Not many people will have known it, but part of the inspiration for this year's Rocky Mountain O' Festival came from several of us being at the Scottish 6 Day last year.
I was musing about that while setting out controls today for the first day at Moose Outlet (that's the map name), and thinking which of the days at the Scottish 6 Day could be best compared to Moose Outlet. For those of you who were there (or have been to the area in some prior year), it would have to be Glen Affric, Day 5. Not that the areas are really comparable, but...Moose Outlet is not the typical effortless dance-across-the-shortgrass-prairie with a tree scattered here or there, and occasional casual glances at the map until you arrive at the control.
In fact, anyone who expects that is in for a shock, because it's more nearly the opposite of that, with varying amounts and types of undervegetation that demand strong knee lift and some amount of determination to keep forcing the issue. Beyond the undervegetation, what was formerly a very nice, open pine forest has become a less nice pine forest with increasing amounts of wind felled trees (that's the real likeness to Glen Affric), thanks to the innocuous looking, rice sized, black colored pine bark beetle. Maybe some of the folks with extra bounce in their step and Wheaties in their breakfast bowl will simply hurdle the deadfall, but most will be well served to keep looking as far ahead as possible to prepare for some amounts of dodging and weaving around what the beetles have wrought.
Then there are the cattle, which are speedier than they look, and only look benign.
The weather forecast for Wednesday (race day) is looking good for racing, and outstanding for the cattle...