Trekking race (Rogaine) 5:26:00  16.34 mi (19:57 / mi)
shoes: Speed Cross
Ever since I started travelling to navigation events, I've joked that getting there is half the challenge.....between border crossings, finding obscure entrances to new-to-me state parks and driving on the 407 with a bike mounted on the back of my car (and truly not knowing that is prohibited when you don't have a transponder....), even getting to an event can be an adventure. Today, an apparently unexpected snow squall walloped the area of MI between where I96 goes north and Bishop Lake State Rec Area. Drivers were spinning out of control on I96 (c'mon folks, it is March....surely you remember how to drive in snow). So I figured I would take my chances with the Mile roads, as any cars spinning out of control would be at 40-50 mph vs 70 mph. Once I crossed M23, the roads were salted, and I stopped being so (rightly so) paranoid about cars skidding through intersections.
I planned my route to spend most of my time on the western map, home of the Big Points. I don't think I've been over on the western half of the west map before, or if I have, just once. My intended route was to go to 35, then 43, then catch most of the controls on the western map, with the option of leaving the furthest 2-3 out if time was looking tight. There was some speculation as to where the 100 point bonus control would be, but no hints. At my first control, low and behold, there were the directions for finding the bonus control.....all the freakin' way in the NE part of the east map, where I had had NO intention of going. Best laid plans.... So, off I trotted east on the gravel road (almost a couple km), the north on the next one (not quite a klick) and took the road into the Murray Lake campground. The bonus control was on an island and Steve had said to just follow the flagging tape in. I didn't see any flagging tape, so crept in over the ice on the marsh through the relatively dense scrub to get to the island. Then I followed the flagging tape out.
While I was over in the far, far away land of the NE I decided to get the other controls over there. Mountain bike trails are usually like a plate of spaghetti so I went back out to the road and cut in through the open woods to get the 40 pointer. The 30 pointers were across a body of water that looked similar to the frozen marsh I had crossed to get to the bonus control. Except when I got there it was open water. I could see a sandy bottom so decided to cross, but it was too early in the day to have wet pants, by my books. So after looking around for a log to cross on (nope) I took my pants and gaitors and shoes and socks off, then put my shoes back on and crossed the stream. A) it was deeper than it looked. B) the current was pretty swift. C) and OMG was it cold (obviously) D) the other side was a bit marshy to it took a couple dozen more steps to get to a place where I could make myself decent again. Just after I got my pants on someone came out of the woods on that side of the water, and opted to hike around rather than doing what I had just done. Probably smarter than me.
After the 2 x 30 pointers I made my way back to the road as directly as possible without going wading again, and started to trudge west. Got 43, then at the entrance to the Chilson part, it was a white out again. Instead of going north on the road I took a route through the park (not wanting to take chances walking along the busy road in a white out).
Got 36 as the sun came out (hello, beautiful swan!) then headed into the disc golf course which is also like a plate of spaghetti. I somehow missed the trail that curved nicely to the north to the control up there but the woods are fairly open through there. Then south to the 40 pointer (rough bearing off the property border) and south to the trail and the 40 pointer in the reentrant. I got sloppy there and let myself get pulled west off the saddle I had aimed for so had to backtrack to get the control.
For a few minutes I thought I would go get the next 50 pointer, but after a couple minutes heading in that direction, decided to head back. Got the 40 pointer in the SE corner of the map and tiptoed through the narrow strip of public property to get back to the road. I used the north side most of the way across.....it wasn't easy going, and I crossed to the south side about halfway along, and it was worse.
South along the road, then onto to connector road back to the east map. I was pretty well done with anything faster than a walk by then. Onto the trails and I picked up a couple controls along the main trail. I dropped down to a 20 pointer and actually nailed it. In hindsight, I should have gone for the other 20 pointed down there, but played it safe and headed back to the 10 pointer near the start/finish. Then finished with over half an hour to spare (yup, should have gone for one more or two more.....like 34 and/or 74).
570 points including the bonus control. Right smack in the middle of the pack. Good enough for 2nd place in either division had I brought a guy or a gal with me, but 'way down in the standings for solo female (strong field!!!)
I expected my navigation to be rustier, so was pleased with how that part turned out. The crazy amount of topography in Bishop usually throws me for a loop, so I was glad to make it out without being flustered by the aftermath of the last glacial activity in the area. Good runners (obviously) would excel at this course, but that isn't me these days (I would have loved to have had a bike available for about 5k of the day.....)
Thank-you Steve and Angel for putting this together. A 24 hour event in the fall sounds intriguing.........