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Big Horn 100 - Shell, Wyoming

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2006 Steph's Story || 2006 Joyce Anderson's Story || 2006 Dr Dave Brown's Story || 2003 Tom Noll's Story

2010 Stories:
Bighorn Stories - Cindy Collins || Bighorn: The Most Unpredictable Ride of Them All - Kevin Myers
Bighorn Crew Story - Carrie Thornburn || Ronnie's Report,Big Horn 100, 2010 - Ronnie Eden
An Outlaw Rides the Big Horn Trail - Tom Noll & Frank || Big Horn 100 2010-And Beyond - by Lucky 6 Nellie(with help from Marirose)
Another Big Horn Crew Perspective - Dan Ward
Darlene & Lumpy do the Big Horn 100, 2010. Our Epic Adventure, Part I - Darlene Anderson
Darlene & Lumpy do Big Horn 2010, our Epic Adventure, part II - Darlene Anderson
Darlene & Lumpy do Big Horn 2010, our Epic Adventure, part III - Darlene Anderson
Darlene & Lumpy do Big Horn 2010, our Epic Adventure, part III, the Final Installment! - Darlene Anderson

Big Horn 2006 - Joyce Anderson

I started the Big Horn this year, aiming for my 7th BH 100 mile buckle, on an outstanding young mare Kathy Arnold had found for me in Pinedale, WY. I had planned for a steady pace on trails I know well, except for the new section around Adelaide, which was only a few miles. My friends Nancy Smart & Joe Selden from Maryland, came out to crew for me again, and it is such a luxury that they are both advisors and support team - they are the NASCAR crew for horses - and I thank them (again) from the bottom of my heart for trekking to Wyoming for another adventure. They were also incredible mentors to my friends Cherie and Mike Borer, from Larkspur, Colorado who were tackling their 1st 50 mile ride at the Big Horn! Cherie and her horse ‘Mr. Bigglesworth - aka Jake’ had a fabulous ride and finished the 50 in Top 10 looking like a million bucks. Mike decided to pull his walker ‘Nick’ at Hudson falls as the pace and heat this year might be too much; but they had a great time showing how a walking horse could zoon across the desert two tracks into Hudson Falls. The weather this year was much warmer than I can ever remember. Most years you need a coat at Horse Creek check after the canyons, and twice I have been snowed on. This year a light shirt was enough so the horses did not have the relief of the normal cool mountain breezes of the Big Horn high country. There was as usual a lot of grass and the flowers accompanied by the spectacular panorama laid out before us at almost every turn.

The trail was very well marked and the vet checks went smoothly. The small group of dedicated Big Horn managers and volunteers did a great job on the trail this year and we made good time through the 1st 50 miles. We headed out of Antelope Butte for Ranger Creek and again had a good leg, completing the 8 miles in just under an hour and a half. It was 5pm and I had always covered the remaining 17 miles up the Adelaide trail, thru Boulder Basin, Shag Nasty & down into Jack Creek in about 3 hours - so even if we cruised along at a leisurely 4 hours we would be out of jack creek by 9:45. Since I have covered the final 25 miles of two track in 4-1/2 hours twice before in the dark, I figured that 6 hours + would give us enough time to get to the finish at an easy pace for my young horse. However, as the old saying goes ‘the best laid plans…’ - the new stretch of trail around the Adelaide wilderness section rode a lot longer than the actual measured mileage. It was the steepest and longest stretch of trail I have ever ridden and then, after reaching the bench on top, you had more rolling climbs with sharp loose rock which again made travel slow.

When we came off the mountain to the gravel road above Jack Creek I saw that we had taken over 3 hours to travel just 7 miles. I absolutely knew how much trail there was ahead of us and how quickly you would have to travel it to make the 4am cut-off. It took me just a tough couple of minutes (since I love this ride and really wanted to finish) to decide that my mare had (1) done a fabulous job!, and (2) I didn’t want to push her to get off the mountain inside the time. So I trotted into jack creek & vetted her out for a rider option pull. She had a 54 pulse & straight ‘A’ vet scores, was bright eyed and wanted to follow the other horses down the trail; so did I; but this just wasn’t going to be our year. Tessa is one of the nicest horses I have ever ridden and I realize how very lucky I have been to have had horses who could complete the Big Horn and make it look easy - her time will come with a few more miles under her belt - this years trail was much tougher than the original trail, and the eight riders who finished deserve a huge round of congratulations for riding well on the Big Horn++ trail this year!!

My retired horse E.O. knows the original Big Horn trail so well that he once trotted over 15 miles through inky blackness & I had only my trust in him to carry me along. He took me unerringly through every twist of the trail and I had no clue where I was until my husband asked out of the darkness “what took you so long.” This year - I don’t know if I could have even finished on E.O. given the time we came off the new section and knowing that we still had the 12 miles of Adelaide Lakes, Boulder Basin, etc to cover before Jack Creek; but I probably would have given it a shot since he seems to have the trail embedded on his brain and I think he delighted in zooming thru the darkness - completely in control of the situation, knowing there were lots of hugs and carrots at the bottom of the mountain. Tessa gave me a amazing ride and is the first horse I could ride in a 4am hundred mile start without gloves - she bounces a bit to ask if she can ‘catch those horses’ but she absolutely does not pull and I am here to tell you that is a delight, after a lifetime of riding Ex racehorses that pull like crazy. We’ll be back next year to again tackle this amazing trail and hopefully follow the ribbon of moonlight under a highway of stars guiding us down from the mountains to the desert below. Joyce Anderson, Dedicated Big Horn Fan !!