There were Goldfish at 18. Alex didn't eat them. I'd imagine that Alex's stomach really must have been unhappy. Because, Goldfish.
Blue Hills would be awesome training with a long leg, a control pick, a long leg, a control pick, etc.
I think mostly I just wasn't hydrated enough to want something dry and salty. Didn't expect to have sweat pouring into my eyes at the Traverse, when it's usually so cold!
Blue Hills is indeed an awesome training venue. It's just a lot harder for me to get to than, say, the Fells. To be fair, Jeff also sent us through the nicest areas. There are some scrappy areas.
RE: scrappy areas. On the leg from 19 to 20 I knew from glancing at this leg way before that it was going to be a tough choice. I knew from previous years that the lower trail below 20-22 has lots of ankle-twisting rocks (hi, Ari) that I wanted to avoid. I also thought the approach from below 20 was a crapshoot, with a boatload of detail in too small an area.
So I decided to pay the price of taking the little game trail due N (up up up), what, 14 contours just so that I would have an excellent attack point NE of the circle on the steep E-W trail. The payoff was nice, but the cost paid in slogging and bulling through the almost-completely-choked-off game trail was high. Only very short deer could use that trail without having to dip their heads or brush branches.
It was plenty scrappy for me.
In fact, the approach to 20 from below was pretty easy. The knoll with big cliffs on the left was pretty apparent, and the developing re-entrant was pretty easy to see, too. Then, looking up I caught just a glimpse of a flag a couple lines up. The trail over there was fairly gnarly though. I waited just a little too long to drop down to it and had to climb down carefully through some sharp, pointy and slippery rocks.
yeah, I attacked from below because it looked like a clear attack, and it's always easier to find things from the bottom rather than the top. Probably because I'm moving slower up the hills. The trail was gnarly, but certainly beat 14 contours (wow, Sam! You're a beast!), or side-hilling around through loose rock and questionable vegetation. I actually thought this leg had only one sensible route, but seems a lot of people would disagree with me on that!
I worked a bit to select those two controls. I wanted to show off the the woods from 20-22, but getting up there was going to be a chore. I actually wanted to go higher, there is a really cool re entrant running along the hill above 20. I figured there were 3 routes, but that no one would want to face the vegetation shown on the line. I know it was possible to go that way I had done it, but at 1:15000 it would be impossible to read where the clear running was (actually there is very little "clear " running, more like OK walking and short jogs. The "over the top " option was reasonable, although I didn't do any timing comparisons. Once at the top, it would be pretty quick into the control.
I should have considered that descent from the top would be slowed somewhat by wet rocks. Another factor I hadn't considered was the possibility of losing the trail. There were a couple of places where I couldn't see the obvious trail among the exposed rock, and descended a rock or 2 before I saw the next blaze to confirm I was still on the trail.