In which we finished. And it was good. And that's pretty much all there is.

It was a good day for a ride.

Lots and lots of raingear--and I needed it ALL!
Because a smile doesn't actually
make a very good umbrella.
(photo by Jessica Anderson)

Although the Mt Adams Endurance Ride is held on the side of a "mostly dormant" volcano, and was scheduled for the anniversary of the eruption of Mt Saint Helens, the ridecamp was full-to-bursting, with about 157 horse-and-rider teams signed up for the event.

We showed up on Thursday with a huge group of Pirates and Fish,
Tim revealed the secrets of his "homecooked" stew.
It was delicious!

and set up a fun, rowdy camp space.
Fee had a front-row seat in camp, which made for easy proximity
for carrot-begging

My goal for the day: finish my first 15-mile loop in under 2 hours, so that we wouldn't be facing 81 LD riders on the common trail back to camp when they started THEIR ride 2 hours after we started ours.

We had to come in "hot" for that first loop,
but walked into camp the rest of the day.
(photo by Jessica Anderson)

We made it--with about 5 minutes to spare.

Moderate temps and light rain during the day helped keep
the Dragon nice and cool while she was working.

That was pretty much the story of our ride day.

I'd look at the distance for each loop, make a complicated computational estimate of the time we would spend on it based on distance, terrain, fitness, fatigue, weather, and likelihood of getting lost, and then go ride it...
We did get a few minutes of blue sky during our last loop.

...and usually "hit the mark" with only 5 minutes error on either side.

I tweaked my back during a vet check (getting out of a camp chair!!!) before the last loop, but luckily there were painkillers available.  I wasn't very smart for the rest of the day, but we did finish our ride!

Vet card shows before/after scores.  I like seeing all those "A's"

My overall time goal for this ride was an 8-hour 50 miler, and we finished "55 miles" (my GPS said it was closer to 53) in 8 hours and 8 minutes.

And the next morning

The Dragon is always a little snugglier the day after a hard ride

the sun came out!

It's good.  It's just really, really good.

Coming soon: a report on all those green horses/green riders who finished their first distance events at Mt Adams!


  1. Sounds like a good ride! Wish I had been able to make it to Mt. Adams, looks beautiful there.

  2. Incredible photos! Your smile says it all.

    I love all that green up there.

  3. hey aarene, i wonder if one of the loops included the big staircase on mt adams? i remember taking that trail the wrong direction during a CMO - ride mgmt wanted us to go up the stairs, but i had to go down them, and it sucked (to be me!). mt adams is the prettiest place i've ridden in america! did you come to a big meadow full of frog-filled ponds with the icecap beyond?

    1. The stairsteps, yes--that was our last loop back to camp. By that point, Fee was HUNGRY (err, more HUNGRY than usual) so she ate her way up the hill, which was fine. It was pretty steep--my "Trailmaster Eyes" were aching by the end of such a steep, non-sustainable trail!

      Meadow/icecap, no. There was an enormous forest fire last year that destroyed some of the usual trails. I daresay your meadow is slightly bigger now.

  4. Congratulations on meeting your goal & finishing fit-to-continue! Too bad the weather couldn't have been a little better, but that country is so worth riding in Any weather! You both look Great!

  5. I really really like your stirrup covers. They really make the whole picture pop......Can you see that I'm convincing myself to buy some?

    Good job!

  6. Sounds like a great ride! Fiddle looks very happy in all the photos this year:)

  7. Love it! You both look so happy, all bedecked in purple loveliness!

  8. Beautiful! You and Fee both look so happy, I can't help but believe If Hudson were younger, endurance would be our new retirement career. (He's having some issues with "trick horse" and "no galloping".)


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