The crews spread out up the gravel road leading into camp. Half of them jumped their riders, stripped tack, and started sponging before the riders even hit the in timer. Seems counterproductive to me, but nobody went overtime so I guess it didn’t matter.
I videoed most of the arrivals, then wandered down and got some pics of the vetting, then wandered back toward the truck and discovered Kirt and Chad gluing a rear boot on Farley. I took a bazillion pics of that.
Eventually I found Tara, who I was supposed to meet to swap breastcollars with, then met back up with C. We roared back down the mountain, and on the way down I noticed the dead areas from the ’08 fires. They didn’t cancel Tevis cause of the smoke, they cancelled it because flames were licking at the so-called road leading to camp.
Anyway, we headed down to Foresthill. I was starving, and someone was selling hamburgers, so I had one. FH is down at 3000 feet or so, and it’s actually kind of humid, and it was unbelievably hot. Between the carbs from the bread and the disgusting wet heat I felt really gross really fast. I kicked back in a camp chair with my hat over my face and just endured for an hour or so til I felt better.
(Disclosure: it was like 90 degrees and 30% humidity. I am a wuss and living in the desert mountains has spoiled me.)
Eventually I recovered and started wandering around again. Riders started rolling in – of course Heraldic and Greyson looked amazing – and I watched some vetting and some departures.
Mainly I started to notice how many spectators and volunteers there were. I talked to a lot of people, and maybe half of the s and v were even horse people! The rest of them were just there to watch and help because it’s Tevis and it’s amazing. That totally blew my mind.
Crockett Dumas had a lady in a very pretty sundress and sneakers trot out his horse. Melissa Margot (sp?) made it in on Cabo and of course had someone else do her trotout. (If you don’t read ridecamp – she has a shattered femur and rode with a huge brace. She trained Cabo to lie down if she needed to dismount on trail. And Cabo is, I believe, one of two gaited horses to complete this year.)
Melissa Ribley looked like she was hurting. She caught a tree branch with her face very early on and came in to RF with a gash on her cheek – got her horse vetted before she let someone suture her cheek, then rode on. She got pulled after FH, which must’ve sucked so bad!
C really wanted to stay at FH til cutoff at 8:30, but she very graciously hauled me to Auburn at 8 so I could get to Kinkos before it closed. We looked pretty normal at camp but I’m sure we looked like vagrants at Kinkos. C set up camp in the corner, plugged in her laptop, and finished uploading pics. I got on a computer, printed the counteroffer, signed it, and faxed it.
Then we headed over to In n Out and got burgers. (My husband will cry when he reads this and realizes how much delicious junk food I actually ate.) Then on to the fairgrounds in time to watch JC’s amazing horses come in.
Those two horses blew through 100 miles of rough country in 17 hours and were still fresh and forward at the finish. Absolutely amazing animals! I got a little teary when they did their victory lap.
“Hey, trotted 100 miles, now I’m chillin in a stadium, what’s up?”
When we heard that 3d place was an hour behind, we decided to head home. We didn’t want to camp in the truck again, and the thought of taking a shower at home was irresistible! We were pretty tired by the time we hit Reno, but we made it home safe.
See? A very surreal, very cool weekend.
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