Wednesday, June 17 2015
Holly and Jeremy at the finish of their Steamworks 1/2 Marathin in Durango, CO.
Wow, what a trip so far. We left Florida on June 27th. We loaded up Honor, Errow, Fiddlin and King for our summer road trip. We drove straight thru to Jeremy and Ellen Olson's house in Iowa as our first destination. We were zombies on arrival as we had driven (we/Jeremy!) through the night.
It was fun to unload and relax with them. Mallory Caps was there hanging out for the summer with the Olsons so we got to see her too. That evening we had a relaxing BB-Q. The horses were happy, they were out in a grassy area. The next day Cassie Ackley and Annie Whelan arrived, it was fun spending time with all of these cheerful young riders.
Over the next several days we had a relaxing time in Iowa. We rode a few times and went to the Farmer's Market, the town of Gallena (where Jeremy bought the world's largest bag of kettle corn) and we went to JG Ranch and had dinner with Jan and Grace. We also saw Joe Mattingley while we were there. At JG Ranch the girls got to bottle feed a few calves too.
After something like 5 days we all loaded up for our trip to Ft Howes. The Olson's took 4 horses as well as us taking our four. The two trailers made the drive without any extra excitement. We made it into a two day trip. Very nice. The first day was about 8:30 hours. We stopped over night in SD at a horse hotel. The horses had large pens with a roof over part of it. We had plug ins for our trailers. We all went into town and had a nice dinner at a steakhouse. I like this kind of road trip.
It was as we were rolling into our layover destination that I realized that our good friend Christina Martin lived in SD, somewhere. I called her and thought it was worth a shot in case she lived nearby. It was determined that she lived about an hour away and that she would be passing through our town in the morning on the way to a meeting! So cool. We had a GREAT time at coffee the next morning at a grocery store before we hit the road and she went to work (It was a funny hang out. We were sitting on a bench at the front of the store, by the check out registers as it was the only seating). Very fun to see her, it had been WAY too long.
The second day of driving was a bit over 8 hours. On our way we picked up Jason Stasiuk who had been in Lori Schifflet's rig that had broken down :( Jason was good company and entertained us with some stories.
We arrived at camp in the late afternoon. We set up a very large electric corral for our guys to enjoy during the daytime and we would tie them at night. The horses all traveled well.
The next day we set up crew stuff and relaxed. We arrived on Wed as it was required that any horses trying out for the Pan Am team be there by then. We had several days to kill because of this. The races were Sat and Sun.
Jeremy and I went for seperate runs, after all he is training to run the Vermont 100 and I just wanted to do a normal, human run. I had planned to do about 2 miles but once I got out there the beauty was too much and I ended up doing 5. I kept stopping and taking my earbuds out to just look and listen to my surroundings. Just awesome.
The next few days were a nice relaxing mix of vetting the Pan Am hopeful, riding, visiting with friends (Kelsey and I even painted our nails!) and hanging out. Good times. Skip and Heather arrived on Friday to come help us with crewing, super cool. (On ride day we had a lot of help including Morgan and Misty and Sarah, thanks guys!!)
Also Bill did an amazing Steak BB-Q for us all on Friday night. YUM. The Amish were also present making fresh baked goods and hot donuts...the best donuts I've ever had. Krispie Cream has nothing on these.
On Saturday Jeremy and I rode the 2*-75 mile race. I was on Honor and he was on Errow. Unfortunately neither of us made it to the finish. Errow had been pulled for a subtle lameness which was quickly determined due to a large cut on his back leg. Honor made it just about 50 miles and he passed his vet check but he felt funny to me so I rider optioned. Oh well. Both were fine within 24 hours:)
Our consolation prize was going up to Bill and Jan's house to watch the final leg of the Triple Crown. Very cool to see that.
Another awesome Bill BB-Q that night. (I should add that Bill made ALL SORTS of food over the weekend. The breakfast sandwiches were crazy good. He also made lunches!) The weather was also spectacular. It was actually hot for Ft Howes. We didn't get hailed on or snowed on and we really didn't get too much rain either.
Sunday's race went much better for us, which was great because we were riding our two Tevis bound horses. Jeremy rode Fiddlin on the 100 and I rode King on the 55. King went through the 55 like a breeze. I trotted mostly as a training ride for Tevis. He won and got Best Condition and High Vet Score. NICE
Fiddlin was doing his first 100. The poor guy had to do a lot of the 100 alone. On the last loop Kelsey Russel and I went to the two out checks to cheer them on and give electrolytes and encouragement. Thanks Kelsey!!
Fiddlin won the 100 and also won Best Condition. We had a much better day for sure!
Both of our teams won the team competitions on Sunday. Overall it was a great ride, the weather, scenery, organization and people were all great. The Steven's do a spectacular job. Put this one on your bucket list if you haven't already.
On Monday we cleaned up camp and went to the awards and then headed down to Ft Collins. Tennessee Lane had invited us to layover at her place. It was about an 8 hour drive. Her place is very pretty! We had a great place to put our horses. We also had a great evening going in to town for dinner and drinks with Ten and her cousin Indy. Very fun time. Ft Collins is a really cool town too. Thank you Ten!!
The next day we hit the road for Durango. It was a long drive, about 8+ hours. When we arrived my parents were waiting with my sister, Holly to flag us down to pull into where Holly keeps her horses. (My parents had flown in earlier in the day.)
The horses had a great place to stay, once again. The grass is yummy in Colorado. Holly even fenced in a new area just for us. She rocks.
After the horses were all settled we drove up to the condo we were staying in with my parents. We had a relaxing family dinner that night. It was fun to see everyone. Thanks Mom and Dad for getting a place where we could all visit.
Over the next 6 days we did big hikes, watched movies, took care of the horses, played with our dogs (who loved hiking), went to the Pagosa Hot Springs and enjoyed all of the beautiful scenery.
It was really fun to have so much outside time with my husband, sister and parents. On our last day there Jeremy and Holly ran a half marathon. It was fun watching them. That last night we also had a great time visiting with the Ford family and having dinner with them and checking out their herd of awesome horses. Alyxx played us a song while she played her guitar, thanks Alyxx. Also thank you Garrett and Lisa.
The next morning by 4:10 am Jeremy and I were rolling with the four horses and three dogs. 16 hours later we rolled into the Shackelford's driveway in Lincoln California. Janet was so sweet. She had made us dinner and was there to help us unload, as well as Rachel and Brett Lain. Such a great family, we love you guys. Poncho was back to his home grounds too and was happy to see all of his old friends.
On Monday we ran a few errands and picked up hay for the horses. After that Jeremy glued on our Easyboot Glue Ons for the Lake Almanor race next weekend and he touched up King and Fiddlin's feet.
That evening we went to Sarah's (Rachel's sister) house for Rachel's birthday dinner. Sarah had a beautiful party set up with very delicious food prepared. Immediately after eating I took Jeremy to the airport. He took the red eye to Philly to go shoe the track horses at Marlynn Meadows. BUSY guy. No rest for the wicked;)
Now, as I type this, I am comfortably settled in at the Shackelford's house. Yesterday Rachel and I went on two rides, in two parks and then went to a third park and went for a run and swim with Poncho, followed by Taco Tuesday! We had awesome tacos:) Great times. I feel really lucky to have this time here.
See you at a race soon. Maybe Wild West or Almanor...