It started with an email from Sue Hedgecock to Steph: "Would any of you like to whip down here, relax and ride at Strawberry?? What would it take??"
A 3-day ride in Utah?? All it took for me was an offer of a horse to ride.
"Do you like a tall horse or a short horse; can you tolerate a sensitive horse, or do you want to be more laid back? What do you want to ride? 25's? 50's? All the days?"
My requirements were 1) a horse that preferably does not buck, because I only stay on them about half the time, 2) a horse that is not crazy, because I prefer to have fun (my motto is, "Lazy is better than Crazy!"), and 3) ride 50's every day!
Sue's only requirement was, "Bring your Starbucks!"
With enough gear to make it look like I was moving to Utah, I caught a ride from Idaho with the rather famous northwest endurance horse Frank, and his driver Tom Noll, to the ridecamp at 8200' up the Strawberry River valley in the Uintah mountains - the highest mountain range in Utah.
Put on by Howard Kent for the 7th year, the Strawberry Fields Forever Endurance Ride webpage says "The terrain is challenging,
but not difficult, with trails winding through aspens and meadows
filled with wildflowers and spectacular mountain scenery. The area is
blessed with some of the most pristine, gorgeous riding terrain
(I also noticed the "You can expect the occasional thunder shower so come prepared" - yikes!). On the trails, if I could peel my eyes away from the scenery, I'd be on the lookout for deer, elk, moose, beaver, and bears that lived in the Uintah range. Doesn't it all make your endurance muscles quiver with anticipation!
By the time we pulled into ridecamp Friday afternoon, the sun was out - first time in days, as the area had been hammered by rain/hail/thunderstorms.
We were set up for a gorgeous weekend of mountain endurance riding in Utah.