Spring prep!

With Grizzly in my sights one way or another and miles under saddle planned, it’s time to look at that aspect of endurance riding I tend to…not give as much attention to: camping comfortably. As a lifelong camper, I’m fairly dialed in on tossing stuff in the car, finding a riverside campsite and settling in.

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Coyote Ridge Ride Camp 2017

But as in everything, an endurance ride camp requires a whole other mindset, even without the child complication. I’m not just taking care of myself and my noble steed for the weekend, as a catch rider I have to be willing and able to lend a dozen extra hands and go the extra mile, earning my keep as well as I can. The more organized, efficient and comfortable I make my set up, the easier it is to help out when I’m tired and sore.

The first few years of rides, I wouldn’t have dreamed of bringing my son, so this process was a little easier. But now that he’s older and a little more savvy and extremely cute and helpful (mostly), I’m trying to set things up so he can come with each time. Toss in a big lovable Boxer too and I’m prepping for camping at ride camp a lot differently this year. Not only do I have more horse gear, I have more stuff to bring and less space in my truck to pack it into.

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Camping Snuggles!

Since we’re aiming for about one ride a month (or so), plus additional camping trips, I’d like to get this all dialed in way ahead of time. I’m planning a test run after a spring cleaning and restocking of gear to the Celena Pentrack clinic over my birthday (so psyched to ride with her again!) However, the added stressors of kid and/or dog have me considering my budget and hitting up Google.

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Happy Place!

For roughly $200-300 a weekend (maybe less, maybe more), on top of my ride entry and gas money budget, I could find a small camper trailer to rent and tow with my sturdy SUV and be 1000 times more comfortable at ride camp. I’d have a place so many things; I can stash kid, dog and person assigned to watch both that’s more conducive to such things than a camp chair; a place to change that’s not the horse trailer; a place to get out of whatever ugly weather may come our way (I’ve seen snow, rain, wind, dust, heat, all of it at camps). I won’t have to worry about making sure everything fits in the truck and still let kid & dog travel in comfort. And, the final bonus, I might even convince the fiance to come to ride camp if he’s got a bed to sleep in!

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Thinks roughing it is a La Quinta

But that extra money can also make a huge difference in a tight budget, so a light bulb went off and I thought, “Endurance riders are a family! But not everyone goes to the same rides at once. Maybe one of them has a trailer I could borrow for a little cheaper?”

Here’s my question to the endurance world (mostly in the Willamette Valley or SW Washington). Is this a workable possibility? Does anyone have a camper trailer (not the pop up kind, those are freezing!), or a smallish RV I could rent from you for a ride weekend? Grizzly & Klickitat are my only two for sure rides planned, although I’m going to do my best to support Nicole & Jala’s new Creek to Peak ride as well. I have a 2003 GMC Envoy XL, can tow up to 5500 pounds so looking for a camper trailer that tops out at 4000 to be on the safe side.

My future post 30 and 50 mile self appreciates you all in advance, and either way I can’t wait to see everyone settled in at the next ride meeting, kvetching about gates and ribbons and water crossings!

jokkerkade

Get it out there

  
The world is bursting into crazy spring, cherry blossoms, tulips, rainbows as far as the eye can see. The south wind is blowing hard & of course I’m full tilt crazy. Each spring comes, & that exuberant south wind fairly shouts at me to set loose, make a change, hit the road. This year is no different; I’ve got a long road trip ahead this weekend, the plans & gear & to do list painstakingly obsessed over, the closets are looking a bit bare, & the patient boyfriend has persuaded me not to tear the apartment apart in my quest to make it different.

  
At the same time I’m a little more settled than usual, my job proceeding apace, Kade’s still in preschool though kindergarten looms at the end of the summer, I’m able to work with horses each week & soon, so soon I hope to add riding every week to the list. Included in all this is the writing group I’ve been able to wiggle my way into, & I love every moment of it.

  
The south wind pushed me to do something crazy last week-volunteer a sample of my last NaNo novel I’ve been working on for public consumption & critique. Gulp. Thanks buddy! So now I have to choose what is hopefully a somewhat coherent, sorta polished 10,000 word section of the story I’ve been penning since November…which no one else has read. Well, I’ve read aloud some of it to the five year old, but he thinks everything I do is awesome (unless it involves some form of the word “No.” Then he’s not so keen on it!)

  
Part of me is quietly freaking out over someone reading my writing-well, at least something I’ve put more effort into than, say, my woeful fourth attempt at blogging. The larger part is happily ticking away, mulling over which section to present & what kinds of critique to ask for. 

Between sharing my work, the world’s best (and most patient) boyfriend, my cutest blondie, a short work week and camping in the Horse Haven hills to look forward to, it’s a good time to turn 27 🙂