Friday, September 16, 2011

2011 Tevis: Ride Director's Report

September 16 2011

The 56th annual Western States Trail Ride will run on an autumn day, which is unprecedented. I would like to discuss some things to consider as you prepare for your ride.

October 8 will present 2 fewer hours of daylight than you would have on a midsummer’s day. Your trail will have morning glowsticks most of the way to High Camp (about 13 miles out) as sunrise will occur at 7:06 bringing a breaking dawn at around 6:15. Our start is set for 5:15, and you may expect chilly predawn temperatures as low as the teens. The bridges on the way to Hiway 89 could be frosty, so they will be sanded for traction. We are going to ask that all riders cross the bridges at a walk for safety.

The trail has been adjusted to take out Bald Mt. and the Pucker Point loop after Robinson Flat. Riders will go down Road 43 instead. This trail change is intended to get the riders through the canyons in the daylight. The cutoff times will be 30 minutes earlier at each point from Last Chance to Francisco’s and 15 minutes earlier at Lower Quarry. The rider card has this year’s mileage and cutoff times updated for your reference. The official timed finish is at 5:15 under the banner in McCann Stadium. Riders will arrive at the finish by using the Pioneer Express trail which loops south around the skateboard park at the overlook. This trail turns left approximately100 yards short of the staging area and crosses under Pacific Avenue with a right turn along the railroad tracks, then back toward the north to the traditional railroad crossing at Pacific Avenue.

The top 20 horses will get a “place holder” finish card on the Pioneer Express trail on a wide gravel stretch before the Pacific Avenue undercrossing. After crossing the “place holder” finish line, riders will hold their order of finish in McCann Stadium.

The trail committee has been logging many hours of work widening, leveling, pruning and generally improving safety on our trail. You will be impressed.

October 8 falls on the third week of the 2011 deer season. We have posted signs cautioning hunters of the presence of horses and riders for the portion of the trail from Hodgson’s Cabin to Last Chance. It would be a good idea if riders planned to wear brightly colored clothing for added visibility.

The Western States Trail Ride has never been run in October before, and we will be sharing the fairgrounds with some pretty festive events; namely, The Music Fest, Octoberfest, and a gun show (scheduled for Sunday). Parking will be tight and our stabling will not be available until September 28. If you are traveling a great distance and need to arrive in the Auburn area before this date, please contact the Tevis office for assistance in locating stabling as we have some options available.

As you can see we have been planning for many eventualities to make the 56th Annual Western States Tevis Ride as memorable and incredible as ever. Keep training and check back to our website for any future updates.

Chuck Stalley
2011 Ride Director

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