What a glorious day!! Clear, bright, 60's, warm -- the perfect day for Team Virginia to host a 27 mile "Ride to the River" from Flora Hillman's Auriga Farm, over the Blue Ridge to the Shenandoah River, and back... at least half of the trail following the original trail of the Old Dominion when it was held in Loudoun County 30 years ago.
Team members Larry and Kathy Tumblin, and friends April Dobson and Mary Ann Wates (a former OD board member) arrived at around 10:30 to park in my spacious front field. Amid the unloading of eager horses and greetings all around plus general "endurance folk chatter", all five of us set off around 11:30 across the gorgeous wide hayfields towards the Blue Ridge 5 miles to the west. We had a bit of a halting start -- Kathy and Larry's easy boots didn't want to stay on, so they both eventually just attached the boots to their saddles and rode barefoot the whole way. Happily, the 27 mile route is mostly grassy byways and gravel roads -- no rocky trails or hard footing.
At the 4.5 mile point we passed the ancient remains of William Littleton's barn and house. William lived at the base of the mountain prior to 1850, and now only the standing chimney remains as a reminder to a pre-war era now long gone, but still remembered.