A view of the Colombia river from the Biggs bridge halfway in between the Oregon and Washington border. There are some great views on our way to the ride.
A photo of the Klickitat River coming down the road from Goldendale, WA. The canyon that the road follows into Glenwood is really cool!
Camp Mayfield. We have a tradition of barbecuing either steaks or lobster tails the night before the rides. Our little cheapo Walmart charcoal barbecue does a bang-up job of sizzling dinners. Craig is keeping a watchful eye on our meal.
Camp Leddy. From left to right: Cathy Leddy, Monica Bretherton, and Wendy Connell. All three ladies rode on Saturday. Cathy did the 30 miler on Galen, Monica went on the fun trail ride with Wendy's horse Taz, and Wendy did the 50 miler on Alpowa. Saturday afternoon I stopped by Camp Leddy and chewed the fat for awhile with all three of them. These gals are great, and I really enjoy visiting with them when we attend the same rides.
The weather was great on Saturday, the first day of the two day rides. Sunny and dry - very nice! =:) Nettie and I set out in the morning for our 50 miler. I decided to try the horseboots out on her to see how well she would like them. She seemed to take to them alright, but unfortunately at around mile 20 she ended up getting a big chunk of gravel stuck in the right front boot. I very quickly proceeded to dismount and yank all of the boots off as we rolled into the first vet check. She vetted through in good shape and I made a decisive plan to proceed at a much slower pace into the next vet check. I was concerned about the rock having a lasting stone bruised effect on her, so I made her go slower until I felt that there was no danger of her getting gimpy. Nettie usually doesn't need any hoof protection at all, and she let me know right away that she was much happier without the boots on for the rest of the ride. After the second vet check I found a very nice lady on a gaited black mare that was chugging along at a slow running walk and we kept pace with her for the rest of the way back into camp.
My main goal on any ride is to try and manage to never get pulled. It would be my own personal "walk of shame" if I could not continue on with a horse. If it means snailing along at a much slower pace, then I'll do it. Nettie vetted through the final check in good order and we unofficially came in 39th out of 60 or something other riders.
Mile 18 of the 50. Photo by Jessica Anderson.
I couldn't help but take a picture of this little outfit on Saturday afternoon. Brenderup trailers are soooooo darned cute! What an adorable little camp.
Wendy and Alpowa taking part in a scientific experiment. There was a lady drawing blood for an educational study of muscle "tying-up" in endurance horses. She had a little table by the rodeo arena and people would come by and let her take blood samples.
Also on Saturday afternoon I made a trip over to Katrin Leaverman's camp to introduce myself and to visit Akpai. Katrin borrowed one of Kerri-Jo's purebred Akhal Teke mares to use in endurance until some of her younger arabs become old enough to compete on. Katrin and I talked for awhile about the differences between the two breeds of horses. Katrin is an arabian afficianado and has 12 horses of her own in Idaho. Unfortunately Akpai had to be pulled on Saturday in the 30 mile ride for a muscle injury. Later on the second day, Katrin borrowed a different horse from another person in camp that unfortunately had some issues as well.
Happy as clams, despite the crummy weather on day two. The start of Sundays ride was rainy, soggy, and very boggy. I strapped the hoofboots on extra tight that morning. The mud on the trail was slippery, yet managable. I was thrilled to learn that I had never been on this particular loop before - it was brand new! What little views of the scenery that I did get to see were spectacular.
Octopelle decided that the two ladies on the arabs in first and second place ahead of us were not going to get away scott free without us breathing down their necks a bit. We hummed along at a great clip of around 10 mph into the first vet check. I waited for a few minutes longer past the hold time for him to eat and get a big gut full of water. Then off we went. I was pleasantly surprised that he kept the same pace back to camp as we had left at, even though there wasn't anybody in front of us for him to lay eyeballs on.
By the time we got back to camp I had rainsoaked tack, clothes, and soaking wet soggy heavy boots from the rain. But it was fun! Photo by Jessica Anderson.