Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Goat- BY Myself?! December 11, 2010

 I got word from my bud, Dany, that she wasn't going to be able to make it to today's orienteering meet.  She couldn't get her sons to come.  I almost decided not to go, but then decided what the heck.  On the drive to Jefferson Memorial Forest I realized that this was the first time I had ever been to an orienteering meet by myself.  Oh crap- I wont have no one to chat with when I get lost!  I had always managed to talk someone else into going; my husband, his sister, Dany.  Nope not this time.  I was on my own.  I was kind of excited to see how I would 
do without anyone to help me second guess.  There were 3 courses:  The Goat, The Junior Goat, and the Kid Goat.  Originally, I would've probably signed us up for the goat, but since I was alone, I decided to do the Junior Goat.  In hindsight, thank goodness for that.  They were allowing 4 hours for the Goat and rain was heading in.  Did not want to be on those hills when the rain came.  It was already a little balmy.  Anyhow, I got my map, listened to the pre-race briefing, and we were off.  Since this was a goat race, you could follow others, but there were also forked controls.  You had to choose the A route or the B route
and whichever way you decided you had to stick with that route through those 3 checkpoints.  I thought the B route looked better to me.  I think I may have lost some time heading to the very first control by sticking to the road instead of cutting cross country.  I soon found a groove though and felt I was doing fairly well.  I was keeping and eye on the clock.  At one point I came to a pond and the control point was on the other corner.  This was one spot I should have went the longer way around.  The ground was very wet and with leaves on a steep embankment above a pond- not a good combination.  I practically slid on my butt trying to stay so close to the ground so I wouldn't slide down into the pond.  I was also concerned about two high school boys close behind me that made the same mistake.  When I reached the control point, I waited, pretending to study my map, just to make sure they reached the control point safely.  They did and I headed off again.  There were a few checkpoints in some pretty steep ravines.  I began to understand why they called it the goat.  I thought it was because you were allowed to follow, but no- you had to be a goat to climb and keep your footing on those hills.  I finally made it back in to the finish line.  All 12 control points found- 1:19:14 was my time.  Good enough for 5th place.  I didn't get lost after all! 

A Practice in Patience November 14, 2010



 My bud, Dany, and I headed to Camp Crooked Creek for an orienteering Score-O.  This time we had her two sons, Sawyer and Finn, with us- a first for them.  Hoping to introduce them to the sport and crossing fingers that they might like it also.  Since it was a score-o, we could go any direction that we wanted and just try to get as many control points as possible.  There were 27.  We knew we wouldn't clear the course.  Our main objective was for the boys to have fun.  We started out pretty good getting a few quick check points- which is always good when you are introducing newbies to the sport.  Soon enough though, we began to run into trouble.  We had trouble finding a checkpoint and the hills began to take their tow.  Also, snack pains started.  We decided to stop and have some jerky, hoping the boys would get some energy back.  We headed off toward another checkpoint, but before we could reach it, Finn and Sawyer were in a scramble over punching first.  A tussle broke out which ended with Finn, the younger, on the ground.  Dany and I were both too far away to see exactly what happened, but boys will always be boys.  Problem was, Finn decided to be a very stubborn boy.  He sat down in the woods and would not get up.  Dany was finally able to cajol him into getting up and we lasted a little farther until he sat down again.  This went on for quite sometime, with us even going out of eyesight and finding ourselves a nice big boulder to sit on.  Eventually, Finn did join us and we were able to leave the woods.  We even picked a couple of more checkpoints in the woods.  We truned our finger sticks in and headed to Cracker Barrel for some much needed grub.  We were out there for 2 hours 38 minutes and punched 17 CP's.  So not too bad, but not sure if the boys will ever return. 

Waiting for Finn
Bagging a CP