Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Dear Diary: Let it be Spring. March 15

It's been really nasty out this week - windy, cold, showers - even a few snow flakes. So I've been indoors, working some, reading some, checking out what's happening in the rest of the world.

There has been a FB thread recently, on the page of a group calling themselves ‘endurance green beans’ - those who are new to the sport, just learning how to do it, giving each other support and encouragement and education.

Somehow the topic became a discussion of the challenges of what to do when ‘nature calls’ out on the trail. Most rides provide portable services in camp, but the nature of our sport is such that much of our time is spent out on the trail, and when ya gotta go, ya gotta go. We learn to scan the horizon for likely areas of relative privacy - trees, gullies, large bushes … often options are limited.

Many years ago when I first started hosting rides here in Oreana (population 8, maybe 9) over the expansive rangelands of Owyhee County, the local ranchers were curious "you ride that many miles for fun?”, and somewhat concerned "if your riders leave a gate open the cows will scatter, that would be really bad”, and at times amused.

At one of the annual Oreana Christmas parties, I was talking with a rancher about how crazy endurance riders were and he started laughing - “I was driving back from town, saw a water trough off to the side of the road, saw some horses there drinking, saw some riders off their horses … and holy cow I couldn’t believe it!” I explained that it was a real problem during the rides, that we couldn’t provide facilities everywhere, it was hard to stop when other horses and riders were going by…you know, we try not to be seen…

He kept laughing and suggested that we use the ‘Oreana Porta Potty’. Buckets work too.

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