Sunday, August 3, 2014

Around the Mountains

Yesterday Tia was volunteering with the mounted patrol at an endurance race. She was supposed to ride a section of the race, about 12 miles, behind the 75 and 100 mile competitors and pick up flags and ensure they all made it safely through.

Kendall went with me to drop off Tia at the start of their section down in Roxborough Park. We were thinking we’d drop her off, then get some lunch, hike a bit, and pick them up just to the South of where we let them off.

We were so wrong.

Photo Aug 01, 3 59 44 PM

We hadn’t been able to read the map from the race organizers as it was a topographic map without roads. The lady Tia was riding wish couldn’t quite describe the place, but there was one other couple there, packing up to leave, who had a map. The map showed me the route, and needless to say, I was worried.

We had to go up to Conifer, in the mountains, and then take some smaller roads to a park near where the North and South Platte rivers meet. I’d never been there, but more, this was up over the mountains, meaning Tia was riding into the foothills across some steep territory.

We left, stopped for Subway, and then headed into the mountains. I knew we had a 45+ minute drive, and after eating lunch, we’d barely be there before 2 hours were up. I figured Tia might be done then, but probably not long after.

I missed one turn, and when I hit the Platte River road, all dirt, I wasn’t sure I was going the right way. We passed a horse trailer leaving that gave me confidence, but I was still worried. Finally, as I was about to try to turn around (not a fun thing with Tia’s truck and trailer), we found the bridge where the river forks met and a mile down the road found the race people checking out a horse or two.

We parked and walked over, and they said 8 more riders were due.

Photo Aug 01, 4 03 56 PM

We hung out a bit, not sure how long things were. It was just over two hours when we arrived, and Kendall hung out by the river for awhile as I chatted with people. A nice, quiet, Friday afternoon. After a bit, I went to read in the car to get away from bugs. Kendall joined me shortly thereafter.

As I read, she was re-writing part of her story (The Bombed City) and I stopped occasionally to help her edit it down. It was a fun time with my little girl, though I felt a little guilty for not writing or working. I did a little work, but my battery was low, so it didn’t last long.

Photo Aug 01, 4 04 01 PM

The race crew packed up around 5:45, as the last riders were in, vet checked, and had continued on the next section. The leader came over and we talked. He expected Tia and Carol soon as the trail was well marked. He left water and feed for them, but said he had to head out to meet the riders at the next section.

It was 6:00, and he said to worry at 7:30. We’d have to drive out to the camp or the top of one of the hills on the way to Conifer to call 911, but that’s what we should do.

At 7:00, I decided to hike up a bit. I was giving myself 20 minutes up the mountain to see, about a mile or so. Just about 8minutes in, I heard voices and soon enough saw Carol and Tia coming down the trail. They said they had been able to see us for 45 minutes, but were too far away to call and no service.

All in all, things went well, but it was a hard, steep trail. They made it down, watered the horses and we drove to camp.

A long day, but a good ride for Tia on Chance, and good time with Kendall. Not what we expected, but a nice, challenging trail Tia made it through.

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