Check it Out!
[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]
[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index] [Subject Index]

blizzard July 3 only in Canada eh! (long)

Rocky Mountain Endurance Challenge
Where else but in the Canadian Rockies would it snow July 3??????????
We pulled into ridecamp at about 2pm having endurance drove some pretty
slick mountain roads.Thank goodness for cell phones . We managed to call
other riders and tell them not to take the short way. The road was
starting to wash out.
We were in the Ghost River area by Cochrane Alberta. I am sure it is
beautiful when the clouds aren't sitting on your head:-D
It had rained in the area for 2 weeks and it was soggy. We got the
canopy up and the horses blanketed , fed and settled in.
I wandered over to register leaving Dave(my husband) to finish setting
up camp.
This ride is a STARS air ambulance benefit ride so it is always well
attended. STARS had lifted one of our riders off a mountain just the
week before when she took a fall and broke her pelvis. I think over
$8000 had been raised for STARS in pledges.
Even with the weather over 65 horses were there. TRAC runs a competitive
ride at the same time. This is a big ride for Canada. We don't have the
large number of riders like the US rides have.
They offered 2 distances 30 LD and 50 Endurance. A 20 mile loop and a 30
mile loop.
Post time am. I am riding my mare Reid and Amanda Winder is riding
Shadow. (Amanda is going to the Pan Ams with Shadow and is 17. She will
be riding with Canada west) It is raining and cold. The clouds are on
our heads but everyone is good humor. The timer calls go and the front
runners hit the trail. Amanda , Dianne Dupperon (another Pan Am member)
and I hold back leaving a few minutes behind the front runners. The
trails are wet and slippery . The idea is to ride steady and complete
sound. This is just another training ride for Shadow! Colleen (Amanda's
mom has told me that at least 100 times):-D. Amanda is not a junior but
these are rough trails and I promised to ride with her. Reid had other
ideas as her buddy Razi my husbands gelding is at the front with the big
dogs. I managed to keep her under control but I felt like my arms were
being pulled out of the socket. We did circles where there was room. She
calmed after 10 miles or so. The first loop was 20 miles. It was
slippery and we stayed at about 6 miles an hour. The trails were marked
with pink ribbon and the spotter who was supposed to be out wasn't
there. We took a wrong turn at the meadow but luckily figured out that
we were doing the loop backwards before we got to far. I would not have
wanted to ride an extra 20 miles to redo the loop. When we rode back the
spotter was in place and we headed off in the right direction. There was
lots of sharp rocks in the mud but the footing seemed okay. By the end
of the first loop we were wet. My slicker needs a coating of sealer and
every time I wear it in the rain I promise myself I will give it a
coating then promptly forget until I get soggy the next time.
We had a 30 minute hold. It went by quick. They had the vet a long ways
from the pulse lanes and most of our time was spent walking. I stripped
my wet clothes off and put on dry ones. A nutritious lunch of a bun and
a chocolate bar washed down with a coke:-D Stuck a cheese bun in my
pocket in baggy. Amanda and I were off again. Her mom took care of the
We headed out on the second loop. I was sure hoping the rian would stop.
We started singing about 100 yards out of camp. Amanda told me stories
about summer camp and the miles passed by. the horses felt strong and
the rain poured down. The LD riders were on the trail and we were
overtaking them. We caught upto Norma and Miriam (visiting from France)
on Normas young horses riding the LD. Norma and I ride together alot and
I always enjoy her company. I took lead with reid and the 4 of us sang
my bear song and a whole bunch of others. It was pouring by now but good
company makes the difference. We made up our own verses to she'll be
comin round the mountain until we hit the vet check. The vet and
volunteers looked frozen. It was really cold. Grace the vet secretary
was shaking in her boots. They had called for the horse trailer to come
pick up riders and horses who were pulled. Shoes were coming off in the
mud. Oh I need to back track for a minute. Dianne had left the ridecamp
vet check ahead of us and we found her walking about 6 miles out of the
vet check on the mountain. Coralina had thrown a shoe and she couldn't
ride her in the rocks with out shoes. I offered her a ride on the back
of Shadow. He is a big strong gelding and her and Amanda together wiegh
less then most men. I would have ponied her horse in. She declined and
decided to walk in. I wish I had an ez boot with me. She told me she had
4 in the trailer. I think we will carry them from now on.
The out check  was a 20 minute hold. It started to snow. yup I mean big
really wet snow. The temp kept dropping. We were soaked to the skin and
the hold chilled us. I could not feel my toes or fingers. We fed the
horses the grain I had carried and ate the cheese bun. I was sure happy
for the gortex polar fleece rump rugs on the horses. They were
stiffening up from the cold and ever little bit helped.(I sell the rump
rugs:-) commercial break)
We kept them walking. They called us out and we climbed into the saddles
which were a little wet on the butt. I had brought green garbage bags
along to put over them at the hold and that helped. We left the garbage
bags at the check. First mistake. We should have put them on.
The weather was getting worse and we still had 18 miles of rough trail
It was snowing heavy and the wind was picking up. The trail was rocky so
we had to ride slow and the snow was making them slicker by the minute.
Dave says I have to shut down the computer and finish in the morning or
he is going to pull the plug
good night all

Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net,    
Information, Policy, Disclaimer:   

    Check it Out!    

Home    Events    Groups    Rider Directory    Market    RideCamp    Stuff

Back to TOC