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Friday, October 7, 2011

Tevis 2011 - Seizing Life's opportunities

Did you hear!!!!!??????

From the Tevis website:  

NEW START TIME AND LOCATION:  Due to snow in the high country the 2011 Tevis Cup start has been moved to 6:30am at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn on Saturday 10/8. Rider Check-In begins at 10am at the Fairgrounds on Friday 10/7. More details coming soon.

For those of you that aren't familiar with the ride or the trail, the fairgrounds is 100 miles away from the start.  The fairgrounds in the traditional finish.  Nothing is official on the website, but from the riders I know that are riding this year, it is rumored that in addition to vetting and starting at the fairgrounds (Not Robie):

  • No Robie
  • No Squaw Valley
  • No Cougar Rock
  • No Bogs (not that they have been there substantially since we started getting heavier snowfall over the years.
  • No Pucker Point
  • No Elephants Trunk
  • No Devils Thumb
  • No Volcano Canyon
  • No rivers at the bottom of the canyon
  • No Swinging bridge
  • No counting the 33 switchbacks out of the canyon
  • No Michigan Bluffs
  • Possibly crossing the American river 2x. 
Honestly, it sounds like a different ride.  The month is different, the temps will be different (mud, snow, cold, cramping issues).  No full moon, completely different route.

I'm sure that it will still be the ride of the lifetime for many of the riders.  Some for whom it IS the ride of the lifetime - traveling across country, saving up vacation and money, carefully preparing their horse and having the stars align.

It's easy for me to take the ride for granted because I live so close, but this is a BIG DEAL for endurance riders in other parts of the country who have a dream to ride Tevis.

Even though I think ride management is doing their best to put on a ride that is safe and lives up to the Tevis name amid circumstances no one has control over, all I can think as I sit here is I am SO GLAD I took the opportunity to ride in 2009 and 2010.

In life, there is rarely a perfect time to do anything - there is only the "best time".  You long-time readers know I harp on this constantly.  If you have a dream and you can possibly make it work RIGHT now, then do it.  You don't know what life will look like next year or next week.  I see many many people around me that have dreams, and after years of talking, dreaming, and hoping they are discouraged, unmotivated, and sad because the time was never right. 

In hindsight, 2009 was probably too soon to attempt Tevis.  I had that inkling as I signed up and I rode it.  But the lessons learned that year is what made it possible for me to finish in 2010.  *Ideally* I probably would have spent another year in preparation and may have tried for 2011, assuming that the injury that did happen, didn't happen in this alternative universe.  Can you imagine if I had counted on 2011 as "the" year?  Instead of a summer ride, I would have been faced trying to do it in the middle of my school term.  Not to mention that as great as I think this ride will end up being, I wanted to ride THE Tevis and have the experience of Robie, Squaw Valley etc.

Please keep the Tevis 2011 riders in your thoughts tomorrow and tomorrow night.  Although the trail will be different, it will not be any less difficult.  The soil here has a very high clay content and gets EXTREMELY slick after rain.  The trails are not well drained and while the granite helps with the drainage, in mud it can make things worse.  I rode American River 2010 after a similar weather pattern and it was awful.

I will be tweeting as I hear news about Tevis and posting under the hash of #tevis11.

Recommended Reading

Ashley reflected on her Go Pony journey and makes some EXCELLENT points about riding and training endurance. 

Endurance Granny reminds us what progress really looks like.

New blog introduction!!!!!!  Check out Princess WitchFace.  Not your average backyard horse owner has some delightful, entertaining articles and I've been enjoying looking through her posts.  She's a new blogger and is off to a great start. 


  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Mel. :) I'll be glued to the computer this weekend, following the very interesting to see how Tevis 2.0 turns out.

  2. Oh, wow! Thanks! ::blushes:: ^_^

    I think if I had my sights set on Tevis, I would be sorely disappointed in such a dramatically changed ride. But then, I'd be one of the "once in a lifetime" folk trailering across country to do it. If you're not gonna get a snazzy pic of you & your horse scrambling over Cougar Rock, you might as well stick to rides a lot closer to home.


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