Wandering Around The Water, Walk Report, Baltimore Running Festival Virtual 5K

Fit To Ride

Awareness of the outside world. Axios: Puerto Rico leads U.S. COVID vaccination rates, Reyes, Oct 19, 2021.

The Virtual Walk
Baltimore Running Festival
Date, IRL – some earlier point
Date, Me – Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Georgetown Lake Park
Distance – 5 kilometers
Time – 1 hour 12 minutes
Results – who knows

The dates for the virtual walk coincided with a rainy week. The only clear day was the Friday before my inaugural trip to Hunterland. Did not want to be stiff and stove-up for that. [First Lesson, Once Again]

The race was of the ‘Here’s your loot, enjoy’ variety. I didn’t need to be tracked or to register a result. So I picked a park with a patch of water to walk around and headed out.

The IRL Walk

Struggle bus. Way harder than it should have been. At 2 kilometers, I was thinking that maybe it has been a while since I did a 5K. Nope. The month before I did two in one weekend, without undue strain. I guess today wasn’t my day. At 3.5 kilometers, I started to smell the barn. I never doubted that I would finish, just more effort than I was expecting.

Also, not a new park. I had been there before but not since the park project began. Pretty enough but no novelty.

View over the lake to the wooden walkway & shaded section on the far side.

After 4 kilometers, my feet loved the soft matting of the playground. You can see the cluster of small circles at the bottom of the route map.

The IRL Walk That Wasn’t

The Baltimore IRL 5K takes places around the Inner Harbor. Where could I walk? How could I be thematically appropriate?

Did you know that a town in Alabama has a working harbor on the Tennessee River? I did not.

The harbor is being developed as a retail destination. Shades of the Inner Harbor.

The 3.66 mile Sunset Drive Trail starts near the harbor and runs along the lakefront. Perfect!

Alas. Map search tells me Guntersville is 2 hours away, at best. I never drive as fast at the map folks do.

It didn’t make sense to drive 5 hours when a perfectly decent patch of ground was close by. Sigh. If anything takes me up that way, I will definitely do my daily mile on the lakefront trail.


“The Guntersville City Harbor is a popular destination for people that are traveling by water …” Alabama Travel: Guntersville City Harbor

City Harbor at Lake Guntersville

NRT Database: Sunset Drive Trail

Previous Post [Greenway Stroll, Part II, Baltimore Running Festival Virtual 5K, October 2020]

Previous Park [Little Walking, Little Walks]

I hadn’t planned to do Baltimore again. I was lured into it. “October. Baltimore Running Festival. Signed up. Was offered $15 off of a $25 race, and special shiny red 20th anniversary medal.” Virtual 2021, Digital Fun For Foot And Pedal

Stay safe. Stay sane.

The Many Faces of Rodney Over Fences


Awareness of the outside world. The Guardian: Let her finish: interruptions of female justices led to new supreme court rules, Yang, 15 October 2021.

I need to keep centering the idea that point of lessons at the Hunter Barn is to jump at home. [Second Lesson]

One of the issues with jumping Rodney is that I never know which horse I will get.

The Gentleman

Horse: I think we should canter this.
Rider: Really?
Horse: Yeah. I’m good.

Cantered quietly in. Cantered quietly over. Cantered quietly away.

A Small Hop Forward September 2020

The Brat

RODNEY: Lemme at ’em. Lemme at ’em.

ME: … straightness … rhythm … pace …

RODNEY: Buttercup this!

An Abundance of Attitude October 2020

The Pogo Stick

Rodney got overwhelmed and LEAPED into the air.

Rodney’s Recent Jumps April 2021

He jumped 2′ 9″ sweet as you please.
Then he went sproing over a crossrail.

Free Jumping April 2021

The choices

One version. You could adapt. Make decisions on how to ride. Consider what the horse wants to do with his life.

Two versions. Depends which two. Gentleman/Brat? Both moving forward, would depend on the day. Gentleman/Pogo Stick? Sit chilly, see how much handholding is required.

The Brat/Pogo Stick polarity is hardest to deal with. Are you boiling over and need to be dialed back? Are you overwhelmed and need to be supported?

Three versions? Welcome to my world. The above duality with just enough glimpses of the underlying stellar horse that you keep hitting your head against the wall going.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Return of School Horse, Hunter Lesson


Awareness of the outside world. Elephants & really large pumpkins. Oregon Zoo Twitter 14 Oct 2021. Assist to Balloon Juice: Friday Evening Open Thread: Monster Mash 15 Oct.

Housekeeping note. The new barn has requested a low profile. Henceforth it shall be referred to as the Hunter Barn. They do both. I don’t want to write out New Hunter/Jumper Barn each time.

Onto lesson the second.

Different instructor; same horse. The new instructor looks to be my regular teacher. I would have been perfectly happy to stay with the first instructor but schedules didn’t match. Horse will undoubted change over time. Very happy to stay with his slow self for a while. [First Lesson]

Second instructor put me right to work. Two-point. Drop stirrups. Post at walk. Sitting trot. I’ll leave you to imagine the creaks and groans the next day.

Day was warmer. School Horse was less inclined to trot than he had been on Saturday. Even I had trouble starting the engine.

The cantering went better, as it does. There were a few strides down one long side when everything felt right with the world. I’ve said all along that I am better at the canter than at the trot. Now, I’m in a discipline where this will work to my advantage.

Trot crossrails. Around the outside in a four-crossrail course. Criss-cross of two inside crossrails, at a canter!

Afterwards, we went on a hack around the property. School Horse tried to convince me that he had never seen that, or that, or that over there. Nice try, dude. Otherwise, lovely stroll. Best walking all day.

I. Was. Exhausted. The sort of exhausted where you drive home carefully because you know your brain is sludge. Some physical, mostly mental.


Stay safe. Stay sane.

Tortoise Power, Looking Back at the Virtual Tevis 2021


Awareness of the outside world. Western States Trail Preservation.

I love this … ride? Virtual ride? Exercise?


I love the Virtual Tevis. It has been so good for our horses both years. I want to go about telling people and convincing them to give it a try. Only walk? That’ll work, take my word for it. Only do ring work? Strap on a GPS and record your ring mileage. Take lessons? The only requirement is access to the same horse for three months.

Enough with the sales pitch.

How was our 2021 Virtual Tevis? We didn’t have long rides. We didn’t have fast rides. We had a lot of rides.

Last year, we got rode on the weekends and once during the week. This year, we rode daily, with several 12-14 day stretches. Our routine was not a huge technical or physical challenge. Get up. Tack up. Ride for 45 minutes, más o menos. A little bit every day. Amazing how quickly that adds up. Insert obvious life lesson here.

Yes, we could have done all of this riding on our own. The Tevis name & counting to 100 gave us that little extra push to get out of bed at O-dark hundred.

We mostly walked. Both horses are better about trotting when they are in rings at other barns than when they in their own pasture at home. Go figure.

We mostly walked. Riding in the morning allowed us to beat the heat but meant dew on the grass, which mean slippery grass.

Over the 100 miles, both horses got better about slowing down and handling muddy footing.

I am becoming a firm believer in the benefits of starting each ride with 1 mile/20 minutes of long, slow walking. I know it can’t always be done. It should be done more often.

What does the future hold?

I hope to do this every year, as long as they offer it and we have horses.

Next year, I would like to do more trotting, more trail riding (really, any at all), and longer rides. Also, more Cougar Rock and other faux pix.

All of these were plans for this year. Partly, we didn’t get to them, partly the horses were doing so well with their relaxed walking that we went with it.

One option is to aim for a 24-hour ride. Not in one day as they do in the IRL Tevis. The management strongly discourages attempting a 100-mile, one-day ride unless one is under the care of a certified ride. This would be 24 hours total, as in one hour each day for 24 days, or 1/2 hour each day for 48 days. Four miles an hour would be way more trotting than we do now. An interesting sub-plot with the right horse.

BTW, Speed of Animals (isn’t the Internet amazing?) says the trot is 8 to 12 mph and the canter is 12 to 15 mph. The page also say that a horse walks at 4 mph. They have faster walking horses than we do.

Those are bells and whistles. Mission success is getting up, getting out there, and getting it done.

Last week [Around The Pasture in 80 Days, Rodney Finishes The Virtual Tevis, 100 Miles, 80 Days]
All posts [VT Archives]
Official page, Tevis Cup: Virtual Tevis 2021

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Feed Change


Awareness of the outside world. At the end of last week, my state was bouncing back and forth over the red/orange transmission line. First, state was orange; local counties red. Then, state back to red; one local county orange. Heading in the right direction. CDC Covid Tracker

Rodney is sensitive to being overfed.

Life choices deteriorated.

Lowered feed.

Life choices improved.

Rodney is a hard keeper.

Feed gradually raised.

75% of previous. All good.

87% of previous. Still good.

Back to previous rations.


We are now looking into switching feeds.

Gotta give props to the old man for athleticism. Middle of last week, it became obvious that Rodney’s mind was not on riding. I got off and asked the in-house ground-work expert to lunge.

While lungeing, Rodney repeatedly managed to get all four feet well off the ground. When upset, Milton has one move, crow-hopping about like a wind-up toy. Rodney has range. Leaping. Tossing his head. Sunfishing. My favorite was rearing while levitating off the back feet. Very expressive.

It was during the shenanigans that we started discussing a different feed.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Blog Logo, Lines


Awareness of the outside world. Catholics and Cultures: Camaiore, Italy, townsfolk lay tappeti for Corpus Domini procession, Landy. Includes a gallery of images. Assist to Sapori e Saperia Tours for mentioning these colored sawdust carpets in a presentation during HGA Spinning & Weaving Week. SeS: How do you find…? Making of.


Process notes. Lines were drawn .5 mm thick, placed 2mm apart. Scale changed; ratio remained. Drawing & border in Inkscape. GIMP to change format for upload. Doing it digitally did *not* take less time to draw. It did enable me to make the lines closer, be more precise & correct mistakes.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Magic Spells, Fiction Sketch


Awareness of the outside world. “honestly frodo’s journey is so wild. like, imagine your uncle goes missing after his birthday party, and his old stoner friend from out of town tells you the souvenir he brought back from a vegas trip 80 years ago is actually satan’s mood ring and now zombie assassins are coming to burn down your town unless you and your lawn guy meet up with medieval hozier in a dark gastropub…” Paper Rose Doodles, Doodlin Stuff, a Tumbler blog, May 30, 2021.

Z stood in front of the chain link fence, considering the opening they had made with the Hole-In-Fence spell. It was a fiddly little spell. One had to specify exactly what sort of hole and where. After all, a chain link fence is more hole than metal. Most fences had some sort of opening for wind and water to pass thru. If you get down to the atomic level, everything is a cloud of holes.

They hadn’t gotten to the atomic level. It just felt like it.

Turns out magic has always been among us. It’s just not worth the time.

If you wanted to make a hole in your own fence, it was easier to grab a set of bolt cutters. Or saw. Or drill. If you wanted to make a hole in someone else’s fence, perhaps for illegal purposes, the owners of the fence and their security cameras were not going to take kindly to you standing in front of the fence for 45 minutes while you composed yourself.

Turns out you could design your own spells. Z’s D&D friends used to joke that Locate Parking Space would be a useful spell. So they tried to make it.

Turns out, once again, you had to be specific. Very, very specific. There was always space in the middle of intersections and on sidewalks. Even at the curb, you had to account for fire hydrants, No Parking zones, handicapped spaces, and so on, and so on. Given all that, it was easier to drive around & look for a space.

Every 25 or 50 years, someone discovers a dusty tome at the back of a shelf in a quaint, dimly-lit bookstore, or in the stacks of small, out of the way library.

What a treasure!

What possibilities!

What a lot of work!

What a waste of effort!

The dusty tome would go back on the shelf for another generation to find, and the wannabe magician would go off to become an engineer or quantum physicist or itinerant street chalk artist.

~~~ curtain~~~