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[RC] Big Horn 100 - OTTOWY

I have been posting little thoughts here and there about the Big Horn 100, but I think it is time I stepped up with Tom and Cindy and told everyone what a great ride it is. 
I rode my first Big Horn 100 when I was 12. I usually rode with my mother, but she was expecting her sixth child any day, so my dad rode with me.  It was my Dad's first Big Horn 100 and my dad's last Big Horn 100!  I blame this totally on his stirrup breaking 5 miles into the ride.  So he rode the next 10 miles without any stirrups.  When we finally reached the highway, my mother put her saddle on his horse and the stirrups were way too short.  So he rode the next 10 miles like a jockey a foot or so above the saddle, teetering the entire way. Finally at the 25 mile mark, when I might mention most normal people would have given up, my father finally had a functioning saddle.  What made it even more special was that after all that my dad had already been though the Big Horn still had some surprises up its sleeve.  After leading the Big Horn 100 for 96 miles, his horse gave up.  I don't know if it was the stirrup, the short saddle or just plain exhaustion but he just quit and I as a junior rider I had to stay with him. My horse was literally running circles around my father's.  We watched rider after rider pass us by. Finally the horse decided he wasn't going to die and we walked on in. Not the blaze of glory we had planned or the race for the finish.  It was just the happiest day of my life.
But, our story doesn't end there.  My father after riding 100 miles stumbled into our camper and told himself.  If I can just make it to the bed I am going to lay there and not move for the next week.  He willed himself to the bed and just as he laid down and felt his muscles relax for the first time in 24 hours, he heard my mother say he needed to get up.  He lacked even the strength to turn his head and answer her.  Then she said again, "Get up! The baby is on its way."  We were 2 1/2 hours from the nearest hospital and the last hand was about to be played.
My father's eyes shot open and he said, "Are you sure we can't wait?"
"No, we have to leave right now!" That night my brother Ross was born. 
I tell you this story because the memories etched in the stone quarry of your heart can never be erased. There are 100's and there is the Big Horn 100.  Every year it is ridden more stories are made and more memories like these are taken from it. The baby that was born that night is the photographer that takes everyone's picture if you ride any of the Big Horn 100 rides.  The little 12-year-old girl has grown-up is now the vet recorder. She constantly dreams of riding that ride again and seeing that beautiful lake nestled in the tops of the mountains with the mountain trail leading to it, and little one room cabin nestled beside it.