Saturday May 26 2007
Attention Frank Fan Club members! Attending the 3-day ride here in Oreana Idaho is Frank, the horse once owned by Wayne Newton (maybe) and his rider buddy Tom Noll. Their goal is not Tevis this year (“Frank’s about 17, and Tevis was a hard ride last year,” says Tom), but instead the AERC 100 mile Championship here in Oreana in August. Tom had gotten it in his head a few years ago that he wanted to do endurance, but he didn’t know how to ride. He bought Frank in 2002, and Frank taught Tom how to ride. Tom’s done most of his 2400+ miles on this horse that he obviously adores. He’s just a plain little brown bay, and he just keeps going and going down the trail, and he appears to love it. Frank has his own photo album from the ride under http://www.endurance.net/merri/Idaho/Oreana/Owyhee/Frank/index.html
A few trailers and horses started pulling in and squatting in Ridecamp at the ol’ Teeter Rancho on Thursday. Attendance for the holiday weekend ride was down, though that has been the case all over the Pacific Northwest lately. I expect gas prices have something to do with that.
13 riders started the 100 miler, and 6 riders started the 80 miler at 5:30 AM. The sky gets light about that time, and it’s still nice and cool. 42 started the 60 miler at 7 AM, including ride manager Steph, who just couldn’t stand it and had to ride her cool horse Rhett. She turned over day management of the ride to Diane and Tony Dan. John was kept busy early, racing out on the ATV to check the ribbons for the first 20 mile loop.
Riding in the 100 were, among others, Clydea Hastie, who with her husband Jim, drove up from Scottsdale. She brought two horses, one for Kevin Myers, who flew in from Scottsdale late Thursday night. Kevin brought his computer and set it up at the table with all the rest of our computers, so it was like old times in Arizona with everybody clacking away on the internet. Clydea was doing her first 100 in 11 years, and it had been 3 years since Kevin had done one. Neighbor Carol Brand was going to ride with them; she hadn’t done a hundred in 7 years.
Nance Worman started the 100 on her horse Big Sky Quinn, and planned to also do the 50 milers on Sunday and Monday on Jazzbo. She’s either a real endurance rider or a nutter!
Ham radio guys John and crew (and gals) set up at vet checks and number checks along the way. Their radio clubs do community service and help out often at the Teeter rides. They have a good time volunteering and camping out, and helped keep everything running smoothly.
The 100’s and 80’s first did a 20 mile loop back to camp for a 50 minute hold, then they took off on a 60 mile loop (that the 60’s did) headed north to the Snake River canyon and Petroglyphs.
I agreed on the bright idea to go out on the 4-wheeler and take pictures. The morning sun was just right and the Owyhee Front Range mountains and Hayden Peak to the west framed the riders as they climbed up on to the bluff flats above Bates Creek Canyon. Then I headed on to the Snake River, stopping and talking to Steve Bradley on the way, who’d gone out on his motorbike to catch the riders with his camera. He warned me about a sketchy place heading down into the canyon, which I was thankful for, because 4-wheelers scare me, or should I say, I scare myself on 4-wheelers. So I decided I wasn’t going to go that far. And turns out I didn’t even get that far before I rolled it. It was kind of like the Losing-The-Raven thing – I don’t know how it happened. Luckily I got ejected and luckily the ATV stopped rolling before it flipped once more on top of me.
Ever try to turn one of those things right side up? They’re damn heavy. I think I could only do it because I had so much adrenaline going through me I was still shaking. When I got it righted and started, I turned it right back around, drove up to the top of the little hill (still shaking), and walked down on foot, thank you very much, to take pictures. I was a little bruised and scraped and feeling a little sorry for myself until I realized it really was a Great Day, because I was sitting in this beautiful river canyon with ravens and kestrels and prairie falcons soaring above me, and I was not still laying on the trail underneath the ATV!
It got hot as the riders descended to the river and the breeze dissipated. And it turns out Carol Brand got so hot she had a heat stroke, and ended up pulling. She said “I took good care of my horse – she looked great – but I forgot to take care of me!” Hundred mile rides were easier when we were all younger!
By the time I finished my nerve-wracking ATV ride home (only nerve-wracking now because they REALLY scare me), I’d felt like I’d done a hundred miles on a horse. I’m supposed to ride a 50 on Quicksilver on Monday… I couldn’t lift my arm by the end of the day, but I’m sure I’ll be fine to ride!
5 of 6 riders finished the 80 miler, with Mell Hare finishing first, and 2nd place Ron Sproat getting BC.
First to finish the 100 in just over 10 hours was Christoph Schork on his mare Hanna CW, and he also got BC. As he would, since he was the only one who showed. 9 of the 13 starters finished, including Nance on Quinn, and Clydea and Kevin, who brought up the rear at about 2:30 AM. Of the 5 pulls in the 80 and 100, two were rider options and 3 were lamenesses.
32 of 42 finished the 60 miles, with Carrie Johnson coming in first, and 3rd place Carol Giles getting BC. Tom Noll and Frank finished very well in mid-pack, riding with Lynn White on Agnes. Three of the pulls were rider options.
A superb dinner was cooked up and served by Debra and Alan, who used to own the Blue Moon restaurant. Baked ham, potatoes, great salad, and rich cheesecake with whip cream for dessert – just what one needs after a hard day’s ride, on a horse or a flippin’ ATV!
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