Saturday, November 19, 2011

Jersey Devil Part 1

The first picture is of a truck we followed for awhile before getting to ride camp in Pemberton, New Jersey. No, the road was not tilted, this truck was just slightly broken and slightly overloaded. He didn't move very fast. The final two pictures are of the cranberry bogs we passed on the way into ride camp.

After the Maine 25 ride, I was feeling bummed that our competitive trail ride season was over. It felt too short. I missed the Fryeburg ride in July when they cancelled it due to minimal entries. I skipped the Stamford Stampede in August to visit family, assuming I would be riding at Fryeburg two weeks earlier. I intentionally skipped VERDA, thinking that I would be riding at Tessier the next weekend. Then John jumped a stonewall, making himself lame and we missed Tessier.

With all of this rummaging through my brain, I pulled out the ride calendar to stew over it one more time. The only rides left on the calendar were in New Jersey – the Jersey Devil Competitive Trail Rides and the Mustang Memorial Endurance rides. I started scheming for ways to get John to New Jersey – I really didn’t want to go alone – especially since driving through New York City was on the route.

I happened to mention my scheme to my friend Megan in an email. She had already mentioned that she was also bummed ride season was over, but I knew that her sons (who also ride with us) had a fencing tournament and a piano recital the weekend of the Jersey Devil. Megan asked her parents to take the boys to their events (her husband had to work), the boys supported our decision to go to one more ride; we packed up and headed out.

Both of us entered the 25-mile rides on Saturday and Sunday. My thought was that it would be a great way to introduce John to a two-day ride, without the pressure of losing the first day’s mileage if he wasn’t capable of completing a 50-mile ride.

The drive down was going great until we got to the Tappan Zee Bridge, or more correctly, about three miles away from the bridge. Then we sat, for a long time. Luckily, being the end of October, it wasn’t hot for the horses in the trailer; we were just pretty bored. Finally we reached a sign that said there was an accident on the bridge, but when we finally got to the bridge, traffic was flowing fine and there were no signs of an accident. Welcome to New York City.

Then we hit rush hour in Newark. I tried to keep an upbeat attitude; after all, this was my idea! But the driving had to be pretty awful for Meg.

We finally made it to our destination. The “5 hour trip” took seven, but we both got pretty excited as we drove on dirt roads through the cranberry bogs to the gun club, sight of the Jersey Devil Competitive Trail Rides.

We unloaded horses, set up panels (you could rent panels and create a pen that way) and headed over to vet in. All in all, we were pretty happy, except that the forecast was calling for rain and that made us a bit nervous!

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