Mt Adams Ride...what I learned & more!
10 things I learned from managing the Mt Adams ride:
1. When you tell people they don't have to bag their horse poop, like the USFS makes us do at all the other rides on public land...they're going to do it anyhow, and then they're going to put their regular garbage in there too & the BCH are going to be really pissed at finding all that in their horse camp poop bins! Side note ~~> THANK YOU Terry Ross & Bob Wooldridge for going up there w/Bob's tracter & trailer & emptying all those bags & clearing out the BCH bins of the rubbish.
2. When you offer to do a 100 miler if you get X # of entries, thinking if you get 1/2, you'll get really stressed out the week before the ride when all but 5-6 of the pre-entries cancel. We ended up with 11 entries. Note to self #1...only offering a 75 miler next year, not matter how much anyone cajoles me!
3. Have friends w/big hearts & bigger chainsaws. Ask them to bring their gloves & boots.
4. No matter how well you explain the trail (I'm a minimalist folks...my ride meeting consists of, "Follow the correct color ribbon, which will ALWAYS be the right color on the RIGHT side of the trail!"...someone is going to get messed up & go the wrong way, or miss a turn, or misunderstand what you said. I tried...really I did.
5. No matter how many miles a person has, they may still make a mistake & you're going to have a crisis of conscience in doing the right thing by the ride & by the person.
I hate that feeling...
6. Involve the local community as much as possible. The little town of Trout Lake, WA, feels such ownership of this ride that they will do about anything to make it happen each year. I was amazed at the people up there. It was refreshing to see how much they care about this ride.
7. Give decent awards. Steph & I wanted to give away a cup that Max had won at another ride w/fresh sharpie writing over the bank logo it had on it, "Best Condition 100 miles, Mt Adams Ride". We got vetoed. ;)
8. Don't overwork your friends/trail crew, they won't come back if you do!
9. If you do overwork your friends/trail crew...FEED THEM WELL! Food & good beer cures a multitude of evils. Really...it does.
10. Build it...and they will come. We had a record number of pre-registrations & equally as many people showed up w/o pre-registering. Can't thank you guys enough. Made my heart happy.
Bonus #11. Have people there that take really good pictures. People love pictures of their ponies. I know this because I do. :) Thank you Jessica & Merri!!
Addendum...Note to self #2...no matter how well you condition your horse, how much you prepare him for 100 miles, find the best jockey available (thanks Mom!)...your favorite horse in the whole world might still find a rock w/his name on it after 37 miles. Ack...