Friday, August 22, 2008

Virginia Highlands, our first LD

Aug 22nd, 1030 a.m. found me impatiently waiting for my neice to arrive so that we could load the horses and GO!

I felt like I had the trailer all packed and ready...nothing else to do but wait...

It turns out that I could have done a few more things to organize myself, but oh well, lessons learned.

Shana arrived and we went to the barn so that she could meet "Red". I was in a hurry to get going and so I grabbed Falcon and we all tromped up the hill to the trailer.

The horses loaded nicely and we were on our way lickety split. I opted to take the country roads to avoid crossing the Masanutten Mountain and also to avoid all of the truck traffic on 81.

The 4.5 hour drive went quickly for me. I was in good company and good thoughts about the ride. I think we pulled in to Ride Camp around 4:30 or 5. We had been told that someone would park us, but "someone" was no where to be found.

We followed a sign to overflow parking and Shana hopped out and walked almost 2/10 of a mile to see if there was a space for us. Yeahhh, way at the end, nice and quiet.

We unloaded the horses and Shana held them, while I finished parking. I felt disorganized and distracted and didnt know what to do first, wasting time before I decided that I better get the portable corral set up.

This went fairly quickly and Shana suggested that we use the truck and trailer as a wall to make the corral bigger, thus both horses could hang out in it. We used a goat halter/leash compination, bungee cords and a lead rope to attach it all to the trailer and truck.

Then we tromped almost .38 mile to the ride camp desk. The nice ladies there found our packets...there wasnt much to look through, we were almost the last ones to check in. UGggggggggh, They then said that they needed our AERC cards. OH BOTHER!

Tromp tromp back to the truck, get our cards, tromp tromp, back to the table....tromp tromp, back for the horses, tromp tromp to Vet in the horses and tromp tromp back to the trailer....good grief...we were getting some exercise!

I was exhausted by then, all of that driving and then all of that walking and setting up camp, and then ALAS I couldnt find the "STUFF" for my new porta-potty that neutralizes odors.

Also, I decided, that since it was getting dark by now and the horses corral was attached to the truck, that the Truck Tent would not work out and Shana HAD volunteered to sleep IN the back seat of the truck, so I blew up a mattress for the tack room of the trailer and made my bed there.

I had my tack room PACKED with STUFF and we had to haul ALL of it out, including the spare tire, so that the mattress would fit. Our camp looked like a JUNK YARD!

I started to pack my saddle bag for the next day, but then got distracted doing something else, Oh, we had to mark our own Horses because there didn't seem to be anyone around doing THAT after the vet check. So Shana, dutifully took on that difficult task.

Then Shana said "I don't see ANYONE, it is too quiet, EVERYONE MUST be at the ride meeting! Oh good grief, I still had a TON of stuff to do. So we tromped off 30 min early to the meeting, but everyone was just eating.

I was SOOOO tired and remembered our chairs AFTER we had walked all the way to base camp again. So Shana, being SO much younger than I volunteered to go back and get the chairs and managed to hitch a ride back in a truck with a friendly lady.

After the ride meeting we went to the "newbies" meeting with Stagg Newman. It was good, but mostly repetitive info for me. Then we trudged back to camp.

I was so tired that I told Shana good night and crashed onto my bed. My sleep was short lived. Red kept chasing Falcon around in the corral, so I got up and gave them big piles of hay to munch on and more water.

This allowed me some sleep, but then I was awakened again by the noisy horses and the need to go visit the porta I wished I had found my STUFF for mine.

The night seemed to never end and my body craved rest.

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