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August 20, 2013: Pete

It sounded in the previous email as though Raudi and I had our endurance ride act together. Maybe, somewhat. The one who really had their act together was Pete. I can only give myself credit for being cognizant of this.

I would not have finished in the time that I did if not for him. Pete, as always, was calm, cool, collected. He made many wise decisions, and I followed suit.

This began with our missing a trail turn. In short order we caught up with two other riders. Raudi and I wanted to blast on ahead of them, but Pete wisely said for us to follow. This was good, because they set a good pace. Pete also made sure

that we stopped at every single water stop, and gave the horses time to relax.

Pete also stopped when another rider, one who was behind us, slipped in some mud and went down. Both of us then waited for her to catch up. (For the record, the two ahead of us kept going.)

Pete also kept focused on what I called flag finding, which is keeping the differing colored streamers in sight. This was particularly difficult when we were traveling on a river bottom. I began grousing about losing time, but Pete, ignoring me, kept focused on finding the markers.

Signy and Pete are, and remain, a well matched pair. She too maintains a steady pace, and does not vary her stride. This was why her pulse was lower than Raudi’s pulse at the finish.

It was quite obvious at the end that both horses were tired. Both have the build of animals that do well in northern climes. After the ride we repeatedly doused them with water, and monitored their heart rate. This was in the check in area and back at camp. After a bit, Pete noticed that Signy wasn’t eating much and Raudi’s pulse was still up there. So he suggested we take them both for a walk.

I stopped by the water trough and Pete went over and hung out with one of the veterinarians. I later realized that this was an act of brilliance on his part. Both he and Sam kept an eye on Signy and monitored her condition. In a short bit she resumed eating.

It is not just that Pete has horse sense. At the same time, he’s personable – he gets along with everyone. I was dubious when he and Robert suggested that we have an evening bonfire and get together. I guess I didn’t think that people would stick around for this.

Many did. In part this was because Beth, the ride organizer was not up to organizing this herself. Earlier she’d been thrown by her horse, then after went and did the 50 mile ride. As it turned out, this gathering turned out to be quite a success. About a dozen people brought food, ate, and later sat around the bonfire telling stories.

It could be said that being Pete’s partner, that I am biased. But during this event others acknowledged that Pete is in his own way an exceptional fellow. A case in point: John, who was one of the race organizers, gave Pete a medallion that has inscribed on it I know you Ryder Endurance Ride. This, both Pete and I realized was high praise indeed. It’s also special because Pete is a long-time Grateful Dead fan.

I’m fortunate to be with this fellow. Sometimes, when I think about the loss of Siggi, I remind myself of this. This is something that of course, came to the forefront of my consciousness several times today.

Next: 160: 8/21/13: Ultra-light Pack Trip Preparations