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Discussion: marsh --> squirsh squirsh squirsh

in: Soupbone; Soupbone > 2010-10-23

Oct 26, 2010 10:40 PM # 
Linear Ice:
There was one marsh that had a coating of thick moss, and you could just walk on top of the moss. It was almost like walking on a sponge. If you stepped off the sponge, the water was about 2 feet deep and kind of muddy underneath. It was near the end, and so cool.
That is, it was near the end if you decided just to skip the last control and run for the road, so you might have missed it.... did you see that one?
Oct 27, 2010 12:42 AM # 
I spent a couple of months up there at Camp Ripley in '97 setting courses for Veterans' World Cup races. There are marshes where you're up to your neck, way out there on those maps.

When you're all by yourself in those woods, spending all day just cruising, it is a special experience. Almost like the pioneers must have felt, going for weeks under tree canopy, surrounded by nature, surviving on only your own abilities.
Oct 27, 2010 1:51 PM # 
Near the end of which course? I missed that one.
But if I got up to my neck in one I would have it marked out of bounds.
Oct 28, 2010 2:38 AM # 
Clark - right on. That's one thing I'd love to experience, but know I never can around here. The pioneers may have had it, but the Indians before them had it even better. Miles and miles of unbroken canopy. It's impossible to get that anymore, at least in the lower 48. Too many trails now, either for access or for logging.
Oct 28, 2010 11:52 AM # 
Well IMO back in the '90's USOF had a different approach than we're seeing today. We put on the World Cup races at Harriman in '94, and the VWC in '97. Our whole orientation was to develop world class venues and events...and the sport would grow as a result. But in helping to put on these events, many of us experienced a higher level of orienteering, in finer woods, than we'd ever see again for the rest of our lives. During the summer of '97 we rented cabins near Ripley and stayed there for months, with a lot of other extremely talented orienteers. It was a wonderful experience.

After group breakfast, a morning car would drop us off on the Cassino Road, and we'd disappear into the woods for the whole day. I only had to locate and flag a couple hundred prospective control locations during my weeks up there; more experienced orienteers would take it from there. So I had a lot of time to just cruise and explore...I ranged all over those three maps, running test courses, checking others' work, helping to build "structures" - man-made control points of dead-fall that we dragged into a giant teepee shapes.

In the past 3-4 years, USOF has been taken over by "growth for the sake of growth" advocates. The emphasis has shifted. I don't believe USOF (or OUSA) has a single world-class event on its schedule anymore. The whole goal these days is more commercial: to boost participants, visibility, revenues. Too bad.
Oct 28, 2010 1:18 PM # 
While hosting world-class events is a nice idea, I think the 'build it and they will come' idea fizzled, insofar as trying to attract domestic attention to grow the sport. Why do it otherwise, when such a huge undertaking can be a money loser?

A CA club attempted a 2013 JWOC bid earlier this year but didn't have financial support from OUSA.
Oct 28, 2010 1:21 PM # 
WC '92 at Pawtuckaway; WOC '93 in Harriman, just to jog your memory. I was at the civilian events for both, but missed VWC '97.
Oct 28, 2010 1:31 PM # 
Linear Ice:
Sounds like you had some great O opportunities in the past, Clark, but I think your curmudgeon is showing.

I really liked the A meets that I've been to this year, really top-notch (although I don't have your XX years of examples to mull through, Clark). "A" meets offer a level of competitiveness and ability to see people from all over that is hard to match in local events. So it doesn't matter to me what OUSA's goals are, the outcome has met my needs for the most part.

AND I simply ADORE the Ripley event, and it is not an A meet, not a sponsored event... just a great local event of absolute quality and fun with great orienteering, learning opportunities through a variety of events, low-key but highly competitive.
The S-F Ranch meet by SLOC was also awesome, another example of a great local venue. The people who put on these events were not influenced by OUSA or anyone else --- just the love of the sport.
Oct 28, 2010 4:10 PM # 
Very true about the great event offered this year. I have had almost as much great orienteering this summer and fall as I have ever had without even going overseas.
The whole summer thing with NAOC's, Washington ST, Barebones and Colorado.
Than to have back to back weeknds at Camp Ripley and Moreau Lake after the Ontario (GLOF) is more than any retired guy can ask for. The great O escape is not over yet, how about Hickory Run, a meet in Tucson and than Hawn in St Louis for a 3 hour event. A curmudgeon type would even think that this is a lot of high quality events not to be missed. Some fine looking woods I would say. Growth is up to the people to experience these events and become part of the cog in the wheel.
There is always a need for some course setting in Chicago venues if the need for getting back in the woods is on anyone's list.
Oct 28, 2010 6:33 PM # 
I'm certainly not saying that there's no good O left in the US. Thanks to a lot of committed individuals and clubs, great areas are mapped, and meets are held we can all enjoy every year. I mean, this is a wonderful country, with some of the finest terrain in the world. But are we living up to its potential, with plans to map the best of it?

I'm simply bemoaning the loss of those magnificent world-class events, and USOF's abdication of its role to plan any more. To have been a part of VWC '97 gave me a unique orienteering experience that today's US orienteers will never have a chance to matter how many A-meets they attend or direct. When else have you spent years planning an orienteering event? And then watching the breath-taking competition that shows up to run?

I should also point out that Pawtuckaway, Harriman and Camp Ripley are three of the finest mapped areas we have in the US...and all three were funded and mapped specifically for these world-class events. As much as I admire MNOC, I don't think Ripley would have ever been mapped otherwise.

Ask yourself, if USOF stays on its current course, twenty years from now will there be any maps that get your heart racing whenever you hear their names?
Oct 28, 2010 7:06 PM # 
I agree Charlie. What an incredible year+ to attend NA meets. Certainly my most enjoyable ever and my heart will always race when I hear Moreau (More-O), Double Duck, Ripley, Hawn & Cats (of course).
But still... I wanna experience some Hungarian karst terrain so let's not get stuck on this continent for too long. Pack your bags !!
Oct 28, 2010 10:07 PM # 
There have to be many new areas waiting to be mapped. They just don't seem to be in the Chicago urban forest preserves. New mappers that can make quality maps are scarce. Now about a big event like VWC 97, I don't get what your getting at, does OUSA need to host events like that every few years???
In 20 years I think for me a finish a course will get my HR up.
Its really up to the youth of OUSA to make things happen in the future.
What can Chi-town do to help make the sport grow, what are your ideas?
Oct 28, 2010 10:54 PM # 
Linear Ice:
With all the new LIDAR data becoming available, maybe Chi-town can create base maps, upload to a wiki-map site which he can also create, and integrate with gps through a cute little cell phone app so anyone walking through the terrain can upload field data and identify features. But he might most enjoy doing some of that field checking himself. If Chi-town does this, I will promise to run w my cell phone and help with field checking wherever I happen to be.

This discussion thread is closed.