Today we did 22 miles in 3:46 (5.8 mph) with Zach and Bo. Zach did a lot longer than that, unfortunately for him!
Our plan was to each head out from our respective starting points, meet up at the halfway mark, then turn back south and do part of the Moonshine loop up in the hills overlooking Reno/Sparks/Sun Valley. It's a little rocky and a lot hilly, and I was pretty sure I could find the Moonshine trail or one very like it.
The first part of the plan went off flawlessly. Dixie and I headed out, stopped at the cow tank by the RC airport to
I finally saw antelope! My first though was "deer, how cool!" but then I immediately remembered that Nevada deer do not have white tails. We got pretty close before they spooked. Very cool.
We met up with Zach at the halfway, then headed back to the stock tanks. Bo sensibly drank and Dixie huffed and sighed and fidgeted and finally played motorboat in the water, which I took as a final "hell no." Away we went, toward the hills on the east side of the valley.
As we got closer, we realized that someone was up in those hills shooting. And neither horse had full boots - Dixie had fronts only and Bo was totally bare. Between the shooting and the lack of footwear, we changed our minds and turned the horses for the western hills and the Derby/Comstock climb over to Antelope Valley.
The horses motored along really well. Bo still doesn't want any horse in front of him, but he doesn't come totally unglued when Dixie's in the lead. Dixie seems to like Bo just fine. :) They ran out of steam going up the mountain, but honestly, when Dixie can trot straight up that mountain without getting tired it's time for us to think about Tevis.
We went over the same pass that I showed you last week, then down to Matterhorn road. The plan was for Zach to go north up Matterhorn, through Antelope Valley, and east over to Palomino Valley. We are both sure that there's a way to do it - I've routed it out on Google Earth sat maps before, and Zach has seen the road where it comes from Antelope into Palomino. I was going to follow them north for another 5 miles, then turn and come back home.
Except the maps app on the iphone kept saying it was 22 miles. I thought that was wrong - I think it's 15 miles from my house to Winnemucca Ranch Road - but it'd be a really painful mistake. Zach decided to come to my house, let Bo eat and drink for a bit, then ride the normal way from my house back to his stable. (I think he's nuts and I would've gotten a trailer ride!)
So we turned for my house. Dixie was enormously relieved. She thinks I'm a total idiot most of the time, and she kept trying to tell me that we were going the wrong way!
I electrolyted Dixie before we left and again after we got home. The front boots didn't rub, and I got the rear boots repaired. (One rear boot was missing the O-rings on the toe strap and wouldn't stay on without them, so I pulled both rear boots a couple miles into the ride.) Dixie looks good, eating and drinking well, and hopefully she'll be ready to go again tomorrow.
I'm planning on trailering her out to Red Rocks tomorrow and doing another 20 miles. If she finishes that in good form, I'm sending in our entry for two days of Wild West.
So that's half of my Big News: I have a trailer! The other half: Not moving to California (this year at least)! Yippie!