Or, Part One of this year’s Epic Crewing Adventure.
My Tevis experience lasted a full week this time. The fun started last Tuesday when I flew up to Sacremento. Fellow crew member, friend, and rider-I’ve-crewed-in-the-past Lucy picked me up at the airport and we made our way back to “Tevis Low Camp” — aka Lucy’s place. It was the gathering place of the week, with, at various points, up to seven people (plus a dog and a parrot) all crammed under one roof.
Wednesday was the start of some good fun, as Kaity wanted to do one last ride from the Finish to No Hands Bridge and back. I borrowed Lucy’s pone Roo, and we trailered him and Kaity’s Kody over to Auburn. We’d gotten a late morning start, so it was a bit warm, but a lot of the trail is under shade trees, so it was never really too bad, temperature-wise.
I’d hiked the last 1/2-miler or so of the trail from the Fairgrounds before, and hiked from the Hwy 49 crossing to just past the waterfalls and back, so I’d seen parts of the trail, but never the full 49-to-Finish section. (All part of my long-term plan to see as much of the trail and experience as much of The Ride as possible before riding it myself.)
|Heading out from the Auburn Overlook|
I’d also, for curiosity and education’s sake, booted Roo in a full complement of Renegades. Not only has he been notoriously hard on boots in the past (he really torques with his hind hooves when he goes up hills), this section of trail has some “boot-eating” areas of water crossing + mud + uphill climb over rough terrain. It was very educational and I got to experience firsthand some of the challenges of why boots can come off it this type of terrain. (As I’m half-hanging off Roo’s side as he climbed up out of the Black Hole, watching his hind boots twist a little bit more with each step.) Finally experiencing the terrain firsthand gave me some great insight into the boot-hoof-trail relationship and have some ideas on how to work through some of these challenges in subsequent years.
|We remembered the helmet…and forgot the bridle.|
The pre-ride (8 miles or so?) was tons of fun. Roo, true to form, had to gawp suspiciously at all culverts, chalks lines, and large rocks, but he only gave one truly spectacular sideways Arab-teleport-maneuver spook, and he chose a nice, wide, safe area to do so.
|Back in to the Overlook. A bit hot, sweaty,
muddy, and hungry.
|I love little grey Arabians of the Al-Marah variety
(Roo is AM Ruwala Land)
|Look, Ma, no hands!|
Riding across No Hands was a blast. On the way out, I did a staged “no hands” photo op, and then we trotted across the bridge on the way back. (Even more fun!)