Brown X Day 2, DVOA A meet at Hay Creek.
Toe felt pretty good when I woke up, but nasty when I first stepped on it. My initial reaction was that there was no way I could do a race today, but then as I moved around the room and held onto some furniture it seemed to be enough weight off to consider going out. Besides, what else was I going to do while everybody else took the buses out to the forest? So we made a quick stop at Walmart and I acquired a cane. Not being experienced at Walmart, I didn't quite know where to look, and didn't want to put any energy into looking around, so we stopped at the customer service desk, where the lady asked me if I wanted to buy one or borrow one. Interesting, but not planning on coming back, I went for the purchase. And then I was all set to go, so got all my various stuff on and headed to the start.
Right fork on the trail, thought about taking the ditch up, but figured I ought to stay on trail at least a while, to see how my foot tolerated it. Walking exclusively. So up the trail, side trail past the rough open patch, and then another right until I found the ditch again, following the side of it down the larger re-entrant. Past the gentleman lying prone behind a tree, apparently watching the race. Over the spur and into the smaller re-entrant for #1 from the side. Down to the trail and up the intermittent trail through the green. Sure made this leg a lot easier than it could have been. PG passed me halfway up. Good, I was only 6 minutes behind him by then. Hit the larger trail, right fork, headed in from the charcoal platform and could see the boulder cluster at #2 from a distance, although the flag was tucked in. S to the trail, left and up the hill a bit, maybe not as far as I thought. Contouring, but probably starting too low and drifting down a bit more as I inspected the many unmapped cup depressions. And eventually I was too low, but more too low than I imagined. Eventually stumbled on the charcoal platform almost 200 M down the slope to the W, but didn't quite figure out which charcoal platform I was at. Two trips out to the trail before I got it. Looks like about 12 minutes lost.
From there things were looking up quite a bit, and really no more difficulty. Angled to the trail, then trail to the roundish bend north of the control and spiked it, then angled back up to the trail, to the junction, to the side of the ditch. Tried to follow the left ditch fork halfway down, but I was finding it a bit vague, so just moved a little further left and headed down, swiveling my head as much as possible until I spied #5. Contour and compass perfectly, coming out directly opposite the small trail. Small trail past the bend and the rocky stuff, then down the hill, saw the flag at #6 from a distance.
Thought about dropping to the trail, which probably would have been a fine idea, but somehow thought it made sense not to lose the 3 lines, so contoured and climbed a bit, coming around the nose and hitting the trail just past the little sharp re-entrant, then a few steps on trail and angle right in. Could see the reentrant at #7 developing from a distance. A little dicey climbing down into it with cane and bad toe. Phil HT just ahead, went back out and took the trail WE on the SW side of the stream, but I saw some reasonable rocks to hop across and went NE. To the upper trail and planned to go up and over, but leaving the trail was too steep, so stayed on the trail, and then suddenly I found I could half jog a little on my heels and so the trail seemed like fun for a while. Stayed with it to the little bend to the right straight south of #8 and then started to climb. Steep at first but then ok. I was getting close, figuring I had another line or so to climb and then I saw a monster rootstock. Wow, I thought. Wouldn't it be great if that were on the map? And then checked the map and there it was, just about 30 M downhill from the control. Excellent. Just about 25 M or so behind Phil HT, who had come around and up from the E, but he showed me a clean pair of heels on the way over toward 9. Stopped to pee for a bit, then back at it, up toward the saddle, and on to the trail junction along the line, which somehow didn't look quite right, but I knew it was the right place with the ditch coming down into it. So a bit more trail and then contour and compass into #9, maybe 25 M right of it on my line, but it was easy to see so no problem. Contour and compass to 10, could see it from a bit, then down relatively quickly to the trail and found the trail to 11 to be more long and uphill than I imagined. Managed to jog (sort of) the rest of the way. Excellent! Cane was indispensable.
Map and route