Lake Carl Blackwell – Stillwater, Oklahoma
June 30, 2012 – 50 miles
Friday, June 29th: The boys (my human sons, Patrick and Jack) and I headed north toward Stillwater, Oklahoma for a fun weekend of camping and riding. Well, they don’t ride, but they camp! Lake Carl Blackwell has some great equestrian facilities with electric hook-ups and a water spickett as well as picnic table at each campsite, and the lake is just a short walk away to go swimming. The boys, horses and I settled into camp – figured out how to set up the awning – yay – and the boys and I went to the lake for a short while to do a little swimming. It’s entirely too hot out, but a little lake fun helps out!
The plan is to ride Kenlyn Pristine in the 50-miler. California is along for moral support as he was hurt just a few days prior and his wounds need doctoring.
The boys and I had fun hanging out with friends camped next door to us and we learned a new board game! I was off to bed early as we had a 4 a.m. start time. At least my intentions were good. I don’t know if I was worried I would repeat the little mishap at Llano Estacado two weeks prior, but I was awake at 1:54, 1:56, 1:58, 2:25 a.m., etc… of course, between these little 2-minute intervals, it felt like it had been much, much longer. So, I decided just to get up and drink coffee.
Saturday, June 30th, 4 a.m.: The loop order is: Pink, Pink, Pink… of course, the first loop is entirely in the dark with very few glow sticks. It was a bit nerve racking to me. I stayed with a long group of riders, hoping the person in front knew where they were going! There is no way I would have been able to follow the trail in the pitch-black dark! We were able to complete the first loop in two hours. Halleluja, that one is over! When we came in, there was no in-timer and no vet – what the?! And we had a large group of riders all together with a 45 minute hold… this is not good. By the time we got through the vet check, we only had 15 minutes to eat, electrolyte… blah, blah, blah… so I spent an extra 10 minutes. I am in no hurry, just a conditioning 50 for my girl – it’s all good!
On the second loop, Pristine and I caught up with the 3rd and 4th place runners and we rode together through that loop and we were all out together at the same time for the third and final loop. When we stopped for the first of three tokens (each loop had these), we all got our tokens and for some reason Pristine was ready to go – and I mean GO! She felt so very strong and kept a forward pace through the finish, coming in 3rd place with a finish time of 5:06, 22 minutes behind the first two. Her scores were just as great with a CRI of 52/48!!
What do you do when you’re done riding 50 miles at 10:30 a.m.?? Which, by the way, is a very good feeling albeit sort of weird. The boys and I headed to the lake for a little swimming, and then watched a movie, quite the lazy hot afternoon. The boys stayed up with our neighbors and played some more games while I showered and crashed for the night. The next morning, bright and early at 6:30 a.m., I packed up camp, woke the kids up and headed back to Texas. It was a great, successful weekend, and I am now looking forward to my non-horse vacation next week!
Note: There were no official ride pics because the photographer got stuck on a four-wheeler and spent the day trying to get unstuck… not the best way to spend a hot summer day in Oklahoma.
Next stop: Sangre Scenic Pioneer – Westcliffe, CO – hopefully CA will be ridden… eventually!!