August 10, 2015

Ride Between The Rivers AKA The Best Vacation: Friday

As the sun began to peek over the hills, so did Wyatt's eyes. It wasn't surprising since he always wakes up super early and I also wake up with the sun when camping. I don't understand how people sleep in when outdoors.

Everyone else in camp was still sound asleep, so we tried to keep Wyatt to a dull roar as he did his normal morning ritual of singing, reading books and playing with his toys. Eventually we headed outside for breakfast. Sarah joined us. Apparently she doesn't like honey nut Cheerios as she turned her nose up when Wyatt offered to share his cereal with her. It actually hurt his feelings and he just couldn't understand why she wouldn't slurp up the soggy cereal and milk like his dogs do at home.

Sarah always joined us for all our meals throughout the weekend. You can clearly see what she thought of her companions!

By the time we had eaten and cleaned up, the sun was getting warmer and the grass was starting to dry off from the heavy morning dew. Wyatt climbed into this hiking backpack and requested, well more like demanded, a hike. Einstein was needing to blow off some steam and I was ready to show Dusty the trails Liz and I had explored on horseback the day before.

Just as we were heading away from camp, Liz emerged from her tent. Breakfast was calling her name and she needed to check in with management to see what help they needed, so she declined our offer and we parted ways for a bit. I was thankful Dusty was carrying Wyatt on his back as the climb out of camp was worse on my own two feet. When we hit the gravel road we turned right to follow the yellow loop and retrace Griffin's and Q's steps.

We ambled down the gravel road with Einstein playing ahead of us and zig zagging up the steep hills that shoot off from the road. About 1.5 miles later Dusty spied a trail offshoot to the left that went up the hill. He turned an evil grin on me and disappeared up the trail. I cursed his insanity and followed behind.

The trail went up. Up. Up. Up. I was convinced there was no top, but followed along behind my boys as we climbed the rutted and steep trail. While it seemed to be 5 miles long, the top was really only a mile away. Once there, we both looked around in great anticipation of a wonderful view and instead saw trees. Lots and lots of trees. The tree cover was too dense to see any sweeping views, so we turned around and headed back down.

Once Wyatt realized we were done climbing and instead onto the fun part of going down, he wiggled and squirmed until we got him out of the pack. He hiked the entire way down and then all the way back to camp. The hike ended up taking 3 hours and was about 5 miles in length, so the little man hiked 2.5 miles on his own two tiny legs. We were both very proud.

Liz greeted us back in camp. She was waiting on two friends to show up and thought we could swim in the afternoon and then ride before dinner. Dusty, Wyatt and I made lunch and by the time we had cleaned up her friends had arrived. Once again, Sarah joined us for lunch, but turned down Wyatt's offer to share his hot dog.

Camp started to get a little busier Friday morning and would fill up throughout the day.

Shortly after, Dusty took Wyatt into the tent to torture him get him to nap. He never did. In fact he screamed bloody murder for nearly 30 minutes while I ignored him and Liz cringed. I knew hearing me talking outside wasn't helping matters and her friends were all set up, so we decided to hop on bareback and play in the field.

A few minutes later I was itching to explore the blue trail and I asked Liz if we could just tack up and hit the trails. l riding on a 5 year old gelding I just met bareback. She readily agreed. Liz, Dan, Orion and I all climbed out of camp and made a left onto the gravel road 30 minutes later while Dusty loaded Wyatt into the truck to see if a car ride might help him fall asleep.

Having put down 8 miles the day before and with a tough 50 the next day, Liz wanted to keep it quiet on the ride. We headed down the trail and I got to know Dan and Orion as we went. They are both great riders and super interesting to talk to. They live a life very different from my own and he is active in the native American community. He was fascinating to talk to. The miles flew by once again.

We logged about 4 miles or so on that ride and kept it slower due to the steeper terrain. Griffin was a little unsure what to do in a large group of horses, but he behaved himself and was once again a joy to ride. Once we got the horses tucked back into their pens, we all decided it was time to swim. Wyatt hadn't fallen asleep even in the truck and we needed to keep him happy.
At some point Liz vetted Q in with all A's and looking good.

All day long we had been hearing how warm the river was. Everyone who climbed out dripping wet were smiling and really happy with the swimming hole. We hit the water and I swear I nearly froze to death. There is no way anyone could think that was warm!!! In SC, by mid June the water is about 80 degrees and feels like taking a bath unless it has just rained. Even then it is still a cozy 70. That water was not cozy. I refused to go in past my knees. Liz splashed me. In pure muscle memory retaliation I splashed Dusty. Not a good idea. He picked me up and threw me into the deep water and under I went.

When I popped back up Wyatt was laughing big belly laughs. Apparently, mommy getting thrown under water is hilarious. From then on I stayed in, but I'm telling you all it was not warm.

We managed to stay in for a good hour or so before Wyatt's teeth started chattering. I saw a good exit strategy, blamed it on the kid (hey, you have to have some benefit being a mom) and out we scooted for dry land.
A soaking wet Einstein after he joined us at the swimming hole

At some point Dom and Mike arrived while I was taking a nap and I got to meet another wonderful blogger. The weekend was very busy for them riding for another group and I unfortunately didn't get to spend much time with them.

That night was the hog roast and they once again out did themselves with food. I paid zero attention to the meeting knowing I wasn't going to be riding the next day and instead talked and ate myself stuffed.

Around about then Dusty looked at me with his evil grin. He asked if he could run the ride the next day. Um? What?

He didn't see why he couldn't just run the course. I wasn't riding, so I could be on toddler detail while he ran. I reminded him that I was going to crew for Liz, but I could help and watch Wyatt for the most part. He planned to leave just as the last 50s headed out of camp and before the LDs started. He has run endurance rides before, so he knew to be courteous and cautious around the horses and to not mess up anyone's race. I agreed, but with the condition that if Liz was needing more help or Wyatt was being a PIA to handle solo he would be pulled at the LD mark. He agreed.

Wyatt adored Kenai and spent most of the weekend giving him huge hugs.


  1. I'm loving reading all of the different points of view of RBTR! Especially love the photos of Sara sticking her tongue out and of Wyatt hugging Kenai! <3

    1. I'm thinking we should have made it a blog hop. That mare was great.

  2. I love the Wyatt hugging Kenai photo =)

    And yes. Your husband is a little off in the head wanting to run that far ;-) But it's a good kind of crazy!! --I wish there was more of that kind of crazy in the world.

    1. I was looking through my pics this morning and Wyatt came over. He saw one of him and Kenai and screamed "KENAI!" He loved your dog.

  3. I laughed reading this. I feel that "here comes the view!" and then it doesn't disappointment when I ride there. For all the climbing (and all the stunning scenes I've seen in WV) you'd think there would be vistas to gawk at at this ride. Haha.

    And I 100% agree, the river was FREEZING. I was not amused when Mike insisted we wash off in the swimming hole. In fact, it took me about two seconds to decide I was clean enough!

    I'm bummed we didn't get to spend more time together. I was so excited to finally meet you. Damn Thumper and his issues...

    Next time! (Also, I am planning to be at Sand Hills this fall... I don't know how far that is from you but it's food for thought...)

    1. Sand Hills is 2.5-3 hours from me. I will look up the dates and see if I could sneak over and volunteer.

    2. 2-3 hours in which direction? I don't know if I'm hitching a ride with the owner or driving down with Mike, but if I go with Mike, we could swing by on our way through, if it's in the right direction :)

    3. Wrong direction :( you will be heading down the eastern side of the country and hit sand hills through the eastern part of SC. I am 2.5 hours north west of it so no where close to being on your way. If you don't mind a side excursion and could take an extra day off you are more than welcome to crash here and Gem will be rideable. We can hit my favorite trail and ride Gem and Pete for a bit.

  4. Texas needs an awesome blogger community like ya'll have. :(

    Instead, I'll live vicariously!! :)

    1. Move here and join me in SC :)

    2. It snows there.

      I'm from Texas. We die in the snow. :)

      But perhaps sometime I'll have to convince the other half that we simply HAVE to haul up for a ride sometime.

  5. What pack do you used for hiking with Wyatt? I'm thinking of getting a new one for hikes but I'm unsure if the one I have is rated for my 30 lb toddler. She claims it's uncomfortable.

    1. Amy, we use the Deuter Kid Comfort 3. We got it at REI and have used it since he was about 9 months old. He weighs close to 35 pounds now and still fits in it fine. I think it is rated up to 60 but I could be wrong. the frame is adjustable, but it has never really fit me well. I'm 5'4 and even at the smallest length it is a bit too long and I hit it with every step. It fits my husband perfectly and I think if I was 2 inches taller or had a longer torso it would be fine. Even being too long it isn't terrible. The best feature is the water bladder. Wyatt learned to drink from it from the start and so we don't have to lug water bottles. The best thing about baby packs is that kids out grow them so you can usually get used ones if you wait and look. Ours was a gift from my father in law or we would have gone with a used one.