Ok, so my memory gets a little foggy from several days in the Party Van (it wasn’t too much of THAT type of partying, it just happens that days seem to melt into each other when you aren’t part of the race anymore… tho I am guessing that in the race, they melt too!). I am going to use my photos here to try and relive it, but I may get some events included on the wrong dates!
We had a late start to the morning. We had something to do today, and it was deliver 2 riders to a checkpoint where they would be taken back to the city. At that point I wasn’t sure who they were, but knew that they had been on drips last night following an emergency call on their spot trackers after dark. So we were waiting around for them to be up to movement.
I did get to see the other riders off. Per had told us the night before in the ger, that his hydration bladder seemed to be leaking. I sent him off with mine, and received a huge hug – a very good trade! If I couldn’t ride, I wanted to help others reach the finish, as best as I could.
We spent our time taking photos all around the horse station. When we were told the riders were up, we went in to say hi. It was Loden and Jessica Kipp, and it sounded like they had caught the infamous Derby virus. While they worked on making themselves vertical, we helped them pack, and hit the road!
When the car started, the Mongolian music started up, and with what looked like the last bit of energy she had, Jess looked me in the eyes and said “I wrote this song for you”. It was then I knew we would be friends haha. Little did she know, the power of Mongolian Dance Yodel was still to come. Think I am making this up?
Tess, our interpreter gave us tons of tidbits about Mongolia throughout the drive. It was like a mongolian safari, bouncing and bopping along the terrain. It was almost more comfortable to be on a horse, but it was fun still!
Along the way, we stopped at another horse station to check in with the other crew and find out what the plan was for our new travel mates. I stayed in the van… until Chloe ran out excitedly stating “Sarah, Come quick, there is fried noodles!” Chloe and I had decided we quite liked the Mongolian food and made a goal of eating as much as we could, and being the first people in Derby history to come back fatter than we left. Fried noodles would definitely help.
Loden and Jess stayed with us for a little while until we were able to meet up with their ride back. One of the funniest moments of my Derby experience was when the medics asked Loden what his symptoms were, and responded (multiple times) “I feel like, if I were a woman, I would be pregnant” Of course, that didn’t go over well in a van filled with women. It was sad to say goodbye to them, but happy that they would get the rest and relaxation they needed.
I can’t remember which number horse station we slept at that night, but I do remember staying in a ger with Amy and Courtney (there were others, sorry I cant remember exactly who) who retold stories from their previous night – and how Amy accidentally had a bowl full of airag dumped all over her. They had stayed at a non-derby family, and woke up to their horses missing. How awful!
Once again, I became a little lighter and handed off my halfchap to Amy who had lost hers in a bog. Just one though! I slept in a C shape around the table that night… the riders had plunked themselves in not the most efficient way and I didnt want to ask them to move… they looked very VERY tired. Did I mention, it was just a little amusing to me the looks I got from these tired riders thinking I was still in the race, unable to fathom how fresh and perky I was? Tee hee.