Hutch was exhausted, so I offered to let her drive my car while I walked her horse back to camp. Actually, I offered to walk BOTH horses back so SweetPea could ride, too, but she opted to walk. We were parked at the FAR end of camp from the vet check, so it was a bit of a hike. When we got back, I was glad I'd had the forethought to pick up poop and fill their feed and water before leaving, 'cause I was pretty tuckered out, too, plus the horses got to dive right in.
|Don't even think about bothering me while I'm eating!|
Once they were safe and sound, the people got some snacks, drinks, and sleep. SweetPea hit the hay (har!) around 7 or 7:30. Hutch wasn't TOO far behind her, and even I was ready for bed by 8:30 or so. I read for a few minutes, and fell asleep before 9:00. SweetPea got up to go to the bathroom at some point, and I noticed it was a bit light out, and honestly had no clue if it was dawn or dusk, but it was 9:45 or so. We actually ended up chatting for a while, then we both went to sleep and I don't think either of us was aware of the world at ALL until 6:30 or 7:00 a.m.
The awards meeting was at 8:00, so we got up, got dressed, fed the horses, and moseyed on down to the front of camp. The completion award was a "jar of cookies" (all the dry ingredients, plus instructions to make the cookies), which was cool. Their time was 9 hours 24 minutes, and there were two riders who finished after them and completed, plus a few pulls. That was about what they were aiming for, since it was a first 50 for all of them--no need to break the horses trying to come in first! The fact that they all finished happy and healthy is the important thing!
|I think Hutch's daughter (in hot pink) was more excited than her mom about getting cookies as a prize.|
|SweetPea's friend from southern Oregon camped next to us and volunteered during the ride. They said goodbye, but not for long--both will be going to the Pacific Crest ride in a couple months.|
So, as SweetPea said, her (and Hutch's) first 50 is "in the books." Read about the ride from her perspective on her blog.
- It really doesn't matter what you look like in endurance--there are people of all shapes and sizes (though the more miles and faster times they ride, they ARE typically skinnier and skinnier), all types and colors of outfits, all types and colors of tack.
- Ride Managers are absolutely INSANE, but also absolutely THE BEST. I can't imagine all the logistics to put a ride on, and bless them for doing it!
- Volunteers are what make the actual ride run--the Ride Manager puts it all together, but can't actually run the entire ride. I enjoyed volunteering last time, and enjoyed crewing this time, but wouldn't be able to crew for "my" riders without enough volunteers manning the vet checks and marking trails and on and on and on...
- Next time, more people water and ice, both at camp and out at the vet checks.
- I don't think there's another type of event where you will see this many men in tight pants. It takes a brave soul to wear jeans in endurance, but a whole different type of bravery to wear riding tights or breeches.
- Horses, and nearly everything to do with them, are awesome. That is all.
See you at the next ride--I'll most likely be crewing, at least at the finish line!