Monday, August 11, 2014

Tevis 2014: Rushcreek Love!

Another fabulous Tevis weekend is in the books!  This year I signed on to crew for Laura Hayes and Rushcreek Seth from New York/Nebraska; I had watched a friend ride Seth to a top 20 Tevis completion in 2012 while crewing for KC and was so excited this year to be crewing for Seth as his owner Laura rode him through.

GIANT thumbs up coz it's Friday of Tevis again! heading to Robie to meet horse & rider 
 time to play my favorite road-to-Robie game: will the bumper of the RV/fancy rig in front of you drag the ground?  in 2012 I watched a cherry red convertible make this drive with bated breath!
Arrived at Robie Park--the mighty Rushcreek Seth of course!! what a gorgeous creature
Time to go vet in! Horse and rider ready

 Seth and Laura vet in at Robie park with Doc Lydon
 looking good at trot out
After a successful vet in, I gathered my crew gear and instructions, wished Laura and her two rig partners a happy evening and start, and headed for my traditional Tevis dwelling, Motel 6 in Auburn. I generally get no more than and usually less than 6 hours of sleep over the entire weekend at the motel but the chance to rush back and *shower* when I have the chance is much appreciated.

Personally, I approach crewing as a mission. My mission is made somewhat harder by my sensitivity to heat which ended in my heat stroking out of being there for the stadium finish last year, so I really have to approach crewing like I'm in my own little endurance ride. As such, I get up bright and early and am in the first line of cars to get into Robinson so that my rider gets a good spot to relax, AND so that my rig is parked up top and my hiking/hauling is minimal. This was especially crucial this year as I had a few crew bags to carry, was trying to avoid overheating, and had only my 2 arms to accomplish everything.

in line for Robinson Flat long before 6 am when they let us in
the Robinson Flat fun ramps up as crews and volunteers arrive
 spot staked out for Laura and Seth
 was a little chilly up there Sat morning, ahh here comes the sun
 crew milling around waiting for riders to come down the lane into Robinson
 Laura and Seth arrived just about when I was anticipating them, and I rushed to dump off his saddle at our crew area and get back to him with some hay snacks. In true Rushcreek fashion Seth doesn't like carrots or most randomly offered snack items, so having hay in hand was the key!

quick blood draw after P&R and before Vetting in. This is the third year of a study looking for indicators in blood work that might be early predictors of brewing metabolic issues
 Vetting at Robinson, Seth is casual as ever, and ready for some grub
 Good blood work, great vet in, time for a snack and cell break 
 what, doesn't every Tevis horse stand quietly "log tied" at 36 mile Out Timer? I *love* rushcreeks
setting an alarm for 10 minutes before out time is my favorite way to not get behind. Be sure to  keep track of those pesky little time cards though! I ran back and found ours floating in Seth's water that sorted and Laura and Seth ride away looking great with junior Rhea on a Global horse tagging along
Thanks to my early arrival and parking up top, once Laura was on her way I only had about a 1/2 mile haul of gear to my truck and skeedaddled out of there to go assess the Foresthill situation. This was my first time crewing totally solo; the last years being part of a team definitely helped prepare me for the experience but I was still not entirely sure *what* I was going to do at Foresthill since my rider hitched a ride and wouldn't have a rig there, it was hot and shadeless, etc. Fortunately I found her rig partners and hid in their shade for a few hours until their faster rider went through and they and their shade left in pursuit of her. At that point I set up in the weak shade my truck provided, and hoped the temperatures would cool before Laura's arrival.

She rode in about 7 pm and the temperatures had cooled AND some shade had arrived, phew!

Foresthill vet check
 trot out at 68 miles
snacks and shade, stat! cheeseburgers and hay, bit of rest, then a  girth and saddle pad change
 Time to go again! Laura and Seth ready
 Heading out of 68 mile Foresthill stop..
 ..and that Tevis moon is a rising!
 Once the pair were on their way out of Foresthill I visited my best Auburn friends, Shower and In n Out Burger. After making sure Seth's stall was clean and stocked, Laura's gear was back in her trailer/stall out of my rig, and I had my Finish line necessities (fleece for Seth, snacks), I spent 5 or 6 hours deliriously visiting with folks in Auburn Stadium while feverishly pressing Refresh on Laura's name on the fabulous Tevis Webcast.  I had a fun interlude where the spot I chose to relax in the bleachers turned out to be ant infested; there was rather a lot of hopping around and swearing and blanket shaking before I crawled to another spot and surrendered to sleep on the friendly metal floor amid the acrid smell of murdered ants.

3 AM, she's at the Finish!!! UP AND ADAM!  Here they come, WOOHOO!!!
 Final vetting at Auburn Stadium finish line
 final trot out, and after 3 years of photos I don't think I'll ever manage a clear photo of this part of the day, too dark and dusty and the cell phone battery is too far gone--but the picture is clear, regardless--Seth and Laura FINISHING! 
Success! And a welcome stall.
 It was so special to be a part of Laura and Seth's Tevis adventure; Seth has many quirks that remind me so strongly of my Scrappy boy, but Seth is a bit more motivated and impressive on trail! Still he has that relaxed, unimpressed by trot outs, quirky Rushcreek thing going on and it inspires me that my quirky slow  Scrappy fella and I will get out there and get er done too maybe, at some point. I don't doubt Scrappy's ability in the least but some of his unenthusiastic ride habits do make me question his enjoyment of endurance occasionally.  It was really great/special/inspiring to see how a relaxed Rushcreek fellow pulls this thing called Tevis off. Thank you for including me, Laura and Seth! Happy trails and safe travels East.


  1. Oooh you got some great pics! Wonderful hanging out with you at FH/Auburn, and I'm so happy that you beat the migraine!

  2. Wonderful recap! Thanks for going through what you did as her crew.

  3. You did solo crew! Superwoman! How awesome.

    Seth's a pretty boy. Congrats to him and Laura!