of rain dumped over night near
Cincinnati. Of course, we all started the ride the next day in the new
swamp, and wondered about the creeks that had turned into rivers. Finally
we got to a very nice creek crossing that had turned into a raging, rolling,
boiling, over the head RIVER!!! there were 4 of us in front racing, and
fools that we were, we plunged in. Well, Jim's horse balked, dumped him,
and he watched in horror as we 3 girls suddenly disappeared under the water.
I had a death grip on Santee who thought nothing of what she was doing.
Gail and I made it across but couldn't get out because we had been washed
down to the cliff part of the creek. The force of the current forced Gail's
horse over backwards and she managed to scramble to safety on the other side
and told me to take care of her horse. Marybelle was on tiny Azy who is all
guts, and they were literally washed downstream. I turned Santee around,
remembered to swim diagonally with the current, Gail's horse followed us,
and we crossed that horrible new river and climbed out where we had
initially gone in. Santee in her effort to get out, slammed me in the eye
so I now had a black eye, she kicked Gail's horse because he got to close to
her when we were getting out, and Jim was running as fast as he could
downstream to rescue Marybelle and Azy. Azy went belly up, Jim waded out to
her, dragged her in, and breathed into her mouth! Marybelle was fine, Azy
was fine, Gail was fine, her horse had a small limp, Santee was fine, and I
was as white as a ghost. BUT, I didn't lose my contacts and all my friends
were impressed as to how quiet I was. Laura can tell you, my mouth goes a
mile a minute. Needless to say, the ride stopped right there. It is a good
thing too. If we had tried to cross the Miami RIver, we all would have been
swept down to the concrete bridge, and I don't think any of us would have
survived that. The state land officials never thought to come to our camp
and tell us how dangerous everything was. They thought that we would just
automatically stop the ride. HA! they don't know endurance folks very
well. So then comes the Frantic 50 the following spring. I was running in
front with some other riders when we came up to the creek crossing which had
gotten very deep. There was a huge tree with roots down in the middle, of
course we all plunged in but my eyes were closed. I was scared after last
fall's episode. Santee wasn't. She manuvered around that tree, thought
nothing of the whole thing, and leaped out on the other side!! Then we
briefly turned around in time to see Bill's horse go bonkers! I remember
that I yelled at Bill to stay clear of that tree, but I don't think he did.
Brian and Laura just watched in horror but then Brian's adrenalin took over.
We made it into camp to tell Teddy that she better do something about that
crossing and I believe we were rerouted around it. The Frantic 50 always
was an exciting ride to begin the year. If we didn't have water problems,
then we got to watch Laura ride when she was 7 months pregnant!! I believe
also that someone had a heart attack on trail. If that wasn't happening
then we rode in mud. One year we did that ride all in mud!! 50 miles.
Winning time was not very fast that year. But you know what? I miss that
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