Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Quilt

I started riding endurance in 1977, back in the day when they gave us trophies and buckles for our efforts. As things evolved the fashion became T-Shirts, and we all sported shirts that we had "won" from a variety of rides.

I wore a lot of those shirts out. But then I saw a quilt made from T shirts and thought, "Wow! What a cool idea!" I had to think about the shirts I'd use, which ones I'd cut up, which ones were too ragged, and then lay them out and decide what shirt I wanted next to each other. Wow! These weren't easy decisions.

I researched on different ways to make a quilt. I passed on the "patterns" because I thought, who needs a pattern, it's just a bunch of squares! Are you laughing now?

I'd get the stuff out on a cold winter day, play with it, toss it in the box and forget about it till another cold winter day. I cut some squares, sewed some strips of squares together, tossed it back in the box. Last winter I didn't do much with it, had too much work to do on this house. This winter I decided to get it out and work on it because it wasn't sewing itself.

I wanted a few more squares than what I had sewn up. So I went on the hunt. I found several good items that didn't quite fit but I wanted them anyway. The Owyhee scarf, the Horse Ridge blanket, and ROC. Hence - one row is a bit wider than the others. My logic, it's a quilt, things aren't supposed to match.

All these items hold many years of history, cherished memories and lots of good times with friends and family. Sometimes all three of us rode the rides together; other times just Andi and I. We had lots of fun and always came home with something new to add to our endurance treasure chest.

The Headwaters of The Rogue was a great ride, I have pictures of Sunny and I in the Rogue River from 1979. I'm not sure what year this shirt is from but I rode that ride many times on Sunny, Speedy and Zapped.

Pacific Crest - Andi and I rode it in the rain, it was a dark grey day and the photographer on the trail was using a flash. Of course I didn't know this until he clicked and Zap dashed out through the trees in a nano-second. My picture was blank cuz my horse had left! Andi's picture was just fine!

Purina Race Of Champions, I was number 32 in 1986 and rode Speedy that year with Al and Chollima. I'd started it twice before but this was my first year to finish. This ride was in Colorado and it was tough!

Some of the shirts are from my travels. Pacific North shirt was from Canada when I was Assistant Chef d'Quip, it rained and snowed and was a cold bugger but nice day for the ride!
The Cavalo Arabe came from my trip to Brazil when I traveled there in 1995 to do a seminar on endurance. What fun and I got to ride some nice horses there too!

The 1997 FEI North American Championship shirt is one I was commissioned to design. Unfortunately when the printers got the artwork, they left "my mark" off the logo, but at least I got credited for it in the program.

The Old Selam shirt is from 1999 maybe and I rode Zapped that year, but I also rode this ride in 1979 on Sunny when it started at the Old Penitentiary in Boise and the trail went right up the Boise Front.

Paulina Peak was a beautiful ride, a tough 100 and I rode it several times. My favorite year wasn't where I placed, it was seeing the full moon dancing on the water of Paulina Creek. I think we finished at 3 AM about the time the moon was going down amid the Fir trees.

Now the quilt still isn't finished. But it's getting close! The top has the batting and it all has to go with the backing. The back became a stumbling block that I pondered for a couple years, yes it had to be something special not just any piece of fabric. I decided on the cooler blanket from the Horse Ridge 100 in 1986. I raced in riding Speedy and never heard the end of that little match!

From top to bottom, front to back, this quilt tells all about my "endurance life". I think it will be a wonderful legacy for the grandaughters someday!