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Mt. Charleston

This was one of the nicest rides I've ever done.  Mt. Charleston is located 
just north of Las Vegas, and about 8 or 9 hours (over 9 1/2 for us because 
of road construction) from where I live.  It was definitely worth the trip, 
as there aren't very many rides as nice as this one, I will definitely go 
do this one again.

On the first day of the ride they offer a 50 and a 75 miler.  I entered 
Weaver in the 50, as Peggie said that this was the more difficult day of 
the two days.  (Rocky had just done the Washoe 100 so wanted him to do the 
easiest of the two days).  The trail was absolutely was in 
fact *trail*.  The best an endurance rider could hope for. :) Narrow two 
track trail.  Claire (RM) told us that if we got hurt out there, the only 
way out was by helicopter.  Barney (vet) said that it was an "honest 
ride".  The trail was very technical and besides being narrow it was all 
hills, so it is not a race that can be 'raced'.  You really have to pay 
attention on this ride. Given all the thousands of turns and twists and ups 
and downs on this trail they did an excellent job of marking it, they 
really put a lot of work into it.  I don't think I've ever seen such a 
difficult trail marked so well.  I don't know how much climbing we did, but 
somebody told me that each day we climbed over 37 of those mountain 
ranges...up and down......down and up....ducking under branches and around 
brush.  We passed a rattlesnake in the brush at one point.  I didn't even 
hear it (still on antibiotics for a sinus infection and had trouble 
hearing) but the other two riders in front of me did.  Somehow it's not 
very comforting being the third horse going past a p.o.'d rattler <g>.  We 
had a good ride this day, Weaver came in 1st :), which is something he 
doesn't do very often (we took 11 1/2 hours on our last 50).  Our ride time 
was a little over 6 hours, about average winning time on this ride.

The second day the trail was somewhat different but some of it the same as 
day 1.  I rode Rocky on this day.  He is very quick and responsive on all 
the turns, same as Weaver but if I turn him too late (cuz when you are 
trotting fast on a trail like that it can be really difficult to follow) 
he'll kind of jump or pivot over, and I have to be careful since he is so 
quick like that.  The only time I came really close to coming off was when 
he jumped over the rattlesnake on the trail. I thought he was trying to 
buck me off. ;^0  hehe  At one water spot Rocky's attention was diverted to 
something, and I looked over and guess what - a whole herd of deer!!  I 
told him he had seen deer before, but he was convinced that he had never 
seen *these* deer before (silly horse).  Each day we had a 30 minute hold 
and vet check and a 60 minute hold and vet check.  Finally got Rocky's 
heels hardened up enough to put his easyboots on regularly (with the heel 
strap) and that worked great (not that there were any rocks on the trail, 
if there were I wouldn't admit to it) <g>.  Rocky came in and recovered 
first and got a 2 minute faster out time before the last 13 mile when we headed out (at a slow walk since he didn't want to 
leave Weaver) I kind of figured that the next group of riders would catch 
us anytime.  But then Rocky's afterburners came on and he wanted to go. I 
often practice cantering on windy trail with him so we can work on lead 
changes.  Well, we put this to good use on this trail.  I believe we 
completed this 13 mile loop in about an hour.  He also came in 1st, and got 
Best Condition :).   (John if you read this, I take back all those Alpo 
comments I made about Rocky at the lunch stop)

Saturday night they served us a wonderful meal.  Completion awards were 
really neat mugs, and a calculator and power bars.  I also got a really 
neat southwestern style vase.  Got to ride with some really nice people, 
several who are on RC...I think we all had a great time and everybody at 
the ride just loved it :).  There aren't that many rides where you are in a 
wilderness and totally away from civilization, so this was a real treat for 

Happy Trails,

in NV
& Weaver, 2,680 miles
& Rocky, 1,445  :+)

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