Photo 5 - Chatting with the vet during the vetting-in
Photo 6 - A furry spectator greets some of the riders coming back from the vetting.
Photo 7 - The happy crew serving dinner. There was food enough to feed a hungy army --
and what a feast!
Photo 8 - OD members John Crandell, John Proudman, and Zoe Sollenberger at the ride briefing.
Trail Photos by Flora Hillman
Photo 1 - The view from the top of the western segment of the George Washington
National Forest mountains after the first climb on the first 18 mile loop. This is overlooking the western Virginia countryside down into the Shenandoah Valley.
Photo 2 - Looking down through a crease into the mountains into the Shenandoah Valley. In the farthest distance you can see (faded to light blue) the western ring of the circular Massanutten mountains where the Old Dominion ride takes place.
Photo 3 - The trail heading south along the crest of the mountains. To the left is the mountains of Virginia - to the right is the mountains of West Virginia.
The 55 mile trail
actually tranversed four counties and two states - Virginia and West Virginia.
Photo 4 - Some 55 mile competitors on the 1st loop
Photo 5 - "Gitt'n along while the gitt'n is good!" on the 55 mile trail. OD Vice-President Bob Walsh on "Sheik".
Photo 6 - The 55 trail gets a bit tougher and rockier as it climbs the mountains, but the smiles won't quit because
this trial is FUN! And it hasn't started snowing... or sleeting... yet!
Photo 7 - A horse gives it's opinion of the trail!!
Photo 8 - A very soft sleet is coming down, and the lens is starting to fog, but the 2nd
loop of 25 mile trail
is just too pretty not to take a shot like this.
Photo 9 - The gentle sleet turns to gentle misting rain in the hollows on the 25 mile loop. You only have to
look at the "wet fur" on the ears to see it is, indeed, a bit "damp".
Photo 10 - The lichen and moss on the rocks and trees were brilliantly florescent
in the low light and gentle rain. The deep woods were very sheltering and very etherial. This loop was probably one of the most beautiful and
peaceful one found anywhere. It was almost spiritual in it's winding pilgrimage through Virginia and West Virginia's ancient geographical landscape.
Photo 11 - Only about 4 miles left to go on the 2nd loop, heading up out of the
hidden hollows. At this point there is no sound other than the muffle of wet leaves or the soft scrape of the rocks hidden underfoot. As one looks down
to watch the trail, the gently dripping water off the visor is the only clue that the weather, while still soft, has yet to abate.
Photo 12 - The final leg - an easy 7 miles of softly rolling gravel road running
alongside a brisk, cold, refreshing stream. Coming into the finish line is 55 miler Lisa Green being greeted by her 8 year old son, Hunter, who
has just (a few hours earlier with his dad as sponosr) finished the 30 mile -- his first "endurance ride" ever! Mom and son are congratulating each
other for a job well done! (PS. The gray standing nearby is my pony, patiently waiting while I take Lisa and Hunter's photograph!)