It's really time! The Centauride started yesterday, with about 30 people coming out to Penn Valley to cheer us off. Hugs and cookies were enjoyed by all (though Apollo stuck with carrots).
So far I've covered about 21 miles. Tomorrow we'll do about 10 more to get to a horse campground. Think warm thoughts for us, because its supposed to be a couple of chilly wet days!
I have been asked many times, especially with this weather system being so long lasting by California standards, why I thought January was a good time to start a horse ride. Well, as unpleasant as it is to ride in the rain (or camp in the rain), it is safe enough, and our California winters are not as cold as most other parts of the country. I am unlikely to have to deal with risks of hypothermia and certainly not frostbite. By the time I get to areas where the weather is that cold, it will be warming into spring. This January start allows me to ride through the first winter, so I can finish sooner (instead of getting stuck for a "real" winter later on, which would delay the end of the ride).
Apart from yucky weather, the ride has started well. A few very slight mishaps as can be expected... minor bumps and bruises and of course sore muscles on my part; a few broken buckles on my saddle (replaced within minutes, good thing I carry spares); Apollo says to mention that he had a few alarming moments also - especially an overly friendly cow, and later a car that misfired. But he is getting braver by the hour, and we are both getting stronger (I'm sure that's what my aching muscles mean, right?)
My next post may not be for a week or more, depending on wifi access. Until then, you can see photos and live videos on my facebook page (here). And dont forget to sign up for the newsletter (at the right of this page)!