Grand Canyon Ride

It’s been a very busy few weeks for me as I have been off on adventures the past three weekends in a row. This is the first Saturday in God knows how long that I’ve gotten to sit and enjoy my morning cup of coffee. It’s also been a very busy short week for me.

I left for the Grand Canyon ride last Saturday at 4:30am. The drive was fairly easy and straight forward. I also did something a bit different. I wrote down the directions to the ride without using any sort of GPS. Most of these rides have no address for the base camp and I attempted GPS to the Mt. Carmel ride in May and ended up having to drive my truck camper and trailer through Zion National Park. I arrived to the base camp after 7 hours start to finish with my directions that I had written down. I was a little proud of myself as a millennial to not have to use a GPS and will attempt this now for every ride!

The drive there was beautiful as I passed through the Glen Canyon area on the way to the North Rim.

On Sunday, I ended up riding with another “Zonie” friend named Shannon. Shannon was going to do the 50 but I pleaded how I had no one to ride with in the LD, which ended up being 35 miles. My training partner Andrea did the 50 on Saturday in a saddle she hasn’t used before in a 50 and was too sore to ride with me. The morning of the ride was chilly and it was a strange feeling to have a rain jacket on considering it’s still 100+ in the valley. I bought Annabel a “Rump Warmer” from Riding Warehouse as I was told to be prepared for rain and it helped fend off that morning chill.

The first 10 miles of the ride were down a forest road on a slowly declining flat gravel road. The cold air felt good and Annabel was surprisingly calm while leaving the camp and settled right into a brisk trot with her new Arabian gelding friend “Temptest”. However, my ankles started to give out early on in the ride. I don’t know why, usually they start to get weak the last 5-10 miles. My ankles became numb and started curling under me which was extremely painful. I became miserable and did not get to enjoy the ride. After several more miles I started riding with one hand and gripped the pommel of my saddle with the other to keep me balanced and help me rise in the post. I had a refreshing view of the Grand Canyon which took my breath away and made me forget about the pain I was in.

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I ended up doing 24 miles before the 1 hour hold. That was the longest I’ve ever been in the saddle without a hold. I was hopeful that during the 1 hour hold my Ibuprofen would have kicked in more and my ankles would have felt better but unfortunately that was not the case. After the hold, I trotted off into the woods for about five minutes and my ankles started to give again. I gave up and told Shannon that I’d have to walk the last 9-10 miles. Shannon had prepared for this but we found out during the hold that we had a couple hours to make it back and it could be done at a walk. I decided to just enjoy the scenery and was back. The walk back felt like it would never end, but I was so happy it did unfortunately. I really wish this would have been an enjoyable ride for me.

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However, I did tie Annabel up to another trailer later that evening and got to take a peak at the Grand Canyon for the first time. It was so amazing, I could have looked at it for hours. It’s been somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go but have never gone to see.

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My next ride is in Utah on Saturday September 24th, just two weekends away. I’m a little stressed I have so much to get done in such a short amount of time now that the fall rides are starting to take place. I need to take my Camper in to fix a leak, need to get my sway control welded back on my trailer, I need to take my truck in and get it serviced for an oil change, have my checked, and tires rotated. Annabel is having her wellness exam on Monday. I need to order some new stirrups to help with my ankle pain and a new saddle pad. I need to figure out what I’m going to do with her shoes as she is due September 27th on her back hooves.

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