Posted by: Karen | August 1, 2008

Orienteering On My Own

Tuesday night I thought about running, but that’s as far as I got. I was still wiped from the last two trail runs anyway. I should have at least gone out for a bike ride, but no, that didn’t happen either. Leana is so gonna kick my butt at the Strathmore Women’s Tri next weekend.

Wednesday I showed up at Orienteering without Little Runner. LR’s on a little summer vacation with her Grandma this week, so I was on my own. Karin, the Juniors coordinator recommended I stick to a Level 2 map (the Level 3 looked really hard). Mardy and Marian, a couple of Roadrunners I know from the cross-countries, coached me through the course symbols before I headed out.

I found the first flag in 35 seconds; piece of cake. I thought I would take a short-cut to the second flag, and ended up bushwhacking up a very steep, heavily wooded hill because I couldn’t find the path I was looking for and I was too stubborn to go back and start over. I did find the pathway it was supposed to be near, but couldn’t remember for the life of me what an “earthbank” was (it’s a small cliff). After the tough bush-climb and 18 minutes of not finding control #2, I gave up and carried on to the third one.

According to the symbols, control #3 was supposed to be near a “distinctive tree”. I laughed. I was surrounded by dense bush! No matter, in a few minutes I found a huge conifer towering over the deciduous forest, and there was the flag.

I went on to find the rest of the controls, for a total of 9 widely-spaced ones throughout the park. I mostly had to just count pathways and junctions for the rest, though #7 was hiding in very deep grass in a “re-entrance” (a fissure on a hill side). It was a good 40 minute hike/run/treasure hunt.

When I got back, Mardy came out with me and helped me find the second tricky control. It’s taking me a while, it’s not as easy as I thought it would be, but I’m learning.

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