Saturday May 26 2012
Day 2 arrived with heavy gray skies and a light rain, that lasted all day, but Amanda and I saddled up Breve and Jose anyway. I think I can safely say, among the total 37 starters in both distances for the day, I was the only one grinning from ear to ear all day long, not just from riding a Fabulous horse, but riding him on a Fabulous wet and cool day in the desert.
Jose and Breve went great together. Amanda was thrilled with Breve's first 50.
I did love the rain, but the mud was something else. On the north side of the highway for loop 1, the sand footing was good. On the south side of the highway for loop 2, it got slick and sticky. I have christened the Brown's Creek hill as SlickSnot Hill. Amanda thought she'd do her horse a favor and get off and walk up it. Bad idea. She had to stop and rest halfway up as she'd carried half the hill up on the bottom of her shoes. The clay mud cakes on like glue. She couldn't even lift up her leg for a photo.
That's when Jose started having boot trouble. He lost one glove, and after I put it back on, it stayed on another 5 strides before coming off again. It weighed an extra 5 pounds, and I couldn't scrape the clay off. We weren't far from a water stop, and there I rinsed and scraped 2 1/2 pounds of clay off to where I got the boot back on. It stayed in place for another 2 miles or so, but it was so deep and goopy that Amanda, riding behind me, never saw it come off. Maybe Steph will find it when she unmarks trail after the ride, or we might find it sprouting flowers out of the inside next spring.
Jose lost a second glove after climbing the Hart Creek knife ridge. Amanda didn't see that one come off either. We were only 5 miles or so from camp, so we just travelled carefully over rocky sections. Tami Rougeau, following a half hour behind us, found one clay glove and carried the 5 pounder back to base camp. The horses handled the going well, adjusting their strides to the different depths and slickness and consistencies of the mud/clay/puddles.
There wasn't a single pull all day, and by the end of the day, I think everybody was finally smiling. It was another great day to ride in the desert, another 50 miles for Jose and The Raven!
Video from day 2 here!
and many more videos and photos from the Owyhee Fandango here on Endurance.net!