As the weekend approached there were lots of weather warnings for an unseasonal storm forecast to hit Friday night and last over the weekend that would bring snow, not usual this early in fall, even at that elevation in the Cascades. Rain? Absolutely normal, but the cold temperatures that accompanied this system meant snow.
|Sign reads: Loup Loup Pass Elevation 4020 ft|
We were about to turn and climb a little more to get to ride camp
|My homemade panels get a second use!|
Once most of our camp site was set up, Cortney and I set out to stretch our legs on the trail and do the initial trail out of camp. Both horses were confident and sassy. The fall colors were brilliant against the evergreens. We weren't the only ones out riding either.
For those unfamiliar, there was a split from AERC and EDRA was born out of that division. There is a history there that I watched unfold from Michigan. The folks I met have been absolutely stellar.
As we left the lodge, it started raining. And gradually, near 9pm, that rain turned to snow. I was planning on camping in my trailer again like I did in Michigan, but the siren song of a heated camper, even if it was a shared bed with Trudy, was too strong to resist, and I moved a blanket and pillow in, along with all my clothes, relishing in the warmth. I was able to sleep in a camisole and leggings, rather than my typical bajillion layers that assure warm sleep in freezing weather.
|Everyone was blanketed. Gwyn had a wool cooler beneath the rain sheet and was waiting impatiently for more hay from Cortney|
We bundled up and headed to the lodge where coffee and small breakfast items were available for everyone. Then we got the bad news.
One of the volunteers had gone out to scout the trail to the first set of water troughs, about 5 miles in, on ATV. He had not returned yet, which did not bode well. As the meeting progressed he did come back. There were downed trees everywhere due to snow weight, trail markers were gone, pulled down again from snow, and all hazards were no longer identifiable as they had been marked with lime...
The ATV was struggling on the trails. Ride managers determined that the trail was challenging enough without snow, and now the rescue vehicle that would be used to get emergency personnel out in the event of an emergency couldn't get out? The folks who regularly ride the trails were getting lost and couldn't find the trail?
Nope, not happening. They were so safety conscious this whole time, and incredibly transparent and open about the issues being discussed. They already suspected that plans were going to change because we weren't required to pay up front. We would pay, and they would record, only what we would have ridden. So if the 50s could only do 30, they would only pay for 30 if the ride managers had to shorten it.
Posted by ride management:
What a difference 24 hours makes. Terry James, ride manager, had to make the hard decision to cancel Ride the Loup. He was up at 1:30 am checking trails—it had been gorgeous all week and we were all hoping the forecast of snow would hold off. However, when it became apparent that emergency vehicles could not get up trails in case of a wreck, when trees were breaking under the weight of snow, and horses were snowballing walking through camp— it was obvious. Still hard. Terry is bummed and wants to thank everyone— volunteers, vets and riders and their horses— for being hopeful we could ride this one out. On the upside—- stay tuned for some awesome snow photos from Dave Honan!
|May 2012: Still hilarious, miss that barn though...|
|I love how happy Gwyn looks|
|Gwyn and Amira used to live with each other. Amira was Gwyn's first Washington friend. They remember each other. <3|
I followed Cortney down the mountain and we stopped at a fruit stand near Chelan (FRESH picked honeycrisp apples!) Then I continued on Hwy 2, while Cortney continued south to i-90. We were worried about the pass I'd be taking as it was higher elevation, but the roads were clear by the time I hit the pass (1:30pm ish)
|Leavenworth, the Bavarian always a holiday town|
|Coming up to Steven's Pass, a similar elevation to Ride the Loup|
|Snow and wet, steep roads|