Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Things I Learned at Virginia City 2013

  • You can get in at least a half-hour nap after the start and still make it to the highway crossing (19 miles) in time to see the front-runners. Take that 30 minutes - you will feel so much more human.
  • When applying sunscreen, try to avoid inserting it into your eye. It's quite hard to spot your rider with only one eye.
  • You will need sunscreen, hand lotion, and lip balm. Apply often, otherwise you will return from your weekend with peeling face and lips, and cracked fingers (I knew this, but still failed to adhere to this simple rule of visiting NV).
  • You have time to get from the hwy crossing (19 miles) to the first vet check (24 miles)—via Starbucks.
  • Rides that have Starbucks within accessible distance of the first vet check are very civilised for both crew and rider.
  • Always try to park your vehicle so that horse and rider are blocked from the wind.
  • There will be wind. (I knew that. Why should this year be any different?)
  • Kody can consume astonishing amounts of fud (OK, I knew that too, but I'm still always astounded by just how much he can get down in one sitting).
  • Bring binoculars to spot your rider coming across the sagebrush several miles away from Washoe Lake trot-by (especially when one eye is still full of sunscreen).
  • Despite numerical evidence to the contrary, you will not have time to sit/knit/read a book while crewing.
  • Three headlights aren't enough when you're crewing - they can and do fail.
  • You can never have enough fleece blankies (I knew this, but as usual, it was proven to me once again).
  • When you see them, buy many pairs of those $2 stretchy woolly gloves and then stash them in every nook and cranny of truck and trailer. They will get used.
  • Treat the first 50 mile loop with extreme care. It's tough, but not nearly as tough as the next loop and you need as much reserve in the tank for that section as you can muster.
  • Yes, that 51-76 mile loop will wipe you and your horse out. Even if it goes relatively smoothly, you'll come in from it feeling physically and emotionally on the edge. Do your best and this too shall pass.
  • Your rider will need extra special patting and propping up at 76 miles.
  • Horses that don't look quite right, gait-wise at 76 miles, can and do look fine by 92 miles.
  • Horses that don't look quite right, gait-wise at 92 miles, can and do look fine by 100 miles.
  • The hours between 1 am and 5 am pass much quicker when listening to Jamie Kerr telling stories
  • Enjoying the barrel stove inside the Ice House building is a wondrous thing between 1 am and 5 am.
  • Hot water bottles + tired riders = A Good Thing


  1. I just wanna be sure I understand the logistics od this ride correctly. Is the start line AND the finish line right outside a BAR?!?

  2. God I wished you had written this prior to me entering. I feel so much better.