Originally posted by Katherine at 25th July 2012 at 23:18
Well, here I am blogging instead of doing something more productive like, oh I don’t know, weighing each and every lithium battery I plan on taking along, as the word on the street is that our 5kg weight allowance will be strictly enforced. None of this hiding contraband tequila bottles down our riding tights! Let them try to find it, is all I have to say.
And while I really intend on getting out for physical exercise and riding this afternoon, I have to admit that I just crawled out of another salt-water bath, as I had some bizarre dog-leash accident (don’t ask) and have been nursing what looks like whip marks on the backs of my knees. Outlaw Kate is injured! Oh no! The worst part of this was prying my riding tights under-layer out of the wound the last time I rode. Yuck – I know, eh. But not to worry, don’t run to the bookie and adjust those odds just yet. I will rebound with enough application of alcohol – er – antiseptic; both inside and out, that’s what they do out here in the west. A little bit for the wound…a little bit for the patient…a little bit for the wound…
Training has gone well, and at this point, it’s ready or not, here I come. I was able to get out to Hornby Island last week to visit some great friends from my Rocky Mountain House days – Lesley Roberton and John Sharpe, and their Swiss sidekick, the indomitable Regula. Not only did we have some excellent visiting time, they also introduced me to their good friend and neighbour Pam Gordon, who owns the wonderful Icelandic ponies Prinsessa and Dropi (his name means “Droplet” in Icelandic). What a blast it was riding through the trees, rocketing across some hay meadows, and experiencing the Icelandic’s distinctive gait called the “tolt”, all near the incredibly beautiful shores of Hornby Island. Did I mention Pam is 81 years old, actively farms, and could probably outride most people half her age? What an incredible woman – she is my newest hero.
Pam rides Prinsessa across the meadow
Dropi and I take a moment to enjoy the view
I also had the pleasure of an outing with Marion Grau, who owns Jingles, Dom’s (only) friend at the stable. We managed to get in some riding on some cool trails in between starring together in the Global BC TV news hour (the segment will air at some point in the future when news is especially slow) as a very nice man came out to interview me with respect to my entry in the Derby. I would tell you to set your PVR but I have a feeling that fascination with this adventure might get overshadowed by the upcoming London Olympics…oh well, I’m pretty sure I had helmet-hair and horse-grime-face anyways.
Heading for home
On the trail with Marion and Jingles
And let’s see…yep, I think that’s about it for now. I will be assembling my kit very soon, weighing the pros and cons of taking Jordan’s lucky Olympic torch (she was a torchbearer in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics) vs. a Bic lighter. And what about my pillow and sock monkey? I really can’t decide. One week until departure, so I’d better get it sorted.
I have also had the extraordinary pleasure of corresponding with a fellow Canadian and 2011 Derby participant Jason Tse. Between Jason and Sophia Mangalee, I have been able to get a pretty good picture of what's to come in the next few weeks. Their advice, stories and insights have been invaluable. Thanks so much you two!