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[RC] Tevis Bound...?????? Part 1 - Patrick Allen/Evelyn Hartman

Can you "endure" one more story about Tevis...I hope so....as mine is a dooozy... or at least it was for us.
    Ten years ago when I first started my business I had no idea what or who an Endurance or CTR rider was, nor did the Tevis mean anything to me.
    I went to many horse shows selling the things I made. My first encounter with an Endurance rider was when I met Becky Hackworth at one of the shows where her daughters were showing. That chance meeting led to my now almost famous (grin) Trottin' Bra...see website for complete story, and an explanation of what Endurance and CTR was. At about this same time Elfta Hilzman, whom I had known for some time began riding Endurance.
    Both Elfta and Becky encouraged me to go to the rides and sell my clothing. The first ride I went to was the Warner Springs Ride put on by Terry Wooly-Howe. I was so well received and everyone liked my things that I decided to go to more rides.
    Over time I kept hearing about "the Tevis". Always mentioned with such a reverence, mystic and awe of being someday able to ride in it.
    Fast forward to 2004. We decided that we would go to the Tevis as vendors. There was much preparation to be done. Riders and their horses spend literally years training for this one special day. This year made even more special as it was the 50th anniversary and a beautiful buckle was to be given to those that completed.
        We had gotten a trailer and had been pulling it to the rides but due to a back injury Pat was often very uncomfortable with this arrangement. I had been thinking about getting a motorhome so that he would have a place to go inside and rest rather than sitting in a chair all day. Oh, but how to do it financially was another matter.
    In December of 03 a very good friend of ours passed away. He was a very large man and he had bought a motorhome and had many modifications done to it for his comfort. Long story short we decided to buy it from his widow in late June 04.
    Unbeknownst to us a "friend" that had been helping her and helping himself had sabotaged a number of things on it in order to tell her they didn't work and get it for little money. We spent almost $2000.00 on it before we even left San Diego and because of these repairs we didn't even have time to take it out on the road. It is a small 23 ft. one and with careful thought and planning I was able to get all my inventory and my booth set up in it with room for us and the two dogs.
    We left San Diego on Monday morning, the 26th. I had been running on adrenalin and frazzled nerves trying to get everything packed that we might need for the trip. As with the horse and rider teams, going to the Tevis, much thought must go into the adventure, especially when you are traveling long distances to get there.  
        Shortly after we stared the dash air conditioning quit working. Now any other time of the year this would not have mattered, but coming across the High Desert and the San Joaquin Valley in July....it mattered. Complicating things was the tremendous engine heat coming from the cowling (doghorse). Hot weather outside and even hotter heat coming off the engine inside made for a sweltering ride. I had at the last minute grabbed a little item called a "Misty Mate" that sprays a fine mist. This proved to be a godsend, using it to wet us all down, kept us from becoming toast.
Part 1, continued