I had the opportunity, at the last minute, to attend a fundraiser ride for breast cancer this past Sunday organized by Diane Chafee and Janna Combs. Hope Held by a Horse is a non-profit organization, their mission is to provide a safe, positive environment, in the company of horses, to support women with breast cancer to learn, grow, and heal. This ride was in support of those with or recovering from breast cancer. What better way to support this cause then a fun ride in early April, riding as many miles as you wanted with up to 40 miles possible.
I was looking forward to being outdoors. On Saturday I joined together in Boulder with others in memory of a dear friends passing. What better way to celebrate his life later that day, in the outdoors, where I could reflect on all the goodness he was.
Sunday’s weather looked perfect and the driving distance, near Fort Morgan, led my friend Jane and I to leave late Saturday afternoon. This would be our first campout of the season at the Prewitt Reservoir (a new place for us). Prewitt’s 3,047 acres and allows hunting of Waterfowl, Pheasant, Bobwhite quail, and Deer. There is camping, a boat ramp and restrooms. Prewitt is a lovely place to camp, on the water with cottonwoods, riparian activity (pelican, heron, bald eagle), and very few people. As a state wildlife area, all that is needed is a fishing or hunting permit to camp.
We arrived late afternoon and set up camp, then enjoyed cocktails and a pot luck in Diane’s trailer with Janna, Brian and Jane, who were all camping that night at the reservoir. Larry, the state wildlife officer stopped by to join in the banter and go over a few rules and regulations.
Sunday morning the trailers rolled in, locals and other riders and volunteers some as far as Sedalia. Registration and a briefing started the day with riders breaking off into 10 milers, 20 milers and more or less. We had the benefit of the being allowed by the private cattle ranch owners to access the East side of the reservoir so a full loop could be done. The footing was perfect, sandy and soft allowing miles of trotting and cantering. Cottonwood groves had logs for jumping and there were plenty of watering holes.
One rider, that would be me, had the only incident. At a rest stop on the nice soft sandy trail a few of us were talking it up. Being a bit distracted I did not notice Nico sneaking his way into a roll (and yes I was on board)! As he went down I was able to dismount. I had to whack that naughty boy a few times to get him up before completing his roll. The last whack on his rump got his attention. As he jumped up I lost my hold on the reins. Up the dam hill he went and on down the trail trotting back to camp. I thought I was walkin’ on home, but there happened to be some riders behind us who saw him (hans solo) and snagged him before the four-wheeler was dispatched by the call from our safety rider Brian to camp.
After we arrived back in camp Janna’s husband and his friend served up chili, potatoes, hotdogs, chips and delicious fresh string cheese, manufactured just down the road. A raffle and small silent auction along with donated tack for sale ended the day. As we packed up the trailers and cleaned up the site Jane and I left with a big smiles on our faces, both having enjoyed a campout and gathering, meeting new riders and supporting a great cause!
Thanks Diane and Janna for the fun time!