10 Things I Learned at Sunriver
A Ride Report
By Kilauea Fashion
(co-author - Kathleen Ferguson)
As you all know, I have been waiting months to learn what a “Sunriver” is. Kathleen and Kim starting talking about the “Sunriver 100” last winter when they returned from the PNER convention. Well I am proud to tell you I have been to the “Sunriver 100” and I have completed and I learned several new things!
1. A “Sunriver” is when you do the whole ride without coming back to camp and then when you do come back to camp you get to rest and eat for an hour and then you go out and do the whole ride AGAIN! Can you believe that? I was quite surprised! It was fun though because Smooth and I knew where we were going and I wasn’t so hyped up so we got to go faster at the start of the second time around the ride. (On a side note, Kathleen still hasn’t figured out that I am tricking her into going faster by acting calm…I just have to figure out how to act calm enough at the start to trick her!). And, by the way, I think a “Sunriver” is a type of cult because everyone was listening to a song about the “Mind of a 100 miler” and all the people were intense and laughing and crying…I think they got religion!
2. Kathleen won’t let me leave water troughs now until I touch my lips to the water. Of course, once that nice cool water touches my lips I might as well get a drink….
I do think she is carrying it a bit too far though by making me touch my lips to the water in both troughs…of course, I might as well get another drink then…it seems to make her happy.
3. When in vet checks DO NOT stop eating—no matter what other horses are doing or the interesting people to watch—because later on you are going to be SO hungry and you are going to wish you got a few more bites of mush and hay at that last vet check.
4. It is ok to slow down and eat some grass along the trail—you really don’t lose that much time if you just stop briefly and munch a few bites and besides see #3 above.
5. When you do a “Sunriver” you get ridden in the dark! I have never been ridden in the total dark before the “Sunriver”. It was really dark in the trees but I wasn’t scared; I could see pretty good and it was peaceful and quiet (well except for the constant gabbing of Kathleen and Kim—man, I found out some very interesting things about their lives—anyone interested in blackmailing them just see me).
6. When you are ridden in the dark the trail ribbons start to GLOW! It spooked me at first but then I realized that the glowing ribbons made it easy to follow the trail, find the water troughs and miss walking into the big boulders at the end. I think I like the glowing ribbons.
7. People get very silly when it gets dark. Ona, Sharon and Lois (whom I met in camp the day before at the vet check) came out in a truck and gave Kathleen and Kim glowing necklaces and stuff to drink and everyone laughed a lot and seemed to think it was a big joke to ride in the dark. (I heard later that Ona actually caught her shoes on fire…man that is taking the clown stuff to a new level, eh? Oh! I forgot to tell you my buddy, Bandit, from BC was at the “Sunriver” too! Talk about an awkward moment…I never told Smooth about Bandit and I doing the HOTR ride together…and then on Friday we all three went out for a short ride together. Thank goodness Bandit was a gentleman and didn’t talk about our ride and make Smooth jealous.)
8. When you do a “Sunriver” lots of people fuss over you in the vet checks. You get rubbed down, extra treats, butt warmers and extra blankets, fresh tack and lots of encouragement to eat (see #3 above). Special thanks to Siri for that nice rub down at the fifty mile mark…I thought she was giving me my after ride clean-up but then I found out it was my “start all over again” clean-up!
9. On a “Sunriver” it doesn’t really matter what the horses in front of you or behind you are doing. You just stay with your friend and do your own pace. Kathleen says she is really glad I learned this one.
10. Doing a “Sunriver” is harder than doing a regular ride; you feel very proud when you get done; everyone is fussing over you and you are REALLY, REALLY HUNGRY (see #3 above). You get to eat as much as you want when you finish but you are also very sleepy. I am so happy I got to be in the corrals this ride and not on my hi-tie. I lay down and had a bunch of good snoozes and just woke up for snacks (see #3 above). Sunday morning Kathleen said she thought I finally “got some religion” because I was a little tired and didn’t drag her around camp. Apparently I took a nap where I fell asleep so hard I was dreaming and twitching and had a smile on my face. That nice warm dust felt so good after that frosty night! If that is religion I don’t think it stuck because when Smooth and I got up Monday morning (we spent the night at Dee Van Gilder’s ranch) I pranced and pulled and felt pretty full of myself again…amazing what a little beauty rest can do for a HLM (I am still a HOT LITTLE MARE J).
As far as “seeing Jesus” at Sunriver I am still not sure what Kathleen meant. I saw Smooth. I saw Dee (I lived with her before I came to live with Kathleen). I saw my Mom and brother and a bunch of my friends when we stopped at Dee’s on the way to and from the “Sunriver”. I saw Bandit, Don and Terry Boscher (thanks for all the help at the vet checks you guys). I saw Dr. Jen and Dr. Bryant a few times. I saw Siri who was amazed at how trim I am (eat your heart out Kirsti Alley—after the “Sunriver” Kathleen said she can see my ribs and I get to eat MORE!). I saw a bear in the woods (Kathleen insists it was a log but she didn’t even have her contacts in because it was too dusty—I still say it was a bear). I saw some idiot teenagers driving around in the woods in the middle of the night looking for a party and got to listen to Kathleen lecture them (when she isn’t with me she teaches teenagers—maybe that is why I have never been able to buffalo her…hmmm). For awhile on the trail, when I was really pooped, just before my second wind, I thought I might have seen someone up in front of me but nobody introduced us so I am not sure if that was him. Maybe I will get to meet him on my next ride; Kathleen seems to think it is important.
So the mystery is finally solved! A “Sunriver 100” is a really long endurance ride! Why didn’t they just tell me that to begin with? I am so good at this sport that I would not have worried about it at all.