Monday, February 19, 2018

The Way Back Machine: Mount Spokane Endurance Ride, September 2014: PART 1

There was a question about your first endurance ride on the Green Bean page and while I documented this on my old journal back in the day, 1. it's not public and 2. photobucket is poopy and none of the images can be seen embedded in the post anymore because of their new third party hosting rules.

But I pay for extra storage on google so to this blog I go! The entry will be posted in its entirety here along with probably more pictures than I put in the original entry, LOL.

So here we go. Cue up the Doctor Who theme and jump in the way back machine!

Day 0 - Thursday

I sent Kaylee to the babysitter as usual and went to the barn to pack up my stuff. Trudy arrived to pick up Gwyn and we took her to Duvall for a sleepover. I had to go home to get all my clothes packed, then I came back to sleep over as well. It was hilarious having Gwyn deal with being in a pasture with a cow and a bull. She didn't know what to think. 

Day 1 - Friday

We got up early to feed horses and pack up everything onto the truck and trailer. It was rainy, that barely raining drizzle that's so typical of fall out here. There were five people working on packing everything up and it didn't take long. 

Gwyn was an idiot loading but once on was fine. The other three horses loaded just fine, with Splendid riding next to Gwyn and Snoopy and Tiger behind them. We stopped for breakfast before we hit the pass. The trip through the pass itself was nice and smooth. Despite being the start of the holiday weekend we were taking a less used route east over the Cascades. 

Steven's Pass

Recent wildfires in Leavenworth

Eastern Washington is flat. And boring. Once you're over the Cascades you have a bit of apple orchards and then it's just wheat as far as the eye can see with the occasional boulder the size of a house that got dropped during the last glacial period. 
Apple Orchards in Wenatchee!

Note: All of these photos were taken from the window of a moving truck, lol.

Giant, and I mean GIANT, rock.

The tiny towns we stopped in for bathroom breaks or just drove slowly through were pretty though!

But there was a lot of this.

And this.


We reached Spokane around 3:30 and headed north of the city to just climb up up up Mount Spokane. The temperature dropped significantly from the base, it was cool and windy, but pleasant, when we arrived. Our spot that we had reserved next to the friends Cortney was meeting was taken, which was frustrating. We ended up setting up camp a quarter mile down the road, which meant we had to hike up for ride meeting and vet checks and ride start. Thankfully they had set up water by us and we had pit toilets, which were definitely better than the portapotties up at the main camp. In the end, our camp ended up being so spread out we wouldn't have fit into the spot reserved anyway. 

Driving out into the mountains again.

Camp. The camper is actually the one thing that's level. Our camp was entirely on a sloped surface. L-R Jack, Tiger, Snoopy, Splendid, Gwyn.
 I signed up for the 15 mile trail ride on Saturday and had to vet in, even though there was no competitive component to the trail ride. Gwyn got all As except for one B on wounds because she and Splendid apparently had it out the night before figuring out who was boss mare. We're still not sure who won.
Cortney and Splendid vetting in

Intro/Trail riders got letters

Competitors got numbers

Our first vet card!

The ride meeting was good, if boring and confusing. This was the first time the ride was being put on, so there was definitely an element of confusion and lack of organization. I have no other ride to compare to, but I was told constantly that it could be way better. 

We were meeting Cortney's riding partner, Randy. His horse, Asaad, colic'd the day they arrived and the vets that were there gave him banamine. AERC rules state that a horse cannot compete for 96 hours after receiving banamine so he wasn't able to participate in the 25s on Saturday and Sunday like he wanted. He was there with Shari and Brent, who were riding Blackjack and Diablo. Randy also had his younger horse, Major, who Cortney was planning to ride in the trail ride after her 25 on Saturday. 

Back at camp we had burgers and the rest of our group arrived. So there was me, Cortney, Cortney's siblings Jack and Alexis, their mom and dad, Trudy and Bill, and Cortney's husband, who were all camping. For the evening, we also had their family friends who live in the area join us for dinner. 

Gwyn settled well into horse camping with pvc pipe pen wrapped with electric tape. I got the bed in the camper that used to be the dining area. Trudy and Bill had the actual bed. Everyone else was in a tent. 

Day 2 - Saturday
Getting ready for the start.

Totally chill camper pro horse now and then!

I woke up early with Cortney and Trudy. Trudy made homemade egg mcmuffins while Cortney and I took care of the horses. We trudged up the hill and sent Cortney off with Shari and Brent on their first leg of the 25, the 10 mile loop. The 10 mile, while short, was very technical and had lots of steep climb. 

I miss this lady.

The derp still makes me giggle when I see this.

Cortney and Splendid already a mile or so in on the first loop, with the lovely backdrop of our bathrooms we used, lol
 While she was out, I picked out the pens and refilled waters back at camp. Then as more people woke up, we headed back up to the main camp in anticipation of riders returning for their 45 min hold. 
At the first hold.

Splendid is weird. She was itching her teats.
 On the trot out with the vet, Splendid was lame. Cortney was really disappointed. The Vet said he found a splint below her ankle but we were seeing lameness on the opposite leg. It was weird, but she was definitely off at the trot and VERY confused when she didn't go back out. Poor horse, loves endurance. 


And because my internet is ridiculously slow uploading all this imagery, I'm gonna call it there for tonight so I can go to sleep.

Part 2 tomorrow. When I ride!


  1. That is really nice to hear. thank you for the update and good luck.

  2. First rides are so memorable. I know I'll never forget my first endurance ride.

    1. For all that I didn't know and went wrong and did wrong, I'm definitely hooked now and forever! I'm also really grateful that my new region is just as welcoming and lovely as the people there were!

  3. what a shame about Splendid coming up lame, but it sounds like so far it was a pretty great experience for you guys!

    1. Yeah. That ride set off a very long period of time figuring out the root cause. Splendid has gone on to complete a few 50s and is still competing in the PNW region with Cortney!