The awards banquet was the end of the Tevis fun. This year, the completion rate was 52%, the best in a long time. They called the finishers from last to first. Ron had a big smile as he walked across the stage, thanking everyone. Paul bounded up the steps like he'd done nothing--he saved all his energy for that! It was sad when it was all over. The big event was done for another year. Those that finished were smiling and even a lot of those who hadn't finished were smiling as next year would be here soon enough for another try. Chip had to leave and said her goodbyes. She was going to spend the rest of the week relaxing on the northern coast somewhere. I went back to the rig and helped the guys pack up. They were going to head back to Reno to Dovie's place. They'd decided to rest more on Monday and not start the trip back east until Tuesday. After seeing them off, I headed up to the Hall's place in Michigan Bluff. Once again, the peace and serenity of their place was wonderful. Hard to believe that the day before was filled with the excitement and bustle as horses came up out of El Dorado Canyon on their way to Foresthill.
My flight back to FL was due out on Monday after 1pm. The first leg went fine but at Denver, we had a delay that ended up extending out until the departure was over 3 hours past the scheduled time. Ugh! It made for a very long day. I didn't sleep on the plane. Funny how I can sleep just about anywhere but not on a commercial airliner. By the time I got home Tues morning, the sky was lightening as dawn approached. I went straight out to the barn to feed then slept for about 5 hours. When we had landed in Tampa, I looked at my watch and realized that Sunday morning at that time, Paul was coming across the finish line. That was a lot more fun than being on that plane!
So my Tevis adventure was done. I learned a lot from this year as I did from last year. I feel better prepared to make an attempt at riding Tevis myself now that I've got a good handle on the logistics of the ride and some familiarity with the trails. Now to lay out my plan for this coming ride season and see if I have the horse to do it. You never know unless you try.