Now that’s more like it

Rode the wild child again tonight and she was much better behaved. We did the exact same route as Monday. She was a little pissy and jumpy for the first two miles then settled right in and worked hard for me. Here’s the Garmin info.

Lap 1 was getting out of the subdivision, 2 was slogging up the hill away from home and leaping around, 3 was hauling ass once she realized we were really going to do this thing, 4 was a mistake, 5 was coming back into the subdivision.

Dixie did a cowhorse stop for no apparent reason once and she gave the hairy eyeball to many terrifying white pieces of trash, but she really was a good horse. She has a lovely daisy-cutter pace going down hills, and our “fast” speed sort of rotated between trot, rack, canter, and something in between. I’m really pleased at how the mountains on the Garmin are turning into plateaus. We’re not surging between trot and walk, we’re steadily moving along. (Well, except for the scary balky hill.)

I told her she was acceptable and I’d keep her for the time being. 😉

Primal update, aka “things I’ve thought of that are good to eat.” We eat a lot of larb, from this recipe, and a lot of tiger cry, based off of this. I am also living perilously but gloriously and making mayo and Caesar dressing from my friend’s eggs. It’s been two weeks and I haven’t poisoned myself yet! I take a big Caesar salad to work about 3 times a week, and I bring egg salad at least once. Egg salad is hella good, yall.

Also Costco sells frozen bison burgers that my husband swears are just stellar. I haven’t tried them yet, but he kept himself alive on them while I was off at Tevis.

I will go update the Tevis posts with some strategic pictures. I haven’t forgotten you, Lytha!

Tevis 3

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.

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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.

Mel's crew spot

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.

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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.

Random spectators:
Rachel Shackleford

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.)

Sundress:
WTF?

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!

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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?”
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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.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tevis 2

I don’t trust this program not to eat my enormous post, so I’ll split it up.

After 89, we hopped back in the Durango and headed to get coffee. The 7-11 had a bear proof trash can out front, so I took a tourist picture of it. I took a couple of “Hey Ma lookie here!” shots – they’re all in the iPhone album.

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Then we went back to I-80 and zoomed down to Auburn, then got on a tiny road and zoomed back east. The road got smaller and the views got more stunning, and after an hour or so we were on a Theoretical Road carved into a mountain, headed up to Robinson Flat. There may have been some dude named Robinson at one point but it sure as hell wasn’t flat!

Not flat, but pretty like WOAH.
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Here’s one for EG:
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We got swank press parking by some huge logs. Yes, they were the biggest logs I’ve ever seen. Yes, I got pictures of me standing by them, looking really dorky in really comfortable clothes. Hey Ma!

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On the way up to RF, when I had a half a bar of cell signal, the realtor called and asked if we could meet him at 1? LOL, of course. I yelled to call G, then lost the call. Managed to get out a few texts telling G that if he’d sign to accept the counteroffer, then put it in our Dropbox, I could sign and fax it back that night in Auburn.

We had an hour or so to wait in RF. I wandered around and boggled at everything. That’s also the point where I realized how HARD it is to crew Tevis. I think most rides the crew has to work really hard to not punch the rider for being a bitch, but at Tevis you have to drive literally hundreds of miles, drag gear miles in carts, clean up, AND not punch the bitchy rider.

Awesome hay bag

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Tevis

Tevis is almost indescribable. I’ve followed it for years – read all the ride/crew stories, watched the videos, etc. But the actual camps – the sheer scale of this ride – was just amazing.

We drove up Friday to Robie Park, which is totally isolated and stunningly beautiful. Checked out all the vendors and got a free syringe of (local!) elytes. Found most of our blog friends – I still don’t know where Mel hid her camp – and settled in to watch the vetting.

Here’s Merri:
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And Zach:
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And some guys from some horse racing HDTV channel – I really want to find out who they were and watch the show!
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Here’s C, somebody I didn’t know, and Karen Chaton:
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Karen’s Bo is a metrosexual. He is confident in his masculinity.
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Jonni at Trot On Hank was adamant that I not take a picture of her, but she graciously allowed me to photograph Hank’s water scoop! (Anybody else, if you don’t want your picture online for some reason, let me know and I’ll take it down.)
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Susan Garlinghouse leased a horse to do Tevis and it didn’t vet in – how sad for her. :(

I met Kirt and Chad from Renegade and had a long, awesome conversation with Kirt. I thought he had a great observation about high/low in front feet. I’ve noticed that almost all horses have it to a degree – usually it’s very slight. And the high heel foot usually rests under the horse, while the low heel foot is slightly extended. He hypothesizes it’s because so many of our horses don’t graze for their food – a horse can stand like it “prefers” to eat hay, then keep standing that way all day while it hangs out. Horses that are grazing naturally alternate which foot is slightly extended. Makes sense.

He is all in favor of conditioning barefoot. Reminded me that an occasional bobble on rocks (not continuous limping!) is the horse’s way of protecting itself from a bruise. (Here’s the primal tie-in: if you’re running barefoot or in those VFF’s, you’ll bobble on sharp rocks too.) That made me feel better about training bare on our rockier trails.

Now this is how you go horse camping in a van. It’s got a winch! And a pop up top and sturdy mud tires and it may be the only van I’ve ever seen that I really wanted.
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This is a grey paint that made me think of Endurance Granny and Phebes:
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We left before the RM and went to Truckee and feasted on Mexican. Then we camped for the night in a little park a couple miles from the highway 89 crossing. We slept pretty good in the back of the SUV, and 5:30 came soon enough.

We got down to the highway crossing about 10 minutes before the riders started to come through. The morning was barely chilly. Just dim enough that I couldn’t get still photos without flash, so I ended up shooting video clips of almost all the riders as they came up the embankment by the road. The horses all looked great and were still fresh.

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No more malaise! Verboten!

Please, someone, remind me to RIDE THE DAMN HORSE the next time I get all bummed about “having goals” or whatever ridiculous nonsense overcame me. Dixie is a not a horse to let sit, and she had about three weeks too long off.

I just had a ridiculously bouncy spooky hot ride on a ridiculously fit beast. At this rate, she is so doing the 50 at Comstock in early October. That idiot spooked every twenty feet at something, anything, for three miles, then when we finally turned for home she cantered or racked the three miles back without stopping. And she wasn’t remotely tired. The horse needs riding.

Anyway.

Inspections on the probable house start next week. Still gonna talk about Tevis, I promise.