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[RC] BH 100 - tom noll



Some weeks ago Patti asked for people?s thoughts regarding the Big Horn 100 and here are some of mine.  The BH 100 is a different ride and it is not a ride for everyone.  No 100 is easy, but the Big Horn has its own challenges.  The Big Horn trail can never be made to be easy and some may be unhappy with the difficulty of the trail, but ?If the trail was easier, it wouldn?t be the Big Horn 100.?


I agree that Tevis has the cachet just as the Western States 100 has the name among the running 100s.  Western States and Tevis are special races, but there are other 100s.  I know the course of Leadville and Wasatch and I?m quite familiar with the terrain of the Hardrock 100 in SW Colorado.  Wyoming is still the west and the Big Horn is still wild and tough.


Big Horn is put on by a small group of very dedicated volunteers.  Wyoming is one of the least populated states in the union and North Central Wyoming is sparsely populated even by Wyoming standards.  Those volunteers love the BH 100.  They take the motto ?To finish is to win? to heart and they host the ride accordingly.


The BH 100 takes dedication and a solid mountain horse just to start.  The Big Horn Mountains are still wild and the trails are still tough.  Even on good days, there is the very real possibility that you might become confused or even lost on the Big Horn trails.  You may see moose and perhaps even glimpse a wolf.  You can ride miles on the Big Horn trails alone, but most of the BH 100 riders are very generous and they?ll go out of their way to help you on the trail. 


If you expect groomed trails and expect ribbons to always be visible, then the BH 100 may not be for you.  But, if you want a true adventure with rough riders, tough horses, and wilderness trails, if you want to start and finish at a real western ranch, if you want to climb through the canyons to the Big Horn plateau, if you want to see the tiny blue alpine forget-me-nots in the alpine tundra in July, if you want to look across miles of Wyoming mountains and basins from nearly 10,000 feet, if you want to come down on the Black Mountain trails in the dark after a hard day and many miles on the trail trusting your horse to carry you safely through the moonlight, if you have true wilderness trail savvy, then Big Horn might be your kind of ride.


Only a few people and a few horses travel the Big Horn trails every year.  Next spring when you go to the AERC convention you?ll see quite a few Tevis belt buckles and those Tevis riders are rightfully proud, but you might only see two or three Big Horn 100 buckles. 


The Big Horn 100 is a special ride and it is open to everyone.  Next July I hope to see some of you at Shell, Wyoming under the northern stars for the 4:00 AM start of the 2005 Big Horn 100.



Best Regards,


Tom Noll

SW Idaho