Klickitat Trek is the ride that hooked me on distance riding and every year I think I like it even more.
Michelle and I headed over to Glenwood, Wa on Friday morning and arrived in camp about 2pm. The horses hauled well and we got them settled in pretty quickly. There was a ton of good green grass around the campsites outside of the rodeo grounds so we spent about 30 minutes letting the boys stuff their faces and wander around before we went over to check in.
By 3pm we had made our way over to the vet-in area and both horses vetted in great. Now it was just a matter of time until we could hit those wonderful trails again!
We caught up with Glen and Flo who were doing their first ride of the season and visited with them a bit then decided it might be wise to saddle up and do a little pre-ride ride. I was feeling a little anxious about Cartman being pretty wound up, but he was calm and well behaved under saddle.
The ponderosa pine forest has got to be my all time favorite. I absolutely love the smell and you can actually see through a lot of the treed areas, there is not as much undergrowth as we have over on this side of the mountains.
We rode for about 45 minutes and then headed back to camp. My goal was to have all my tack ready and packed and outcheck bagged packed and ready to take over when we went to the ride meeting. I also wanted to fit in some dinner and of course I also needed some time to fuss over my horse a little!
It was a lot warmer over on this side of the mountains than it had been in Castle Rock but I decided to put on Cartman's light sheet just in case it got cool over night. I was so glad I did....
After ride meeting we pretty much went back to the trailer and crashed- we were surprised to find out that our start time was 6:15am! Wow, I think Mt. Adams was like 8 or 8:30. The last time I checked my clock it was 9:30pm. Camp was amazingly quiet and I fell right asleep.
About 11:58 I woke up to Cartman fussing on the hi-tie. I decided to go out for a quick check to make sure he had hay left. Everything was fine- both horses has water and hay so I went back in intending to fall right back to sleep.
A few minutes later I thought I saw head lights sweeping across the ceiling of the trailer, then heard a loud rumbling noise.... It was thunder and lightening. The light show continued, getting closer and closer for about an hour, then the rain started.
It sounded like a hail storm inside that aluminum trailer. The rain just pounded and pounded the roof. I was very glad that we were not in a tent. I love thunderstorms and hadn't heard a really good one in about 10 years, so part of me was really enjoying it. The horses were very calm and just turned their butts to the rain.
I kept checking my watch, very aware that 4:30am was coming up pretty quickly. The last time I checked the rain had stopped and it was about 2am.
All those early morning work outs must be resetting my internal clock because I woke up before my 4:30 alarm went off! I jumped up, changed into my riding clothes and from then until 6:15 it was pretty much a blur. I drank a protein shake but completely forgot to eat the Jimmy Dean sausage that I brought for breakfast.
We did manage to boil some water and have a bit of warm coffee this ride. Much better than the cold Via shaken up in a water bottle that I made myself drink at Mt. Adams!
The horses were awesome going to the start, they just ambled through camp and we were on the trail before I knew it! Yeah!!!
|my one photo from the trail, bad blogger.|
Cartman enjoyed having his buddy along this ride. He settled right into a nice forward trot and didn't offer any of the bouncing and hopping behavior he exhibited briefly after the start at Mt. Adams.
He was however pretty strong and wanted to GO!
We leapfrogged a bit and were passed by several groups of riders before settling into a nice little bubble.
The trail was perfect. The rain had left a lot of water on branches of the trees but had also watered the trail so there was less dust than there has been in previous years. We were flying, Cartman was leaning into the corners and I think he was having a really good time winding around the single track trail.
I did notice distinctly on this ride that he is once again wanting to go fast downhill. Score one for the new saddle! I let him trot down some of the shallower downhill sections when I could see the footing was clear of rocks.
We did quite a bit of climbing on this first loop, not steep but a gradual up up up. It was also fairly humid, although it thankfully was not hot!
About 8:30 we cruised into the vet check and it was busy! Both horses pulsed down quickly but the vet line was pretty long. In hopes it might clear out a bit we decided to let the boys have their beet pulp and grain snack and some hay before going to the vet. This was a mistake. By the time we had both untacked, fed, and waited in the porta potty line we only had about 5 minutes until our out time.
The vet line was still long so we just had to suck it up and wait. We were supposed to be out at 9:07 but didn't leave until 9:22. Its a good thing I'm not racing because this is a chronic problem for me! Late again. Sigh.
Cartman hadn't drank yet, and didn't really drink at the vet check either. He managed all A's with one A- on gut sounds. After getting a B on gut sounds at Mt. Adams I made a special point to stop several times in the first loop and let him eat for about 5 minutes. It's hard to do this sometimes because invariably you start hearing people riding behind you coming up and you want to go on... At least I do. I so want to maintain that bubble!
Anyway, Michelle and I let the boys graze and it payed off at the check.
Shortly after heading out on the second loop C was in total slo-mo.... I kept having to almost push him, not something I'm used to at all. We'd probably gone a mile or so when he finally stopped for a potty break, whew. Immediately after he was right back to normal.
Finally C got thirst and drank and drank at one of the water crossings. He much prefers this running water to trough water.
We'd run into some groups of riders on the 50 going in the opposite direction by this time and had been passed and had done some passing. We settled in behind several members of the Nunn family and I decided that this was a good place to be. Its interesting to me when I get to ride behind and observe experienced long term endurance riders.
Pacing is something I definitely need to learn more about. I kind of struggle with this a bit. Cartman has a pretty fast trot. He was wanting to cruise about 10 miles an hour. Tucker would break to canter when C. hit that gear but C. would only canter if I asked him to do it, and when he does canter he gets going really fast. With his big stride it can feel too fast on the trail.
Both our horses have learned and remember these trails. When we got about 2 miles from camp they were pulling and wanting to go like they did at the beginning of the ride!
We dismounted at the edge of camp and walked into the vet check. Cartman pulsed right down as did Tucker and we walked right over and vetted in.
What a great ride:)
We were done before 11am and had all afternoon to relax, eat, walk, and grazed. Oh, and socialize!
|we love our recliners|
|I gave C a spounge bath, resulting in the zebra effect|
|part of ride camp|
On Friday afternoon we had been talking about the Klickitat sweatshirts. Everyone loves the sweatshirts that ride manager Marilyn Milestone gives every year for completion awards. I mentioned that I hoped to get one this year and that I really hoped some year to get a black one!
What a great surprise to see that this years sweatshirts were black, with red lettering! I LOVE it!!!!