Orienteering race (Sprint) 39:54  3.0 km (13:18 / km)
rhr:45 weight:153lbs shoes: Northface Hydrotrak Water Sho
Matt set Einstein courses on a Monet map. Produced in 1993 in a style different than I have come accustomed, the map is not one I have much experience. As I see it, much of the vegetation has shifted from the represented state to a different one; not necessarily a worse one. But for the most part all white is now green or an impassible version of open terrain. Oddly, some former rough open with thick undergrowth was a pleasure to pass through. Trails were as can be expected after 17 years of natural and human intercourse. I am very glad I ended up bringing my long Orienteering trousers.
I suspect everyone learned sooner or later to stick to the roads and trails no matter the added distance. I personally did not grasp this concept soon enough. I attempted Course 3 first since it was slightly longer than the second. Finding the trail head to control one was a miss. I fought through the vegetation wondering where the trail went. I stuck to the trail from 1 to 2. Then leg 3 has a trail run to the bag but it is at least twice the distance. This is way beyond my tipping point to choose a direct route. I was a bit reluctant since at that point I had encountered no runable forest.
Working my way from the edge of the forest from control 2 was a bit challenging. This was understandable as the edge gets so much sun virtually everything grows there. I ducked, I pushed, I twisted and turned, knowing that in just a moment things would change. And so they did. I came across what resembled a power line cut. It was treeless and full of brambles. I looked up for the wires but saw none. I looked down at my map for the symbol but found none. The map only showed white over a reentrant system. This was going to cost time but I did not hesitate, I moved forward calculating my best direction for every foot fall. I managed through the 15 or 20 feet of pure hell only to find it extended beyond the initial view. I looked forward seeing what looked like a change ahead. I glanced back at what I had fought through already. I pressed forward. After all, this was mapped as white.
The only mature trees I recall were deadfall adding to the obstacles underfoot. The type of bramble was of several varieties; wispy thin deceptive greenery, easy to push through but full of stickers; and thick hardwooded thorns, breakable but dangerous. In addition to the pointy things, there where impassable bushy things, and then the fallen logs and branches. Twice I got boxed in by the thickness of the maze and had to double back. Twice I got hung up in thorns so twisted in my shirt I had to stand still and work it out. I refused to believe that this could continue much longer but it just kept going. I kept thinking that most of my fellow orienteers would experience the same thing. But then I thought that a few may have chosen the trail over the “open forest”. Eventually I had to cut the pleasantries to a close. I was unsure as to how far I had gotten, but the trail should be off to my left. I aimed off and prayed it would appear. Finally I found the trail. In retrospect it seems I had only made it about half way across the direct route in about 4 times the time. I stuck to the trails the rest of the day.
On the way to 5 I heard what sounded like a creature from Lost up ahead snapping branches and oving fast. I saw nothing and did not hesitate to continue forward trusting that "it" would seek to avoid me. At 6 I saw Charlie Miller. I believe he may have been the creature. We stayed in touch here and there now and then for the remainder of the course. This lessened the pain of the thick forest otherwise experienced alone.
Although not a finish to brag about, I enjoyed the experience like a survivor. I was presented with a challenge and difficulties and I did not quit or die. It was fun.