Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2014 Big Horn 100 - Roxi Welling

12 July 2014

Three for three at Big Horn 100 and increasing our time each year!!!

Hope Misner, Sondra Roberts, and myself left Thursday morning for Shell, WY to meet up with Teresa Johnston and Rod Johnston. Hope was riding GDE Sweete Legacy (Tulip), Sondra was aboard her horse Shareef, Teresa on the mighty Nickel and I rode big Al (Alamo CA). Rod was the poor man in charge of crewing for us all . After a yummy dinner and super informative ride meeting we were off to bed. Ah yes, this is also when i think Andy Brown told me he'd be passing me at the slick rock again! Past two years he's off and running by me on the dreaded slick rock!, To the slick rock before dark was our motto this year!!!

Start time is 4am for the lucky 100 milers. I believe there were 28 of us starting. So excited to see the enrollment growing!!

The morning was exciting! A great controlled start up the road to out turn in the gate to start up the mountain. Trails were marked incredibly with lights then as the sun came up ribbons. Up, up, up to the first check. Spectacular views!!! Fields of gorgeous wildflowers! Fabulous company with my girls and best buddy Teresa! I guess rain made it tricky for crews to get into the first check and Rod was nervous about making it to the next one so Paschal E Karl was kind enough to let us pile crew stuff for 4 horses and riders on top of Hannah Pruss stuff - THANKS! Then Rod dropped the truck at the base of the hill and caught a ride up. The roads dried out enough that he was able to go ahead and bring our truck up. So grateful for his crewing!

I had gotten altitude sickness for the first time ever (embarrassing being an Oregon raised girl) and Rod took fantastic care of ALL the horses. Keeping them fed and legs cooled and all us crazy ladies hydrated. Be careful Rod - great crew is always asked back.

At this point Suzy Hayes and her group snuck past us. We caught her and i teased her that finally!! I passed her at The Big Big-Horn Rides. Of course that was short lived as they chugged past as on the climb. Next time Suzy!! This was the Shag-Nasty loop. 25 miles of beautiful mountain lakes, gorgeous rock sculptures and great river crossings.

Four hours or more later we return to the vet check. Teresa said one loop left! We can do it!! I swear if she hadn't been there (my mentor) I would have quit, I was so ill with that stupid altitude sickness. But never say QUUT!!! If Teresa with 7 knee surgeries and a knee replacement can ride Big Horn after just traveling to Alaska, California, doing a 35 mile bike race then flying to Big Horn can do it then by goodness I can suck it up!!! To the slick rock before dark!!!!

Last 25 miles we go!!! Down down down down up down around a corner to the dreaded slick rock before dark!!!! We did it!!! Off the horses we jump to navigate the rock.....not so dreaded anymore...what seemed like 6 miles in the dark is maybe a half mile in the daylight with only a couple tricky places.

Farther down the trail and into a point was the most spectacular sunset. The reds and oranges were amazing! As we are traveling on down coming up the road was a great sight. The man with water for horses. So odd to see this truck creeping up the road stopping to give water. Perfect timing! Then down we go to cross the highway where we met Rod for more horse goodies. The last 6 miles to camp! Up another climb then along the ridge and down following fabulous marker lights to the highway crossing and up to the road to camp. About a mile or mile and a half to the finish line!!!

Just as we slow to walk across the concrete bridge Teresa looks back and says Oh CRAP! Someone is coming. RUN!! My instant thought was its ANDY and BILL!! "Don't run across the concrete" i yell! We get across the bridge and take off!!! Teresa says ok slow down they arent chasing then she yells again yes they are!!! We all take off!!! Im yelling RUN HOPEE RUN!! Crap!! Here they come! Through the corners, to the straight! RUN HOPEE RUN!! Andy's coming up beside me! Gooooo Alamo!!! Across the finish line!!!

CRAP!!!! Stop Alamo WHOAAAA. So exciting to have so much horse left in all 3 of my horses!

Spectacular company, horsemen, trails, ride management. thanks Big Horn Rides for a third time of pure fun and excitement!

Oh! The breakfast was perfect!!! And we love our photo and top 10 horse coolers!!! Already have the buckle! Maybe next year Suzy I will pass you and maybe next year Andy and Bill you will get us on the slick rock .

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