orienteering56:40 2.06 mi (27:31 / mi) +312ft24:04 / mi ahr:124 max:141 weight:139lbs
UNO local meet at the Harris Center in Hancock, NH.
First time regular orienteering in a long time, just about two and a half years, last time was at Townsend for the Billygoat in May 2016.
This happened because Charlie was looking for someone to do part of the driving, and since we are pretty much right on the way for him, I offered to be a co-conspiritor, and we were on. My thought was to take some sort of walk, probably start a course and then see how I felt. With no ambitions, no need to finish or whatever.
Had a nice drive up with him, he's always the best possible company. Beautiful fall day. Alar (and family) was meet director, big hug from him and smiles, first of a bunch of fine conversations with folks I hadn't seen for a while.
Charlie got set to head off on the Green course (4.9 km). I looked at the options and thought Brown (3.0) was much more reasonable, quite probably too long, but no need to do the whole thing. Mainly I just wanted to have a look at the woods -- the maps looked like Pawtuckaway at its most bouldery and its least readable. The Brown course certainly didn't avoid the boulders, but it was offered on a 1:5,000 map which was a delight.
And so I headed off. Went to the first control, then the next, and so on. Things suited me just fine. I could read the map, the navigation was enough of a challenge, the woods were interesting. I divided up my mental capacity roughly in thirds -- one third to navigating, one-third to picking as clean a line as possible through the sometimes rather rough woods, and one-third to avoid falling down. Mostly successful on the first two, totally successful on the last. :-)
Only a couple of moments of foolishness, one where I was on the wrong side of a small knoll but that was easily fixed, the other where I really did loose my concentration -- going the right direction (more or less), but after a bit it was clear I no longer knew where I was. Thought I might be about to toss away quite a bit of time, but I figured it out within a minute or two. Not that I cared about the time, but I do remember thinking at the time, jees, can't even orienteer any more. :-)
Got done in just under an hour. Perfect. My back, which has been complaining since I fell off my bike a couple of weeks ago, didn't seem too much the worse for wear. And I'd enjoyed it.
Charlie, as it turned out, was on an exploration of various distant parts of the forest, so I had an hour and a half before he showed up. To my great pleasure, familiar faces kept showing up. Lots of greetings, and smiles, and catching up.
Don't know, might have to go to another of these things before another couple of years go by.
Generally, when you're walking, might as well go straight. Though not just blindly dead straight, there are usually advantages to be found in being flexible (more open woods, use of handrails).
Getting sloppy towards the end. Not a good approach to 10, and then uncertain on my exit. Missed 11 but just on the wrong side of a small knoll. 12, it was obvious in retrospect, went up the wrong trail, never realized it, knew I had to be on the high ground and wasn't far off, but certainly a sinking feeling, very glad to see my control behind the boulder.
Don't know when I might get out again, so nice that today was so satisfying.