In which we head up to the Cariboo Gold Express Endurance Ride
Our ridecamp is located at 108 Mile Ranch, so we asked the natural question:
|Our pretty little campsite|
"108 Miles from what?"
We expected the answer to be something like "108 miles from the 'Murken border," or even "108 miles from Hope, BC."
|Beyond Hope is the place to be.|
Going that far beyond hope seemed poetic enough, especially for an endurance ride. But it's not correct.
The answer is rooted in Canadian history: 108 Mile House (and 100 Mile House, which is a town. not a house, and it's about 8 miles away from 108 Mile House) got their names because they are that distance from Lillooet, British Columbia when travelling the Old Cariboo Road on the route towards the gold fields.
Panning for gold is not a old-fashioned thing in these parts, either. Many trading posts and gas stations sell gold pans and other equipment.
|Gold pans and instruction books for sale at a fruit stand on the Cariboo Highway|
But we weren't there to make our fortunes. We were there to ride!
|The Dragon's weekend lair|
Unlike many of our endurance events, our "group" wasn't a huge bunch of the Usual Suspects...in fact, it was just Sirie and me. So, we opted to keep our camp simple.
|A nice, weatherproof nest for camping|
We brought tents with us, but decided that it would be easier to just bunk in the back of the horse trailer...a very good choice, as it turned out, because camp was deluged by rain squalls on Thursday night before the ride, and on Sunday night after the ride. We were cozy and comfy inside our snug horse trailer, happy to have a roof and walls around us!
And, after the rain was over, it was time to ride!
|Trail marking outfit|
Sirie borrowed a horse, and we accompanied ride management out to check trails that the cattle (and some people) had vandalized. Ribbons were chewed up and spat out or even entirely missing on the day before the ride--a ride manager's nightmare. But we stuck more up there (high enough that cattle couldn't reach them), and the trail was perfect on ride day.
|Putting ribbons out of reach for cows|
The sky was cloudy, but clearing. Our pre-ride was very pleasant.
|The view towards Sucker Lake|
|The Dragon and me, and Sirie on Bart|
And the next day we had an Endurance 101 clinic!
|Mike kindly volunteered to push all my props uphill to the lodge|
After lunch, Mike Peterson DVM gave us all an in-depth explanation of vet checks, and then
|Bart is the perfect pony for showing how a vet check should look|
I got to sign books!
|Signing books is still a thrill for me|
The sky got pretty and blue in time for the evening ride meeting, so we were able to sit back and enjoy young Anya's recital of a poem about living in the Cariboo country
|When I track down the poem, I'll post a link here.|
and take notes while Nicola walked us through a map of the trail.
|All of these novices completed their very first 30-mile ride!|
Coming up next:
|It was fabulous.|
Ride day in the Cariboo!