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[RC] Ride story of the 2002 Old Dominion - Flora Hillman

Melanie -
 
There is a ride story of the 50 mile division of the 2002 Old Dominion archived at http://www.aurigafarm.8m.com/stories/July2002.html.   (This story, and the attending photos, also appears in a new book called "A Community Of The Horse - Partnerships" written by Bruce Smart of Upperville, Virginia, the former Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade who is also a Thoroughbred steeplechase owner and breeder. See http://www.aurigafarm.8m.com for more info on this delightful book of people and their horses.)
 
Don't let the horrid descriptions of the rocks on the mountain trail scare you -- they are only on the climbs up and over the Massanuttens.  You relax and walk most of that portion of the trail (riding or on foot alongside/behind your horse), and enjoy the breathtaking scenery from 2000' up overlooking the glittering Shenandoah River far below looping back and forth upon itself in a gorgeous valley of deep green woods and open pastureland.  Believe me -- in between the ascent and descents of the Massanuttens you will find most of your time spent cruising at a lively trot or a brisk canter along the cool, wooded valley trails  and gravel roads -- all sheer heaven to ride, while you eagerly look forward to the thrill of crossing, and crossing again, the wide, gentle waters of the massive Shenandoah River
 
The 2003 OD was cancelled due to dangerous flooding of the Shenandoah River, so you won't find any stories from that year.  Perhaps, if you enjoy this tale, you'll have one of your own for the 2004 OD.  :-) 
 
If you'd like a scanned copy of the topographical map of Front Royal where the ride begins, and the Shenandoah Valley and the Massanutten Mountains of George Washington National Forest where most of the ride takes place, send me an e-mail and I'll pop it off to you.  :-)
 
Flora Hillman