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[RC] My first Tevis - what a GREAT ride! - Peggety123

It was a heck of an adventure for me - my first time out on that long trail.  Thanks to my wonderful husband Bob, who gave me his trusty steed Yahoo! to ride (who all ready knew the trail from last year as he had finished it w/ Bob), and a fantastic crew of 3 girlfriends that were well trained from the previous year, I was able to cross the finish line with a sound happy horse well before the cut off.  In fact, I was able to walk to last 6 miles from Lower Quarry with my new friend Karen Hites from Michigan, and savour the last few moments of that extraordinary adventure!
I must say that all the comraderie on the trail really impressed me and made it much easier  to navigate the tougher and more treacherous parts of the trail.  Having said that though, the things I had heard about that were "terrifying" turned out to be breathtakingly gorgeous!  Especially Pucker Point!  Some day I'd like to take a chair and just sit there and take in that beautiful view from the trail.  The climb up Squaw was challenging but the view from the top  (Barbara White told me to be sure to turn around and see), was absolutely gorgeous.
I opted not to do Cougar Rock as there was a line and my sights were more set on the finish and that completion!  Watching the others who decided to tackle "the rock" was very impressive and someday I'd like to take on the challenge myself!
Sandy Schuler was my mentor for many miles of the ride - she was very helpful in giving me advice on the trail and how to ride it.  She also made sure that I didn't miss some of the beautiful vistas on the parts we rode together.
The group I rode w/ along the California loop was the best!  This was the section of trail I was most apprehensive about due to the reknowned drop-offs.  Well, the miles just melted away as I trotted along with a great group of people who I have no idea who they were except that there was Carlyn from Auburn and Dakota Dutcher from Carson City, Nevada.  Everyone was so polite and would wait at each water stop until all the horses were done drinking.  It was so nice to have the support of this group who had the same common goal - the Tevis finish!
Well, I can definitely say I've got the "Tevis bug".  My young horse is coming along fine and when he turns 9 or 10, we'll hit that trail together.  Until then, Bob and I are trying to decide who will be the next to take Yahoo down that long trail again! 
Peggy Eaton
Carmel Valley, CA