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WELCOME to MDDA

We’re glad you stopped by to visit our website on distance driving. Perhaps you’ve just discovered MDDA and want to learn more about just what we do. Perhaps you’ve come to check the schedule to see when and where competitive drives are being held or check the results of past drives. Or perhaps you are just interested in looking at some photographs of our horses and drivers at the various competitions. Whatever the reason, thanks for browsing and drop us a line if we can answer any questions or be of service to you.

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Puzzle Fun

Scooter Jigsaw Puzzle Katz and Talon Jigsaw Puzzle Jane and Wes Jigsaw Puzzle Glenn & Junior Jigsaw Puzzle
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Future Events

Colorama

Singles – 12.5 mile – Saturday Sep 16

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Jac Deweese Scooter (Morgan) 365
2 Jack Shea Lee (Canadian) 314

Singles – 12.5 mile – Sunday Sep 17

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Jac Deweese Scooter (Morgan) 343

Singles – 2-day 25 mile – Sep 16 & 17

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Wes Licht Lena (Morab) 756

Colorama – 2006

By Jac Deweese

Since the drive is scheduled for ‘after noon’ and I’m only 75 miles away I was very casual about loading. I’ve pre-loaded all of the equipment and supplies for Scooter Friday night, but haven’t even thought about my own needs. Saturday morning I get up and feed the horses and cows then start packing my personal stuff. I don’t know how or why, but I fail to pack any shirts, towels or food!

On the way I stop at a grocery store and get crackers and pickles to support the chili dump planned for Saturday night. Again, I don’t even think about feeding myself! A little later I spot a sports shop and stop for mantles for my Coleman lantern. And finally I stop again to try McDonald’s breakfast burrito for the first time. It was very good!

Arriving at the horse camp I find that it is quit full. After registering I hunt for a spot and find one along the road leading to camp. It is level and quit nice, but a long way from the toilet. After setting up my pen, I take Scooter to be vetted in. I discover that the only other driver there is Mary Clapper and her horse Benjamin. This will be Mary’s second drive and she has pre-registered for the two day 25 miles. She and her friend Bonnie came on Friday and have a nice spot close to the camp headquarters.

While we are visiting, Jack Shea arrives with his horse Lee, his wife and a daughter. They are not staying over and are able to set up close to camp.

Our start time is listed as 2PM and I’m anxiously watching for more drivers. At about 12:30 Wes Licht arrives with his horse Lena. Wes is also driving the 2 day 25 miles and finds a spot to camp just across the road from me. It’s nice to have a fellow driver so near.

We hold our driver’s meeting at 1:30 and after getting the details of the trail and the order of go it is suggested that the drive time should be 1 hour and 45 minutes. I question this since I have heard that the drive is actually about a mile longer than listed, but Elinore thinks it is just as listed and we set the time as suggested.

After hitching we head down the trail. Mary is the first to go and because of some last minute harness adjustments she is only about a minute ahead of me. Jack Shea follows me and Wes brings up the rear.

I’m not anxious to catch Mary, especially on the first part of the trail which has limited passing opportunities so we are walking or trotting very slowly for the first part of the trail. This trail generally follows the entrance road, but in the woods and we seldom see the road. We are trotting slowly when we come to a culvert with black fabric on one side to control the water flow. To my total surprise Scooter shies at this and we slam into a guard post at the end of the culvert. I’m nearly thrown out of the cart, but Scooter has stopped and doesn’t seem upset. I look at the wheel and see that by some miracle we are now clear of the post and we continue on.

After crossing the highway we soon are on a gravel road that leads to the main trail. I see Mary ahead of us and keep her between 100 and 200 yards ahead. After about a mile of gravel we enter the main trail which is sod or dirt and traverses a flat area with either a number of small streams or a single small stream the meanders. The result is a series of culverts. Some horses may be concerned by the sound of the water or the sight of the exposed culvert. Scooter is not concerned and we pass through this area without incident. It is apparent that Mary and Ben are having no problem either.

We then enter an area of dense spruce forest and the temperature cools. It is delightful to be out of the direct sun light. The forest shifts between dense spruce and pine to hardwoods. At places along the trail we are looking down into some really deep depressions. There are really some massive trees in this forest. We have short stretches where the path is strewn with rocks and the ride is very rough. There are also some short hills that are quite steep.

As I approach the second road crossing I see Mary has moved off to the side to allow me to pass. I ask her how things are going and she tells me that all is well. I try to tell her that some serious hills are ahead, but I’m not sure she heard me.

We continue on and occasionally meet riders going the other way. In all cases we ask whether we should stop and generally we do stop and stand while the riders pass. Most of the ridden horses are used to our carts, but occasionally there will be one that has difficulty passing. There were no incidents but there were a couple of frightened horses.

In addition to the riders there were hikers. It was a hiker that gave Scooter his worst fright. We had just cleared a small rise and there was a man and woman with a dog. I talked to them but they stood silently huddled together on the side of the trail. I finally asked them to say something and that was all it took to get Scooter by them.

We came to another area of stony trail which had some steep hills. I slowed to make sure that Mary handled that area. We then passed through a raised area and a mass of sumac just starting to change color. The trail is sod and rolling. It’s a nice area to trot through.

I’m expecting to see a turn around sign, but we continue. It’s approaching an hour and still no sign. I see another highway ahead and think I must have missed the sign because we were told that the turn was before this highway. We are in dense pines so I continue to the road where I see some water containers and sure enough the sign I’ve been looking for. Scooter turns up his nose at the water and we head back.

Almost immediately we meet Mary and Ben. I’m fumble fingered and fail to get a picture. I’m now prepared and when I see Wes approaching I am able to get a couple of pictures. We are both convinced that the distance is greater than advertised.

A little while later I meet Jack and Lee. I’m able to get some pictures of them and they assure me that all is going well.

I’ve now got to try and get back to camp in 50 minutes. This is significantly faster than my time out to the turn around. Scooter is a pretty aggressive horse and I don’t want to really push him, but I do encourage him to trot where it is obviously easy to do so. In spite of relatively aggressive driving we arrive back in camp 12 minutes beyond our ideal time.

Scooter recovers pretty well for his bulk and has a pulse of 12 and respiration of 4.

As the other drivers come in it turns out that Wes’ horse has lost an EZ boot and Mary’s horse has lost a shoe and has a rub from the breaching. Jack Shea had an uneventful drive, but has to leave early.

We all agree that the course is longer and there should be more time. Sunday’s drive time is reset to 2 hours and 15 minutes.

We are hoping that another driver or two will show up Sunday and are disappointed to learn that Mary’s horse has developed soreness in his shoulder and she pulls out of the competition. We admire Mary for her attention to her horse. I’m sure we will see her at future events.

Wes and I were the only drivers on Sunday. We enjoyed a beautiful day and with fewer riders the extra time was probably excessive. I know that Scooter was not happy coming in so slowly and he didn’t settle ending up with a pulse of 14 and respiration of 7. His extra bulk makes it very difficult to recover when he is even slightly excited or when the temperature is a little warmer.

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