So. Many. Rocks.
I was slow to #1, but found it OK. And then I took ~45 minutes to find #2. :-\
I had a plan to get to #2, but I totally lost contact with the map after about 500m and had no idea whatsoever where I was for most of the rest of leg. My extra-slow forward progress (due to veg & rockiness) affected my estimation of how far I had traveled. But apparently I at least stayed more-or-less on my bearing, because I finally matched up some long, large cliffs northwest of the control and I found it -- but I had a definite defeated feeling.
Most of the remaining controls went OK, except for running back to #3 to relocate (I was terrified of getting lost again!), even though my tracks show that I was pretty close to #4.
Corinne punched #5 just ahead of me, and thank goodness
she yelled out a warning that the leg-line to #6 went right through #9 -- easy to confuse. I'm not sure I would have realized that if she hadn't pointed it out, and I would have wasted a ton of time fighting through nasty vegetation. Svetlana said she got tripped up there.
The rest of the course went OK -- just slow and somewhat bumbling. Thank you to the helpful (Ukrainian?) guy who pointed me towards #10 (I was close but could have easily missed it). And to the CSU guy who seemed concerned for me near #4 (I must have really looked confused, even though I was walking right to the control; maybe he had seen me back-track toward #3 to relocate...or maybe he noticed my slumped shoulders and defeated trudge).
I was slow at Quantico, but I mostly always knew where I was. Today was the kind of day where I'm very close to crying (on the leg to #2), and I spend the whole course questioning if I even really know how to orienteer. It didn't help that there were long stretches where my fingers were so cold & numb I could barely turn my compass, and my swollen shin-bruise ached the whole time. Poor me. ;-)
THANK YOU to vmeyer for letting me do an ad hoc switch to Green this morning. I would have taken at least four hours on Red... And, it turns out I wasn't even DFL on Green-X -- I finished 15th out of 25 who started, and 2nd out of 4 in F45+. "Yay."
This weekend's courses were humbling, but I hope to go back next year to try again.