Day 2 Brown X at USChamps, Quantico. Alas, spoiled a really good run with one lapse that led to losing contact and somehow unable to recover. It will be interesting to see the track. It seemed to me that I was doing as well as I could on 1-5 and 7-9, but lost about 15 minutes thrashing around on 6. So 4th on the day, 2nd overall. All I could think about while I was thrashing around lost was Soupbone’s travails of the day before.
Map and Route
A day later, a bit sad about spoiling what was otherwise my best run in 5 years.
1. Certainly on alert for this first one, crossing a flat area to a small ditch, through some marshy stuff and a lot of branches in the face. Careful, careful on compass, crossed the NS ditch before it and then saw it right in front of me, perhaps a bit further than expected, but very welcome.
2. A little more confident, but the same sort of thing, a long bland area but expecting the hill in between, careful on compass. Saw what I thought was the reentrant going up the hill (and it was), across the top, still on careful compass, saw quite a few folks going all sorts of directions, including Phil H-T, but I was sure by now, down the gully to the lower ditch. Soike.
3. The long leg - decided to go straight, or as straight as I could, and more or less did just that. Got a little right of the line after crossing the second stream, because I was just N of the gully junction and went over the hilltop beyond that. Still a little right crossing the last stream and up the hill, fading a bit right to save a tiny bit of climb, then contouring side hill, adross the reentrant and up and over the spur, hitting it right on.
4. On compass, could see the large group of rootstocks and then the flag.
5. Also easy, on compass, checking off the rootstock before the stream, then heading up the L side of the reentrant opposite, seeing the little raised area that held the pit and right in.
6. Plan was to go more or less straight and hit the N draining gully about in the middle, etc. Again had a loose shoelace and stopped to tie it. This almost never happens, but maybe a combination of the footing and cold hands not doing a good job of tying it in the first place. Maybe should have continued on with it untied, but hated to try that with so much left. Anyway, seems that I lost focus in the 20 seconds or so I spent tying, and missed the gully high, to the right and kept going. When I hit the stream and still hadn't seen the gully, I foolishly thought I was still W of it, and so tried to make things fit, while trying to correct a bit to the east. Except I was already too far east. Eventually wandered far enough that I came to a trail junction, and there really weren't too many places it could have been, but still I wasn't sure, milled around for a bit, figured I'd go W a bit and then north, but got into a big area of rootstocks and couldn't find anyplace that had them on the map (there wasn't). So eventually determined that I would just head N until I got to someplace I liked or hit the powerline. Further than I thought. But finally I could see the land sloping down and enough light beyond that it looked like the power line was coming up, and the land looked about right and yep, there it was.
7. Definitely tired by now, so maybe a bit slower, on compass looking for the hill before the control. I was a bit left of where I thought I was, but didn't have much trouble finding it.
8. Passed Evan C, went by the N facing sharp spur and figured it would be right past it, and it was, if a few meters further than I was expecting it.
9. All of a sudden several people, including Wyatt, who punched at a control between 8 and 9 and led me into the finish, where he showed me a clean pair of heels, no surprise.