Sunday, December 11, 2016

Conditioning at Andy Guest

I met a friend today at Andy Guest, which is more officially known as the Shenandoah River State Park.  It is one of my favorite places to ride and I haven't been there for probably months, so it was nice to be back.

Where are we going today, mom?

Also, may I eat the camera?
Winter has finally come to Virginia with some hideous polar vortex-caused weather to start during the next couple of days.  It won't be as bad as what my home state of North Dakota has been getting, but it will suck, nonetheless.  So in the interest of scraping one more ride out before the weather turns, my friend and I hauled our horses in below-freezing temps so that we could enjoy the last day before nasty weather rolls in.  (I think the high ended up being in the mid-30s, so it did get above freezing!)

Surprisingly, there was no one else riding at the park today (or biking or hiking, either from what I could tell).

Atypically, I arrived early for my riding play date.
We actually ended up having a great time and not being cold at all once we got going.  We walked the first couple of miles because the trail is fairly rocky and I opted not to put hoof boots on Nimo today (oh, what freedom!), but then we started to incorporate some trot work.  The terrain at Andy Guest is really great for conditioning because it includes some climbing, some short, undulating hills, and some flat ground near the river.  We managed to get 8 miles in and basically chatted our way around the park.  Which is why the only pictures I have are during the last 5 minutes of the ride when I thought, "Crap! I was supposed to take pictures for my blog!"  So they aren't really representative of what the actual trail looks like, which is wooded on the mountain and open field near the river, but I tried:)

Not the best picture in the world, but this is the "scenic" shed that houses some maintenance equipment for the park.
A quick shot off to the right of the previous one in a desperate attempt to show scenery.
Equitrack's GPS map showing that yes, you can use a GPS app while in airplane mode because my phone gets no reception at the park.  It does suck battery life, though.

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