July Quicksilver Quips

President's Message - July 2001

There is no president's message this month because Diane is on a trip to  China. So we will just fill in her page with news on next month's meeting

Our Wednesday, July 11th Meeting will be at the home of  former Quicksilver President, Steve Lenheim.
The guest speaker will be Rebekah F. Witter who has become well known for her two books Living With HorsePower! and  Winning With HorsePower! Rebekah entered the horse world at age 40 after a 22 year career as an interior designer. Her emphasis is on what we can learn from horses, rather than what we can teach them. To collect her information she has interviewed an exceptional group of horse persons from all the different disciplines, including our own Becky Hart.

 Steve lives off of Almaden Road at 19201 Barnes Rd.   The Board Meeting will be at 6:30 and the General Meeting  and speaker  at 7 p.m.
 
 

   July 2001

       July    7           SWANTON PACIFIC  75/100
         Barbara McCrary 831-423- 4572

      July 11   QUICKSILVER MEETING
Steve lives off of Almaden Road at 19201 Barnes Rd.
The guest speaker will be Rebekah F. Witter who has become well known for her two books Living With     HorsePower! and  Winning With HorsePower! Rebekah entered the horse world at age 40 after a 22 year career as an interior designer. Her emphasis is on what we can learn from horses, rather than what we can teach them. To collect her information she has interviewed an exceptional group of horse persons from all the different disciplines, including our own Becky Hart.

       July 14         RED ROCK RIDE   30/50
         Carol Hoeft  775-969-3351

       July  21        GOLD COUNTRY  30/50
         Cheryl Holbrook  530-272-9222

       July  28       FIREWORKS  RIDE   25/50
         Elizabeth Maitoza  831-763-7885

       July 28        MORGAN  SPRINGS  50/100
         Sarah Seward  530-268-2209
 

         JUNE MINUTES

  We would like to extend a hearty Thank You to George Hilliard of Arizona, our guest speaker at the June 6th QSER meeting.  The meeting kicked off with a potluck and hot dog roast at Bob and Julie Suhr's beautiful ranch in Scotts Valley (no formal board or general meeting was held).  It was a lovely evening, and we would like to thank Julie and Bob for their gracious hospitality.

  Mr. Hilliard gave a lively talk in which he shared some excerpts from his new book, titled "How Far, How Fast, Horse Tracks Across America," which chronicles long or unusual horseback rides from  colonial days through modern endurance trials. He also shared some stories of his experiences working in the cattle business for 25 years as a ranch hand and then as part-owner and operator of ranches in New Mexico and Colorado. He had several rather amusing anecdotes which reminded us of how differently they dealt with horses on ranches years back. It was a real eye opener. I was especially amused at how "brushes and currycombs were foreign objects on the
ranch," and was surprised at the idea that cowboys would  sew  together a couple of burlap feedbags and use them as a saddle pad.  Julie had one of those in her tack room, and she brought it out to show us.  I really wonder what George must think of those $200 Supracor pads!

 Perhaps my favorite of George's anecdotes was about a young man who got the rankest horse on the cowboy string.  After getting pitched off three times straight, the young cowboy unsaddled, threw his tack down, and said "What this horse needs is a good leavin' alone, and I'm just cowboy enough to do it!"  Haven't we all felt like doing that  sometimes?

 George also asked us questions about endurance riding and how it compares to his use of horses back in his ranching days.  It was a very entertaining and enlightening talk, and a good time was had by all.  Based on the talk, I think that George Hilliard's book will be interesting reading, and I look forward to reading it when it is published.

  Many thanks to the Hilliards and the Suhrs!
               Respectfully submitted,
                                                   Jackie Davidson
 

This note from Quicksilver member Elisabet Hiatt who makes an annual trek to Marin County with some special friends  for a campout and some good riding.

So sorry I missed the meeting last night. We went camping on Sunday with the horses to Point Reyes and had a marvelous time, but didn't get home until Weds afternoon, had to unpack and catch up with all my stuff, and I just didn't have the energy.  Hope it was good, would love to hear about it if anyone took notes and wants to write about it...

Point Reyes was absolutely gorgeous, and the full moon just added to its beauty. We were very fortunate with the weather, it was warm but not too hot during the day , and the nights were chilly enough to appreciate a campfire and a warm sleeping bag.  The trails are great, looks like they've been doing some maintenance since last year.

All the horses did great, but I'm particularly proud of Solo, who was a trooper. We went on a 3 mile gallop on a flat, extra wide trail  (called the Coast Trail) that just begged for it, and it was soooo much fun! part of it was parallel to the ocean and it's just hard to describe the feeling of galloping along on a relaxed horse on a beautiful day on such a gorgeous place...

I'm sure you probably know what I'm talking about! ha.

      Take care,  Elisabet

JUST A CITY GIRL, IN THE COUNTRY

Oh, the drama and trauma of it all….  As several members, riding partners, and former horse owners (Maryben) know, my family, including, my spouse Larry, the 11-year-old greyhound (Waggin’), the 11-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback (Ari), and the smartest horse in the world (Mocha) have all moved up to the Grass Valley area.  The physical move itself, believe it or not, occurred without much drama.  This is due in part to the help of former QSER member (or maybe still a member) Judy Haulman, who moved Mocha up to Foresthill about a week before the rest of us moved up.  This alleviated my fear, or should I say, postponed my fear, of trailering my horse on the freeway for the first time.  It also gave me a little bit of time to find permanent living quarters for Mocha.

Foresthill is about an hour's drive from where we are living temporarily, while our permanent house is being built.  The day after we arrived in Grass Valley, I drove out to Foresthill to check on Mocha to see how he was doing.  Pointless, of course, because he was thrilled to death with his new living arrangements, _ acre pasture all to himself, and Obie right next door to run the fence line with.  After living in pasture with about 20 other horses for awhile, he thought food for himself was a pretty cool idea, eating whenever he felt like it without having to “hoover” it down for fear somebody else might take it away.  He could care less if I ever showed up again, and, of course, Judy was taking wonderful care of him.

For the first week and a half, I was unable to finalize Mocha's living arrangements, so I was over a Judy's several times, and riding new trails.  Although it may be boring to most of you hardcore, endurance riders, Mocha and I rode part of the Tevis trail for the very first time.  The nostalgia of it all was enchanting.  Since then, I have also run portions of the trail from the finish in Auburn backwards, equally enchanting, thinking of those Western States runners, especially Marvin.

Well, the time finally came that I not only had to trailer Mocha on the freeway, but I also had to take him up some pretty big hills, especially the last climb from Foresthill before you reach the freeway.  Although, my Jeep Grand Cherokee chugged up those hills at 40 to 45 miles an hour, I will probably be getting that big truck sometime soon!   The drive went relatively well, except for the squirrel in the middle of the freeway that is now roadkill.  Normally, I swerve to avoid even the most detestable rodents, but I figured that would be inappropriate for Mr. Mocha Brown.

Mocha's new home is in the pasture next door to the house site that we are building on.  So he will be there for the rest of his life, and it's a darn good thing.  Because I learned that moving a horse twice in three weeks can be rather challenging.  Leaving Obie was hard enough, now he has to share a pasture with 28-year-old Pokey and a pregnant mare, Amoure.  Amoure and Pokey hung on to each other like glue, and were not about to let Mocha into their confidence.  Until…..Well, I was assured that Amoure was not due to foal until late June or July, and I show up one afternoon and the two geldings are attached at the hip and the Amoure is standing by herself over the hill at the other end of the pasture.

No, I didn't figure out what was going on, but I thought it was terrific that Mocha was finally accepted by his new pasture mates.  So Mocha and Pokey come to me, only for carrots and apples, of course, and then Mocha, the smartest horse in the world, takes off at a full gallop to the other side of the pasture.  Duh, I still don't get it.  He comes flying back to me, stares at me and then runs off again.  It was the third time he did this before I figured it out.  Give me a break, what the heck do I know about babies, after all I have none, I have only been horse riding for four years, and this mare was not due to foal until late June or July,… yeah right.

So the light bulb goes on, and I go flying across the pasture to the mare.  I can see the foal lying on the ground next to Amoure and I start to panic that something is wrong.  Then I get a little closer, and at least can see the foal is breathing.  The mare was more than willing to let me get close, so I did, and the foal lifted her head, but still didn't get up.  I had no clue if anything was wrong, or if I needed to do anything.  Naturally, nobody was around, I don't know any vets, and I didn't have my neighbors work phone number.  By the time I haltered up Mocha and Pokey to get them away from the mare who was doing her darnedest to protect the foal, the foal was finally able to stand, and I gave a big sigh of relief.  Still unsure of what to do, I brought some hay over to the mare and hung out nearby for a while.  I waited for her to nurse the foal, and then headed up to the house to wait with Mocha and Pokey.

When my neighbor arrived home, temporary living arrangements were made, and the foal and mare are healthy.  The two boys are very curious and miss being next to Amoure.

The next adventure, was trying to get Mocha, into the trailer to go for a ride.  No laughing, Ken!  He was so traumatized by moving twice in three weeks, that he thought I was putting him in the trailer to move him yet again.   He's been back in the trailer several times now, but I don't think he quite trusts me yet.

Mocha's figuring it out pretty well about now.  My 11-year-old dogs, on the other hand, are not fairing so well.  We have stairs for the first time, and it's treacherous on Ari’s arthritis.  Being in the country means there's nearby hunting and shooting, and Waggin’ is flipped out most of the time from the noise, including hopping the fence and disappearing; thank heaven for identification tags, and telephone forwarding messages.  The heat and the foxtails have also been brutal on them both.

As for me, I'm loving it.  I had forgotten how wonderful it is to go to work in your underwear.  Oops, it may be time to close, that may be more information then you need.

Take care all, keep in touch, and please call for a ride when you are in the area.  Or, if you want to come and stay just to go riding with us, that's OK too.  Mocha and I need lot's of riding buddies.  We miss you!

Cheryl Domnitch, Soon to be a country girl….
12793 Sierra Vista Drive
Grass Valley, CA  95945
530-273-5668
530-273-5612 fax
cdefpe@aol.com
 

DIABLO VISTA 2001 25/50

  The Mt. Diablo ride has a lot of nice things going for it - it's close to home - only 75 minutes to get there - and it certainly has a different ridecamp.  We are parked inside an abandoned racetrack on the raceway looking out over lots of horse facilities.  Passing thru Livermore on the way -there were huge horse facilities and it seems as almost everyone here rides.  But not endurance - I see hunter/jumper places, dressage, and show barns - right along big housing developments.

There are 99 entries - 75 in the 50 and 24 in the LD.  Corey Soltau goes over the route for us at the ride meeting as the sun sets over the hills.  It's cool now but he says that it's really going to be hot tomorrow.  There are 2 1/2 hours of holds in the 4 vet checks so the maximum ride time is only 9 1/2 hours.

QSER members at the ride include Lori Oleson, Kathy Mayeda, Mike Maul, Brian Reeves, Val Weizer, Tom Stutzman, Jan Jeffers, Mike Tracy, and Nancy Elliot. Brian and Val are selling T-shirts for the Pacific South and will not be riding on Saturday.

On ride day - it looks like nice but warm weather ahead.  The start is located 2.5 miles down a paved road at 6:30 but everyone including the LDs are supposed to get their numbers checked at 5:45 leaving ridecamp.
The start is at 6:30 for the 50s and 6:45 for the LDs.  There are 5 1/2 vets - one available for only part of the ride. Two vet checks are away -
and 2 plus the finish are at the starting point.

First - the statistics:  Lori Oleson and Flame did well -finishing 9th, Nancy Elliot in 15th,  Mike Maul/Thor in 22, Jan Jeffers/Cloud in 22, Kathy Webster in about 26th, and Mike Tracy in 31st.  Pulls included Kathy Mayeda and Tom Stutzman.  Dennis Rinde - part of the McCrary family -came in 3rd running about half the race on foot. Mike Tracys horse was among the oldest horse award with four there that were 18.

The 50 was won by Marcia Smith on Saamson in 5:20 and also took BC.  Other top ten finishers included
the Sullivan family with Godfrey/Blue Max in about 6th.  There were 56 finishers of the 75 starting with some horses needing treatment during or after the ride.  The day did turn out hot in the afternoon - Stockton had a record temperature for the day of 100 degrees compared to the old record of 98.  It was a tough ride due to the heat.

There were very nice views of Mt. Diablo - hence the name Diablo Vista probably. We were on many of the ridges around Diablo with high fields of wild grass and oats in the morning with very long slow rises and then ups and downs in rolling hills.  In the afternoon - we initially had shade but then we were out in the sun for long stretches with some steep hills up and down. The third vet check at Curry was a tough one - no shade at all and in the heat of the afternoon for many. Lots of cattle gates where the riders either got off to open or hoped a NATRC rider would come along and do it for them from their horse... :-) I really liked the feeling of riding upon the ridges with the wind early in the morning - seeing the waving grass around and being able to see the horizon way off in the distance.

There were still some wild flowers but the grass is almost brown now except where the tree shade protects it.  We saw wild turkeys and there was a large trap along the trail for something - pigs - turkeys?  The trail was very well marked and the banquet in the evening very well done as a catered Mexican dinner.

One sad thing to note - Cory said that this was the last year for the ride - he would not be putting it on next year.  I had heard that the ride has a history of something like 23 years so we are losing both Castle Rock and Mt. Diablo - each with a long history and tradition behind them.  Cory hoped that some other group would pick up the ride.  He gave away all of his inventory of completion awards at the end of the banquet.

I also met the amazing Kathy Campbell at this ride.  Kathy was there teaching her son the ropes so that he would be able to crew for her at the Pan Am ride in Vermont in August.  Kathy is the best crew I have ever seen.  She "adopted" many of the QSER riders - Lori, Mike, Jan, Gary Fend, plus others at all the vet checks. She had all sorts of drinks, fresh fruit, cold face cloths from the cooler, cheese, crackers, yogurt -   everything you could need or even think of. Plus  she  took your card - maneuvered you through the  vet checks, took your saddle when the horse had to be shown untacked, filled your water bottles...And if you were having a problem - she found a way to solve it - from inexperienced P&R staff to your horse not coming down at the third vet check - to "you have 3 full water bottles leaving this vet check - I expect to see them empty when I see you at the next vet check"...It was very nice to get this crew support on a tough ride - Thanks again Kathy!

And finally - my observations on the ride.

Sometimes we tend to take horses for granted - that they are just big pets that we spend so much on and we have a lot of enjoyable times with.  But occasionally I see something that reminds me to be careful too.  I spent sometime riding with the wife of one of the riders on this months cover of the Endurance News.  Sometime ago - he lost a discussion of who was boss with a young 5 year old.  He has 9 fractured ribs - some in multiple places, a broken collarbone, and a punctured lung.  He isn't back to riding yet...

Before the ride meeting - a group was sitting around talking about horses and the subject of ponies comes up.  One guy got a Shetland pony for his child and the stories of escapes, mad dashes on 680, trying to avoid telling the Animal Control Officer how it kept getting out...  I am really glad our full sized ones are not this smart.  Very funny stories though -a whole different view on horses.

Spring is going away - the grass is turning brown and the wildflowers are fading.  Spring is one of the seasons I like best here in California.  The green rolling hills and moderate temperatures turn into the "brown" season and hotter tougher rides.  But we have things like Tevis and Swanton Pacific to look forward to in the summer.

Cory and Shel - it was a great ride and I am sorry to see it disappear

      Mike Maul
 

And down the trail they go.....

Quicksilver is just so well represented on the XP 2001.  The gang that started in St. Joseph, Missouri is now somewhere in Nebraska  and going strong.  Trilby, Pat and Bob Verheul,  Steve and Michelle Shaw, Eric and Kathy Majors Thompson and former member Lynge Simoni, are all out there seeing our country from the back of a horse which we all know is head and shoulders better than any other way.   Now if you are wondering why I mentioned Kathy Thompsons middle name, there is a good reason   Her great-great-great grandfather was Russel Majors who founded the original Pony Express in 1860 so it is quite fitting that she be out there.  She hopes to ride Zane the entire distance.

Some of us are keeping up-to-date with their travels through ridecamp, but the news is not daily, but just sort of hit or miss when someone can find a modem hook-up. Karen Chaton and Debby Lyons are both doing some good reporting and it is easy to see that it has not all been easy.  Heavy, heavy rains have created mud and bogs in which both horses and support vehicles seem to get stuck. Humidity has been unusually high. Some riders who started with three horses to alternate, are already afoot...lost shoes and sore tendons from the heavy muddy going has taken its toll.  Of the 60 original riders, the attrition saw only 38 start on one day in the second week of rough going. It appears that the riders who take 10 to 11 hours for each day's 50 miles are faring better than those who are coming through in 7 or 8 hours. Support vehicle breakdowns have been numerous and the local garages and mechanics are kept busy. Trilby apparently lost a truck door to someone who swiped a little too closely.

We know our riders though.  They will come through. At last report, the Quicksilver rider doing the best was Pat Verheul who at the end of week two had not missed a day.      js
 

CAMP  FAR  WEST

    Quicksilver members Robert and Melissa Ribley did and outstanding job running the Camp Far West Ride.  As many of you recall, Tom Bowling had managed this ride for many years and it has always been well attended. Planning on the XP 2001 Tom, passed the managership over to Robert and Melissa, but his XP plans had an unwanted  change when a heart problem required a quintuple by-pass .  He is doing well.

Robert and Melissa, with Maryben as the efficient ride secretary, did a super job.  They made some minor changes in the trail, but some major changes with the vet stops.  Camp Far West has always had a straight one hour hold at the lunch break. Robert and Melissa changed this to a  gate into a  hold. I don't think anyone ever had to wait more than a couple of minutes to be vetted and there seemed to be no backups.  Everything ran incredibly smoothly.

The weather had been scorching the week before, but cooled down nicely for the ride with a gentle breeze keeping both riders and horses comfortable.  This was not just an AERC Ride, but also an IAHA  Region 3 Championship Ride.  Close to two hundred entries between the 25 milers and the 50 milers made for a lot of horses on the trail, but there did not seem to be any jam-ups that I observed. The camp ground is more than adequate to accommodate that many horses and people.

No trail can be more typically California than this trail.  Rolling oak studded hills with the hawks making lazy circles in the sky. The morning loop of 27 miles goes quickly. The shorter second  loop after the hour break takes a bit longer as there are more hills, but it is still a good first ride  for a horse or for one not in top condition.

Quicksilver was well represented.  We saw  some faces that we wished we saw more often--Karen Dockendorf  riding her old horse, “Hoggy”,   and Ervin and Ivy Quinn from Mariposa....Ervin on his big handsome black horse, Ebony Q. Marilyn Orlando riding Mountain Mist Mirage (see May QQ) picked up a plaque for their finish in the  IAHA  Ride.

Jeff Luternauer rode while sponsoring Vivian Beebe’s granddaughter,  Stephanie, who bounces down the trail with a smile as big as the great outdoors  through which she is riding.    What a wonderful opportunity for a young girl.  Steve Lenheim on Sorka finished early at 1 p.m.  so had plenty of time to visit as the afternoon wore on.  Ken Cook and Kruzyer cruised down the trail in the company of friend, Peggy and her Missouri Fox Trotter, White Cloud's Lucky Star.  Bob and Julie Suhr on Buddy and SV rode with their daughter, Barbara White who was doing her first 50 on her new horse, Rebecca.

Michele Shaw was part of the veterinarian crew.  Then she is off the  to the  XP, to work with the Duck in checking  the horses that will  be making the long trek from St. Joseph, Missouri to Carson City during the months of June and July.

       j.s.

Ft. Schellbourne 2001 XP
by Mike Maul

The Ft. Schellbourne 2001 XP was run by Ann Nicholson and her mother Lavone without Dave who is off running the XP 2001. It went off very well and was my first multiday ride.  I came away with an appreciation of how multidays are really different from our regular rides and certainly enjoyed the experience. Barney Fleming(AERC President) was the head vet with assistance from local veterinarians during the 5 days.

Members of the Quicksilver Endurance Club who attended the ride included Julie and Bob Suhr, Nancy Elliot, Jeff Luternauer and Stephanie Beebe, Jan Jeffers, Heather Bergantz, Maryben Stover, and Mike Maul. Of these - only Jan Jeffers rode all 5 days on the same horse(Cloud - owned by MB). Pat McKendry was there - not to ride but to enjoy the experience and help other riders.

First the statistics:    Starters/Finishers = S/F

                    Day 1   Day 2     Day 3    Day 4     Day 5
                    73/65    47/44    39/36      48/45     38/36
S.Beebe         35       38           --           24          32
H.Bergantz     L          1          15          28          18
N.Elliot            6         --
J.Jeffers        27        15          11          15           2         Overall BC and 2nd fastest time
J.Luternauer 34        37           --           23          31
M.Maul           26         --          13           --            1
Maryben        RO       --            --            --           --
B.Suhr           41        --            --            --
J.Suhr           40         --           20          20

Jan and Mike had an exceptionally exciting finish on the last day trying to keep the 3rd place finisher from beating them. It was much more exciting than either of them wanted.

The following will have information by day as the easiest way to present it.

Friday - June 8 - leaving San Jose with two trailers - Jan and MB driving up together.  Both stayed the night at Fernley, NV at the fairgrounds.  Nancy Elliot and Sandy Schuler stayed the night at the fairgrounds as well.

It's really nice that facilities like this are available for horse travelers.  You have water, corrals and a nice open level place for the trailers.  Fernley seems way out in the  middle of nowhere but when you look at the price of homes - a nice 3 bedroom starting at $89K - you understand part of the reason.  The winds were constantly blowing with dust but tapered off after sundown.

Every time we stopped for gas or diesel - drivers who were also transporting horses would come over and ask if we were headed for shows.  MB finally started answering -"yes - we are showing them Nevada".  There are lots of horses getting moved around today.

I noticed one really big difference between California and Nevada.  The truck lane is really bumpy in CA and pretty good in NV.  I was riding in the trailer living quarters trying to do work on my computer.  It was impossible to type or even read much on the California roads. I would guess highways are a  low priority in California. And it's a lot tougher on the horses back there than I expected from riding in the front.

Saturday - June 9 - Arrived early in the afternoon.  The ride is set up at the Ft. Schellbourne Pony Express station with a bar, motel, restaurant, and RV hookups. The ride has portable showers as well.  In the past apparently the ride went point to point but now does loops out of the basecamp every day.  Basecamp is at 6200 feet and some people noticed the difference in altitude right away.  Everyone seems to have either a nice horse trailer with living quarters, a mobile home, or a camper.  One trailer was almost 50 ft long.  Beautiful inside and probably costs more than many of the homes in the area.  There are riders from as far away as British Columbia and Iowa.

Sunday - June 10 - People meet old friends - and make new ones - get their gear ready for the Monday ride - go out on rides with their horses - vet in - all the things we do at normal rides.  But the atmosphere seems a lot more relaxed than our normal endurance rides.  We are in a valley surrounded by mountains on each side - not much snow visible now as it has been a dry year.  Some of the peaks go up to 10,000 feet and the sunsets are always beautiful.

The "geeks"  - Barney and I - are trying to download our e-mail from the phone at the bar.  The connection speed is sometimes 4800 getting to a high of 16.8K.  Barney has a lot of experience at this because he keeps on-line from the XP2001 and from everywhere he travels.  The lines are so bad that often we get disconnected in 2-5 minutes.

We have our first ride meeting and find out that many people doing this ride have done it before.  People keep coming back and back.  One person here has never done a 50...Attendance is down due to a number of multiday riders being at the XP 2001.  Last year - the starting group was 108 compared to this years 73.  We find out that there is only one vetcheck a day at lunch.  And that the evening finish is the check for the next day - with a trot-by on the way to the start for a final check in the morning. No vet cards and no numbers on your horse.  The vets and ride management quickly learn who everyone is.

The group of riders seem to be more focused on multidays.  I usually know a lot of the  50 miles riders but here - other than the QSER members and a few others - Cliff Lewis and Jackie Bumgardner - I don't see many people I know.

Lunches turn out to be a really nice feature of the rides each day.  Lavone provides all sorts of sandwiches, candybars, iced tea, gatorade at the lunch break.  I am used to my can of "Ensure Plus" for max calories at lunch but this is much much better...

Trails are marked but pretty explicit directions go with the maps for each day.  There are some really nice people running the bar and restaurant.  Buffet meals each night - certainly my style - include lemon chicken, BBQ ribs, steak, porkchops etc. on different nights.

Sunday also includes a group known as the Pony Express Riders dressed in bright red shirts and cowboy hats doing a re-enactment of the Pony Express Ride and carrying the "mail" for 2 miles.  They started in St. Joe and just by coincidence have the local portion for Ft. Schellbourne the day before we start our ride.

Barney has the scales out for those who want to check their horses weight during the week - and for those who can get their horses to stand on the scale at all...

Monday - June 11 - Day one of the ride.  All the days start at 7 AM except for one. The starts are a lot more relaxed than a normal 50.  No one seems to be racing at the start.  Lots of people start slow - knowing that this will be a long week if they want to ride all 5 days.  We start off down the valley on the flat heading toward the mountains.  About 6 miles into the ride - MB and Heather are riding together - Heather's horse comes up lame.  They go out to the highway and flag down the first person to come along.  It turns out to be the local vet who is on his way to the ride. MB decides to pull  as her horse Bandit has been tough to hold back and spending as much on sideways motion as forward motion.

After we leave the flat desert - we head up into the mountains where we see birches or aspens, wild flowers,  nice streams, and a very nice spot for lunch with lots  of grass for the horses.  We can see our starting point - Ft. Schellbourne - once in a while coming in and it always looks closer that it turns out to be.  Distances in the desert turn out to be pretty deceiving.  Once we get back on the flat - you can see dust clouds up ahead where other riders are heading in toward the finish.

Tuesday  June 12 - Heather took MBs Bandit and was first to finish. She decided not to let all that excess energy go anywhere other than  forward. Mike, Nancy, Bob and Julie and MB took the second day off. The wind was howling through camp the second day - ripping off trailer awnings, blowing up dust, some hail out on the trail, cold. I am seeing lots of easyboots - often all four feet.  There is certainly no mud out here to suck them off.  Waiting at the finish - you can see riders miles away by the "roostertail" of dust that follows them as they come in fast.

Day 2 or day 3 seemed to be the worst for rider muscles. By day 4 and 5 - riders seemed to have few problems.

Wednesday - Day 3 - The mountains have disappeared in something that looks very much like
snow.  Some sleet and snow starts appearing in camp.  Ann comes around and says there will be a ride meeting at 6:30 and we will decide where to ride today. Barney gives us a choice of hypothermia and getting lost in the mountains where the ride was planned for today or a flat ride in the valley west where we go out 25 miles and then come back the way we went out. We are promised the mountain ride back again on Thursday. It's about 50-50 so Barney again stresses the point that he hates to lose riders and so we decide to take the safer but more boring valley route where we trot for 50 miles... It turns out not that bad - most riders have not done this loop since 1995. We later find out that the reason for this is that this was the route that produced the most cases of scratches for the week in the past.

This loop has it's own beauty.  We ride through something that looks like snow on the ground but isn't.  It's some kind of alkali salt on the ground.  Another nice place  for lunch - always with lots of grass for the horses. The horizon seems close but it takes forever to get there.

Thursday - Day 4 - I'm off again - I had planned to do only 3 days - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Everyone still there is out but MB, me and Bob Suhr. The weather is better and the riders do the mountain loop that we had skipped on Wednesday.

Friday - Day 5 - This was the trail where we went up to 10,000 ft on the Ranger Trail. It's a long climb up to the top with a spectacular view once you get up there.  You can see far off into Utah - it almost seems like you should be able to see Colorado from there.  There are fields of Lupin and other wildflowers.  Some runners are tailing their horses all the way up while one rider - Jeff Johnson - who had intended to lead his untacked horse - is just running the whole distance because his horse couldn't go out.  He finishes ahead of 4 horses in the distance which I think had to be less than 50 miles but made up for it in the climb.  We saw one snowbank still there and more off on some other peaks.  This was the most spectacular of the days we rode.

At the final ride meeting - we find that 11 or 12 of the initial 73 starters made it all 5 days.  The best total time for the 5 days was a little over 30 hours and won by a Junior.  Jan Jeffers was second by just a few minutes but got the BC for the 5 day riders on Cloud - Marybens horse.

Driving back - we make it to California before Interstate 80 is closed due to a forest fire.  And when we hit the California roads - I could tell it right away.

Some thoughts on this ride:

Multidays really are different.  There is a lot more time to meet people and to make friends - and to get to know old friends better.  You have to be more careful with your horse - you cannot depend on 3 vetchecks in 50 miles to have the vet look at your horse.  Horses really do get stronger as the ride progresses.  It doesn't sound like that should happen but perhaps its because those riders who know they are going for 5 days - really take care of their horses.  It's also interesting that of the dozen or so riders who did all 5 days - only 2 were men.  Men were a considerably higher percentage on the total riders than that. I like not having   to worry about a vet card - but I still think the vets are very aware of how your horse is doing.

Appearances are deceiving sometimes.  On the first day - we passed a guy walking down hill leading his horse.  He wore jeans, had a vest, cowboy hat, and boots with some sort of heel.  His horse had 4 easy boots and a "funny" gait.  He was from Iowa.  I sort of pictured someone starting out in doing rides...  At the end of the day - I find out that it's Don Funk with his Spanish Mustang stallion who was top mileage rider in the 2000 season.  At the vetchecks - he just leaves his stallion with food and goes off sometimes. His stallion seems to understand "Stay".

The stars cover the sky in a way we never see in the city - there seem to be millions of them.   You can trace out the constellations and think about all the cowboys and frontiersmen- and women - who saw those same ones when they were building the towns and farms so many years ago.

There still is lots of history here.  We see abandoned mines - old farmhouses and cabins falling apart - and signs marking the XP trail.  If you try hard - you can imagine some young guy galloping along carrying the mail at $5 per oz. from 1860 to 1861.  That was an enormous amount of money then.  And then the telegraph came along and technology displaced another part of our heritage.

This is lonely country - not much happens here.  It's a major event when a semi carrying hogs goes off the road Tuesday.  Highway 50 back is described as "The loneliest road in America". We can see the road going straight to the horizon and no vehicles on it.  I see very few jet contrails all week.  This is one of my "I know I'm really away from civilization" measures.  But I couldn't live here - while Silicon Valley is one extreme - this is the other end of the spectrum.

Some people bring civilization with them.  I saw one table set up for dinner outside a trailer with a plaid tablecloth, wine glasses and red wine. It's a neat thing to do...

This is just a personal view but I see more guys with a "win or get pulled" philosophy - even some here.  There are a few women like this too but I think women bond more with their horses.

We read the posts from the XP 2001 at night and think of how much harder that is than this. We come back to the same spot every night - everything is set up -we can go eat at the restaurant.  And while doing 5 days is nice for a change -5 days for eight weeks and moving camp every night is really tough. For those riders and horses that make it through all eight weeks - you certainly have an accomplishment to be proud of.

Overall - I really enjoyed the multiday experience.  It's different and can lead to a different set of goals than we see in our 50s and 100s.

Ann, Lavone, Barney, and Linda - I certainly enjoyed the ride.  Next time - I will do all 5 days.

     Mike Maul
 

OREGON BECKONS QUICKSILVER
    by Jennifer Kurtzhall

This weekend a few crazy QSer members headed up to Bend, Oregon to compete in the Sun River Endurance ride, they included Lori Oleson, Becky Hart, Hugh and Gloria Vanderford, Brian Reeves, Val Weizer, Bing Voight, Michael Powers (wonder crew), and Jennifer Kurtzhall (hope I didn't forget anyone.) Everyone riding entered in the 100 except Bing who finished the 50 successfully on Spot in about 9 hours.

The ride is put on by the Pacific North Endurance team who did a fabulous job managing and marking the trail, one of the comments made was "Stevie Wonder couldn't get lost out there" and boy, they weren't joking, and you couldn't possibly ask for better footing. Base camp is located at Wenobe Snow Park a few miles from Mt. Bachelor which could be seen above the tree line (if you could rub  the dust out of your eyes long enough to get a peek) my one and only  complaint about this ride is the DUST, ride management had a water truck coming through camp everyday to help but it was a lost cause. I guess I should just get used to it since my next adventure will be Tevis which is notoriously dirty. Ride day started at 5 am for the 100 milers with temps in the high 30's. I had planned to eat dust in the morning but soon found that there are benefits to 30 degree temps, the frost keeps the dust down!!!  It didn't hurt any that there were only 22 entrees in the 100 miler. The 50 milers starting at 8 am had to deal with much worse dust I think, with 80 starting.

Of the 22 starting the 100 miler 13 finished, including QSer members; Lori Oleson in 4th, Becky Hart in 8th (i think) and myself in 13th.

Gloria was unfortunately pulled at 30 miles and Brian and Val had  some pretty bad luck throughout. First, at the 14 mile vet check Jazon Wonders' horse Ravi Das somehow got loose, spooked, and ran headlong into Brian, his horse Goofy, and at least a few other people, Brian described it as "human and horse bowling pins."

Unfortunately both horses took off in a panic leaving the vet check. Val, on horseback managed
to find Goofy after a while but Ravi was not found until much later that day. Both horses were apparently unharmed, and Brian and Val attempted to continue and try to finish but ran out of time.

The course was a fifty mile loop repeated, returning to camp just once halfway through. Footing was the best, with patches of green grass all along the trail which my horse Tucker learned to eat on the move, the first 30 miles mostly flat and downhill and the remaining 20 a little more challenging with a few hundred feet worth of climb. A pretty good choice for mine and my horses first 100. Ride times were pretty fast, even as slow as I was going we finished around 12:30 am. Temps in the afternoon couldn't have been higher than 70's. This is the kind of ride where your horse will hardly break a sweat at a slow to moderate pace.

  It was (as usual) nice to get out of the Bay Area for the weekend. The people were friendly and talkative, the scenery was beautiful (no smog) and the food was very good in the town of Bend. All in all a very good ride.
Now, to get ready for Tevis. It makes my stomach flop around just thinking about it!!!
see ya on the trail,

               Jennifer Kurtzhall & Nantucket Wa

   Jan Jeffers would like people to use the following e-mail address for her.   sleeeker@garlic.com

 Steubben Siegfried, 17 " seat, all purpose/hunt saddle made in Switzerland. Fantastic condition! $800 & Buyer pays shipping. For more info contact Linda Cowles, kadence@ix.netcom.com or 408-267-7758
 

This from our La Honda Member Dom Freeman

Hi All,
  I will be moving to the Agilent Spin-off. The new contact information will be:
  Dominique Freeman, D. Phil., CTO
 Pelikan Technologies Inc.
 299 Old County Road, Unit 27,
 San Carlos CA 94070
 Phone: (As of June 5th)
     (650) 594-4235 (direct line)
     (650) 594-4239 (FAX)
 My home number and home fax will remain the  same   (650) 747-0131 (Home)
  (650) 747-9392 (Home business line)
   (650) 747-9333 (FAX)
    e-mail...             dom.freeman@pelikantechnologies.com

MISS IZZIE

Nancy Elliot submitted this poem that was written by her friend Kate who rides one of Nancy's horses.  Nancy says” “Anyone who knows Izzy will certainly relate!”  As a former Izzy owner, I can relate,  and others who have not been aboard, but have seen her on the trail, will also understand!  Izzy very simply, like Frank Sinatra, does it “her way.”    js
 

Isabella's walk swings and sways
 When Isabella comes out to play.
Izzy swings and sways her own way anywhere
 Some call her trashy, I call her classy
Don't try to slow Miss Izzy down
 She'll toss her head high and side step around.
Izzy grooves and swings her own way anywhere
 She'll take you on a ride to the Sierra Highs
She'll strut on down to the valley floor
 She'll strut her stuff back around the block
But with a bat of her lashes and a toss of her mane,
 She'll stop in midstride and say
   “NO MORE;   Let's go home
 

Our thanks to Linda Cowles for the following...

On the first day of creation, God created the  Horse.
On the second day, God created Man to serve the Horse.
On  the third day, God created all the animals of the earth to spook the Horse  when Man was upon his back.
On the fourth day, God created an honest  day's work so that man could labor to pay for the keeping of the  Horse.
On the fifth day, God created the grasses in the field so that  Horse could eat and man could toil and cleanup after the Horse.
On  the sixth day, God created veterinary science to keep the Horse healthy and  Man broke.
On the seventh day, God rested and said "This is good. This  will teach Man humility, it will tire him out and keep him striving ever forward to meet the needs of the Horse."

THIS OLD GELDING  By Elizabeth Nice

 This is my old gelding
 Whose show ring days are done
 My walls are overcrowded
 With the ribbons he has won

 He is old and shaggy now
 Where once he was so fine
 He bears odd looks from passing folk
 With head held high as mine

 This gelding you see standing here
 Means more than you'll ever know
 He's so much more important
 Than ribbons from a show

 For this old fuzzy gelding
 Whose beauty I can see
 Is a good companion
 Together we are free

He's borne my odd assortment
 Of different kinds of tack
 English, western, sidesaddle
 Even harness on his back

 He'll cart so many children
 You can't see him for their legs
 Bearing his charges carefully
 And walking as on eggs

 Yes, my old gelding is homely
 And it's true your horse is fine
 Yours might still be lovely
 But I wouldn't trade for mine

 He's a special kind of horse
 My geriatric friend
 And he'll give joy to many
 Till the Lord calls him again.
                     contributed by Maryben

A Horse's Epitaph
 by Robert Lowe

 Soft lies the turf on those who find their rest
 Beneath our common mother's ample breast,
 Unstained by meanness, avarice or pride;
 They never cheated, and they never lied;
 They ne'er intrigued a rival to dispose;
 They ran, but never betted on the race;
 Content with harmless sport and simple food,
 Boundless in faith and love and gratitude;
 Happy the man, if there be any such -
 Of whom his epitaph can say as much.
 
 
 

Published by the Quicksilver Endurance Riders Inc.
P.O. Box 71, New Almaden, CA 95042
Julie Suhr, Editor TEL and FAX 831-335-5933
e-mail  marinera@aol.com