Friday, December 31, 2010
One thing I have learned is people say "I hope you find happiness in the New Year." Well I don't think you find happiness, it's a choice you make. Happiness is what you live & create.
Of course, my happiest place is on a horse in the wilderness some place. I got to ride a LOT this year. HOORAY! For the first time Thunder & I went to Oregon for a couple rides. That led to my number one goal for the year, to ride a 100. The first I'd done in several years. We had so much fun we did two! We did all 5 days of Canyonlands multi-day & Thunder felt good enough for a couple more days! That was truly awesome & left me wanting more!
And another first, I rode with my grandaughter McKenzie. I hope we get to do it again. Dad & Karen came to visit and we all went up to the mine, another first. The girls had more fun trying to catch tadpoles than anything!
Of course everything wasn't a success and life isn't always wonderful, but I take the good & I'm thankful for it.
So I look forward to spring 2011 when I can return to some good rides! I hope everyone has something they enjoy doing & go enjoy! Count your blessings & be thanful!
Live it up in 2011!
Monday, November 1, 2010
The assault on the wagon train of forty-four emigrants led by Elijah P. Utter resulted in the deaths of six men, two women, and three children. Indian casualties were estimated at between 25 and 30. Survivors followed the Snake River to near the mouth of the OwyheeRiver. When rescued by the Army 40 days later, only fifteen had survived the ordeal of hunger and deprivation. This sign is posted on Hwy 78 near Wees Rd. It's an amazing story!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Zap thought most of it was silly, afterall he is 27 this year. He preferred to keep eating that lush grass while Thunder & Blue ran circles around him.
Scarlet sneaking up on the inside of her mother, Hollie, trying to steal the lead. And she did. She might be little but she is quick!
Brother and sister having some fun. I think it's interesting how these two have joined up again after years of being apart.
Another lap around the field with Hollie out in front. She cheated and cut the corner, enjoying the run!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I was pleased Blue could give his rider, Leonard Liesens of Belgium, his first look at the Oregon Trail! Leo thought that was pretty cool! There were a few pulls the first day but nothing serious and we were all happy to see camp! The horses vetted through without any trouble and we had a completion for day 1 before 2 PM!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
The ride camp is on Oscar Baumhoff’s property on the banks of Henry Creek, a mining hot bed in the 1860’s. This has been home to the ride since 1996. The ride was first held in 1976, when camp was near one of the old barns at the Old Idaho Penitentiary in Boise, which closed in 1973. I first rode it in 1979, and we took a tour of the old prison which is now a museum and all the houses have since been restored.
“What an odd place for a ride?” is perhaps what you are pondering, and you might be thinking that I misspelled the name too. The ride name, Old Selam, is no mistake. Selam was a cart horse used at the prison. In his day he was a fine carriage and riding horse. But in 1901 the aging grey gelding was used as an escape vehicle; not once but twice!
On Christmas Eve in 1901, "Bob" Meeks, a member of the Butch Cassidy gang, was working around the hog pens in the prison complex when he unhitched Selam from the wagon and literally headed for the hills! Trackers found the harness Meeks cut from Selam and also where Meeks had gotten off Selam and walked alongside him as they climbed the steep hillsides. Meeks was re-captured on Christmas Day, and both he and Selam were returned to the prison.
The second escape was on December 30, 1901. As the lights in the prison began to dim that morning, an investigation showed that trustee Sam Bruner was not at his duty station in the power plant. A check of the prison revealed that Old Selam, as well as a saddle and bridle, were missing. The sheriff’s posse never caught Sam or Selam, who together made a rare and successful escape from the penitentiary.
Over the years I have ridden this ride about ten times on several different horses, usually a 50 miler but also as a 2-day 100 in 1980 on Sunny Spots R. The ride was darn tough as we left the old prison and traveled up the Boise Front, and it was easy to see why it was a 2-day 100 and not a one-day. The first day we had gorgeous warm weather and the next it was cold and raining! about ten years ago Andi & I rode it together and Steve Bradley's photo of us made the cover of AERC News.
Two day rides have gained popularity here in Idaho. The last few years the club that puts on the ride, Southwest Trail and Distance Rides (SWIT&DR), has taken advantage of the holiday weekend and provided riders with two days of trails! I had planned on riding the second day, just like last year, so I didn’t have to take any time off work or fight holiday traffic on Labor Day weekend. I tripped upon the post on Facebook to enter Easyboots free entry contest, and I was fortunate to be chosen. Thank-you Easyboot!!!!!
I drove up the winding mountain road to ride camp Saturday morning so I could volunteer and help with pulsing or whatever was needed. I arrived, set up camp, and then 50 mile horses were coming in off of loop 2. Taking pulses in vet checks is always a great learning experience and a good way to meet new riders. Awards and a tasty potluck dinner took place after the ride, followed by the ride meeting of all these many colored ribbons and loops which always confuses me! There would be a big reader board at the timers to help everyone know which loop was what combination of colors.
Sunday morning, Sept 5, it was MY turn to ride. I was so excited. Yes I still get excited after all these years and miles because I just love to ride. I had my chestnut, Z Summer Thunder ready to go. Amanda Washington was riding my other horse, Z Blue Lightening. It isn’t often I get both horses out at once and I was thankful Amanda had wanted a horse to ride. She loves Blue and he was long overdue for a ride! Both horses were outfitted in Easyboot Gloves on all four barefoot hooves.
The first loop started uphill, which was a great way to settle the boys down and make them work. They needed to get their minds off tricks and spooks. The 20 mile loop traveled around the hills, through the woods with beautiful open vistas of the vast countryside. Lots of ups and downs, some over 5000 feet elevation and camp was near 4100 feet. The footing was fantastic over old soft logging roads and pine needle covered trails. Back in camp for a vet check and a 45 minute hold. Thunder had a 52 pulse and Blue had a 48 so yeah, we were riding hard! HAHA! I kept saying, I’m saving it for the Owyhee Canyonlands 5-day.
The second loop was harder but we had many crossings of Grimes, Clear and Henry Creeks. The banks of which had piles of rock from dredging out gold ore in the old days. But the water was so perfectly clear! I looked but didn’t see any gold nuggets.
The horses had many opportunities to drink and soak their Glove covered hooves in the cold mountain creeks! This loop seemed endless as we’d climb up, drop down to a creek, then climb up again. The narrow trails made the horses think and watch their footing. But it was so beautiful that it was pretty hard to complain. The dirt roads sparkled with “fools gold” or micah, aka pyrite, which must have driven the miners absolutely nuts! One section of trail traveled through an old water flume built in the 1860's.
The last loop was 10 miles that was described as “Just some hill at first then flat.” Well I had to chuckle about that because I know that flat ground in this country is pretty rare. The little roller coaster loop also had some motorcycle moguls that slowed us down some. But like the other two loops, it was challenging and gorgeous.
I’m not sure where we finished, it didn’t matter because we had FUN! The boys looked great and our time was 6:50. The Gloves hadn’t given us any trouble at all, they never do. There were several other “booters” out there on both days. Easyboot had donated several pairs of Gloves that were awarded for Best Condition or High Vet Score both days.
One of the finer things about this ride was not one single horse needed to be treated. Everyone took good care of their horses and the veterinarians did a wonderful
job. To say a great time was had by all is a huge understatement. I guess you just have to come ride it for yourself and experience Old Selam!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Really? You riding a Flamingo?
No but there are flamingos in camp.
Well is it a bunch of Florida transplants having an endurance ride?
No but there are a few dressed up like flamingos.
Are you herding Flamingo's?
The Pink Flamingo Classic is a great fundraiser for Breast Cancer, via an endurance ride and fantastic raffle. There are awards for the best decorated campsites and the best costumed flamingo rider too. The ride takes place in the hills near Cascade, ID., south of McCall. A sign at the edge of camp reads "Release your inner Flamingo!" I've ridden it the last two years but only one day. This year - I really wanted to ride both days. It wasn't a two-day 100 but in my mind it had to be a 2-day 100. That way, I was committed to both days unless something came up to really stop me. In order to be successful I had to keep my horse sound and healthy AND not get off trail.
The first day I rode with Carrie on the horse she bought from my daughter. Kinda strange traveling alongside the horse that Al had only wanted to see Andi ride before he died. A dream that never happened, and I found myself hoping he was watching his horse go down the trail. Thunder and Crusty trotted along well together and Carrie and I were having a good ride. The trails were beautiful, the footing was great and it was a gorgeous day. Only her easyboot that she put on was twisted and the cable too tight and it was pinching Crusty's heel bulb. So she cut the cable, and rode him barefoot the last loop.
I went on ahead and rode with Layne and Jenny. Almost missed a turn, thanks Layne, she put me back on course. This was the first time I'd ridden with Layne on Harley, who happens to be Thunder's only son. Harley is the chestnut who's head is in the feed tub in the picture. Harley really trots out, spooks and is as silly as his dad! Amanda was just leaving the creek as we arrived, and she decided to wait for us. Good thing too or she would have missed the great kodak moment of Harley laying down in the creek with Layne. Oh that was so funny we laughed all the rest of the way in! Layne had one wet shoe and one dry shoe when we all crossed the finish line!
Day 2, my horse looks great so I ride out with Bob Lund. I wanted to go a bit slower than our 6 1/2 hr time for day 1. Bob's horse is tall and has a huge stride but he wanted to slow down and we had a good day. I missed a couple turns but never went far, just not watching close enough I guess because they were marked! Somehow the hills didn't seem quite as long on day 2 and again the footing was great. The creeks and water stops were so nice, and the little lake was gorgeous. We finished the second day in 7 hrs and 50 min so I was pleased with that. Thunder looked great and his Easyboot Gloves hadn't budged a bit.
The woods are so cool and lovely that I really didn't want to head back down to the valley in the heat. An extra day would have been so nice but I had to work Monday to support my endurance habit. :-) However, I will go back to Cascade and ride the Pink Flamingo next year!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Hmmm, so I have a loooong way to go yet!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
This ride was a long time coming. It wasn't just a matter of getting in shape and doing it, there were so many hurdles jumped to get there.
Wrecks! Injuries. In 2006 I fell down the bus steps and broke my tailbone, blew three discs in my back and missed a whole year of endurance riding. I was lucky to ride at all during late summer but had two patient friends in Carol Brand and Karen Steenhof while I rode Rushcreek Hollie. A year later i felt that I was doing well enough to start riding Hollie's son Thunder. I took him on one 50 miler but the trotting and such was just tough on me. We did finish though and I stuck with trail riding. Then the day before my birthday, Thunder spooked, bolted, I came off when he skidded on the gravel road and that was the end of that ride, and any rides for awhile. Broken ribs, punctured lung, concussion, lost horse for 6 days, great friends out searching for him, oh my gosh what a nightmare.
I learned that I will never ride in a bosal again, a one rein stop doesn't work in a true emergency in wide open spaces and I also learned the horse when panicked is totally unpredictable. I also learned what superb friends I have as they worked so hard to recover my horse which is a story in itself.
As I healed up I started riding Hollie again and Thunder went to my friend Joe Nebeker for some "remedial learning". And no more hackamore, I told Joe "I want a bit in that sucker's mouth!" You know, until that day when he spooked and bolted, he was not a spooky horse. Obnoxious and bucky yes but he was not spooky. Now he is still spooky. Joe rode him on cattle and a couple endurance rides. I had people telling me to never ride him again (even though I was) and that I needed to sell him because he was going to get me hurt. I started to believe them and was going to sell him, but couldn't actually do it to my dream horse. I had bred and raised this horse and had a special conncetion with him from the moment he was born. No I had to keep him and get through this. I had a few friends encouraging me and I am so glad they did.
Thunder is never easy. He "allows" me to sit on his back and he takes me places. We bargain and reach compromises as we go along. He likes to play games and push my buttons, just like a playful boy child. But as he matures he is getting better all the time. Four days in the Sawtooth Mountains really built our teamwork. We crossed talus slopes, granite fields, traversed narrow trails so high they scared me till I was tremebling, rapid white water streams all while looking at some of the most gorgeous God's country I had ever seen.
It took a lot of time, prayers and courage but Thunder and I gradually worked it all out. Miles of trails, time spent riding alone, plus endurance rides here and there pushed us towards the ultimate goal. A 100 miler. Amidst all this I was still strengthening the weak back and working my way into shape again. Of course old bodies don't just keep healing, there are always set backs and you just have to deal with them.
With that 100 mile in goal in mind, we started with Tough Sucker 50, the Owyhee Spring 60, a week later we did Prineville 75. The 75 kicked my butt. I was tired and hurting but Thunder had been a very eager beaver the first 25 miles, just bouncing me everywhere. But I was still determined to do the 100 at Oreana. My daughter was convinced her mother was crazy when I said "I have to do it - to see if I still can."
Well we all know that we did do the ride and I had a blast. The trail was fantastic, the scenery gorgeous, the challenges were there but doable. And I felt good. I'm back!!! And it's great. Life is a journey. I'm glad I didn't run from it and chicken out, riding a shorter distance. I'm glad I stuck with the horse that nearly killed me because I kept telling people he wasn't a bad horse, we just had a bad day. The best things we do in life aren't easy, that's what makes them the best.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Our 40 mile vet check was in Celebration Park along the banks of the Snake River. It was warming up and when we arrived there had been four horses pulled. Nothing like hearing that news to place fear in your heart! But we vetted through with A's and would be allowed to retrace our steps back to the Ranch after an hour rest. Thunder never stopped eating the whole time, what a hoover! But it is one of the things that makes him such a strong horse.
As we backtracked to the ranch we saw a few things we'd missed the first time. The trail passed by the remnants of an old rock homestead cabin. From another point across the river stood the Halvorson Cabin across the river, also built of rocks. From this angle we also spotted more rocks with petroglyphs. A couple rattle snakes greeted us after we had climbed back up out of the gorge getting closer to the ranch.
Back at the ranch we had 65 miles down, 15 to go back to Oreana. We were still having a blast and vetted through at Oreana just after 8 PM. We had our 50 minutes rest and eat time and hit the trail again at 8:58. Twenty miles was all that lay between us and that special completion of our 100 mile goal. We trotted until it got pitch black dark and we hit a spot where we had trouble finding trail. We had to use our lights to find the trail. I learnt that for some reason a map just doesn't look right by flashlight when you're a bit tired. And then it was so dark, the lights had messed up what little night vision we had, so we just kept the lights on. We'd jog here and there, walk in other places where we weren't sure of the footing. And because we slowed down, we got passed! Oh well, no matter, we were having fun and doing what we wanted to do, finish on happy healthy horses.
As it got a bit later the horses just picked up a really fast walk, occasionally we would trot but mostly we just used that fast walk. The glowsticks were now plentiful and it was easy to find the trail. The full moon was starting to peak over the horizon but it wasn't giving us much light with the clouds. As we rode along the backside of the hill above camp we could see all the lights at Teeters were on. Just like Motel 6. As we got close someone yelled "Riders coming!" And yes we were the last two survivors. Just as we rounded the corner about 200 yards from the timers Thunder & I heard a rattler and he bolted. I was sitting loose and the reins were swinging but I got him reeled in about 100 yards later. Ah yes - excitement!
The vet, Robert Washington checked Thunder over and he looked great to finish and and we had now completed his first 100!! WOOHOO!! Lynn's horse vetted through with flying colors too and they had their first 100 also! What a great day!!! 1:04 AM, just over 19 hrs elapsed time and just under 16 hrs riding time when you subtracted the timed holds! Wow that is respectable. 16 started and 10 completed. Time to take care of the horse and hit the sack for some well deserved rest!
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Back to camp for an hour hold that was shortened to 45 min thanks to the cold wind and the hailstorm that we'd missed. Good timing! Loop 2 was 21 miles and we hit portions of the Oregon Trail and the horses had lots of grass to eat. Blue was just sure we were going to be out there forever and he was in a hurry to get going. Some places had nothing to tie marking ribbons to - and Steph hung ribbon from a cow skeleton - yeah that's Idaho! After another 45 minute hold we had a 15 mile loop. Great trail and beautiful views of the Owyhees. One snowy mountain top would have blue sky, and another would be covered in a storm. Then we could see camp - and we were done!! And it started to sleet just as we were trying to get horses vetted and unsaddled. The horses were buried in blankets to keep warm.
Regina had barbecued pulled pork sandwich fixings and cole slaw for everyone and the rancher's shop gave us a warm place for dinner!! What a great ride and fun day!! Then I loaded up the boys to get them out of the wind, and headed for home.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
1. No bugs. They can't fly in the wind either evidently.
2. Your garbage blows into the next county - or state out here. However, I have more neighbors trash hanging in my fence so this is not a good thing!
3. Dry clothes. Heck no clothes - they blew away!
4. The corral is clean of all debris if you get my drift. Manure happens and blows away!
5. New hairstyle - the "windblown" look. Oh c'mon, snicker just a little.
6. You could fly a kite but you better have an anchor or you may just go with the kite!
7. No fog! No mud either because it all dried up! Oh wait that's two things!
8. If it's fall you won't have to rake the leaves because they are gone!
9. If you owned a wind turbine you could generate electricity! Make a fortune!
10. Set sail with your boat or hang glider and let your destination be a surprise!!!
However, why can't it just blow the hair off that shedding horse so I don't have to brush him??