Monday, March 1, 2010

Twenty Mule Team Ride Story Part 1

Okay, the forecast for the ride was rain. I live in the desert, rain in the desert means a little drizzle in winter or a cloudsburst for a couple of minutes then sun. Well, all I can say is Thank God we spent a day working on water crossings.

We left LV at 9am Friday, so we could get in early, vet-in and check out the trail. At this point I still wasn't sure what saddle or stirrups I was going to use. The old Stonewall I got was painful to ride in, but that was what I had been using and I felt pretty secure in it. The other endurance saddle I had was more comfortable, but that's the one I was using when I fell, so I was superstitious. Robin just laughed at me, 'just keep your heels down and you won't fall'. I knew that 's what I was supposed to do, but it was hard making my body do it after not riding for a few years. This became the constant reminder in the ride,"Heels down!". I went with the more comfortable saddle and I'm glad now.

After the ride meeting, Robin decided we needed a bottle of wine. I was checking out lables, but she went for big and cheap. We got a little silly, I guess, because the the sixty-five miler camped next to us kept coming out to see what was bothering her horse. Some horses haven't been desensitized to cackling women, apparently. I don't remember what we thought was so funny; maybe it was the realization that the forecast was rain, and I hadn't packed rain-gear. I live in the desert; I don't own rain-gear. Did I mention, I was nervous? I didn't sleep. Around 2 am, the rain started. I finally dozed off for about an hour. I dreamt I was in the bathtub and the water was spilling onto the floor. I woke up when I heard Robin stir. She said 'I just dreamed of Michael Flatley'; I said, 'You mean River Dance?'. The rain kept on. I got up to watch the 100 milers leave at 6am and the 65 milers followed a half-hour later in the grey light and drizzle, Next, it was our turn.

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