Monday, September 5, 2011

Elbe Hills Challenge

025 Linda, Dean and I decided to try our hand at the Elby Endurance ride.  The ride was held Aug. 27 at  Elby Wa. At the Elbe Hills / Sahara Creek Campground. The Nicholson Trail System  was used. It is a technical mountain type riding area. This ride was a combination of road and single-track trails. The terrain was  varied with elevation climbs and descents. We had  a number of bridges to cross and a couple of creek crossings to maneuver.003 We had heard that last year the trail beat the riders with a very low completion rate. We had planned to take the challenge and see if we could beat the mountain.The day dawned clean and bright, a sure sign that it was going to be a hot one. I hoped to try to make some time in the morning figuring that we would be slowing down as the day heated up and the trail got longer.006  We left with the front runners and found a hole and managed to stay there all day. I found the trail not a lot harder then the ones we ride about home. The horses had no problem with the climbs. We did slow down on a lot of the technical trails. It was nice to be forced to walk and just enjoy the views. 010
Linda and I came in 4th and 5th, which really surprised us. I had no clue we were placed as we were. Spot was a grade B lame all day long. She felt fine on all the Soft trails but was on and off on the hard packed roads. As I came into the 3rd vet check I noticed she had blown a small abscess out of her left front hoof. Aww, I now know why she was a bit off. She is so tough, she never did let me know what was going on. The trail in to camp and the final vet check is all down hill, so we went slow and then slower. I really thought that we would be passed at anytime. I think everyone was going slow and safe also. My ride time was somewhere in the 7 plus hours….which is about 2 hours longer then I normally take to ride a 50. 009  Dean did not fair as well as his horse got a girth gull at 40 miles and he elected to catch a ride back to camp. I think all the up and down rubbed him wrong. This is a ride that I will put on my list for next year. I will remember to carry a camera so I can catch some of the spectacular views next time! Nikki and Katie was super crew ad usual. They we not able to go to the out check, but were a lot of help in camp. So my riding friends, Take some time and go and camp. There is a map of the trails, miles and miles of riding and the best part..the camp ground is free! There is also running potable water. Very neat place. I plan to try and get back for a weekend soon.

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