Friday, Feb. 21, 2020 – Day One of the OTL

Hello My Sweet!
What a day! Up before the crack of dawn, had breakfast since it’s going to be such a long day, and had Flash loaded up and ready to go by the time Anita’s boyfriend Scott arrived at about 7:10. We got out about 7:30 (he was admiring one of the boats brother Jeff has stored in his yard), and we were at Dupuis by shortly after 8:00. I got Flash ready to go, and by 8:30 I was on my way out in front of the pack. When my head started to get wet from a light drizzle in the air, I realized I forgot my hel-hat so I had to come back, though I hadn’t gone far, thank goodness. A nice turnout, something like 35 riders, which I’m told was a good number for the Friday ride, especially since it was a bit cool and windy as a front was just finishing going through. Glad to say most of the markers were still there, though I did have to add or replace a few just to make it to my standards :-). The rain quit before long, and though it stayed mostly overcast, I didn’t mind. I remember last year it was sunny and hot and when I went through the southern section where there wasn’t much shade, it was pretty uncomfortable, so it was actually better this way. Besides, I had my slicker on, so I didn’t get very wet, at least not until I got to Corbett, where the water was still high and there was a lot of splashing going on! There was NO activity along the canal, we were worried because they had huge machinery out there a couple of weeks ago, and at the last minute, one of the sub-contractors was going to STOP US from going along the canal because of insurance liability (good Lord, insurance will be the death of this country! Forced to raise wimps!), but we got a reprieve at the last moment, and there was no activity anyway, so it was all a storm in a teacup. Anyway, it was a great ride, especially since I didn’t have the stress of getting lost, and I received many accolades from the other riders as they came in, no one got lost. There was one group from Miami, however, who had a leader who claimed to know Dupuis really well, and he took his group on a different route (supposedly a shortcut, which added 6-7 miles to the day), and we had volunteers waiting for an extra two plus hours for them to come in after everyone else. Of course, his horse lost a shoe and they had to walk the last 5-6 miles, which slowed things down even more. Sigh. Some of the folks had just come from the Cracker Ride, and they were telling me how they move the trailers in the morning and shuttle them back to their horses, which is the same thing the Michigan Shore-to-Shore folks do, so I’m going to suggest that for next year. Makes more sense, since everyone will be arriving at their own rig at different times, and we won’t have to make anyone wait for enough drivers and a volunteer to shuttle them. Just means they have to start a little later in the day. All the delay also meant that my truck didn’t get to me until well after all the riders but that one group came in, so I had to borrow a halter and lead rope to tie Flash to someone’s trailer for awhile. He did brilliantly, by the way. Unlike last year, he didn’t get any swelling or limping at all, so he was in great shape. I took a group back to Dupuis (over an hour!), then got home after dark, got Flash settled in, and I’m not going to be long out of bed, I’ve got another early call tomorrow morning! Good night, my love!

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