A wonderful night on Ratlum Mountain.
My first successful finish at Charlie's annual Night-O (RHINO). My miscues were more plentiful but less severe than some of the elites, letting me sneak in higher on the finish list on the Short Course.
Terrific hospitality on Charlie and Rhonda's part to let the orienteering cadets from West Point and their O friends from the Coast Guard Academy join in the party. I had a great time chatting up the fit youngsters. I have never been called "Sir" so many times per minute, even when I was an officer in the Navy.My route.
On 2, thought I'd stay in the woods to the trail up the hill but erred left on to the main trail. On 3, knew from experience not to go direct but use the trail s.w. down from 2. On 4, was looking to pass the trail on the right then search for the knoll, but the intersection is not as sharp as mapped -- the trail to the right looked like a continuation of the trail from 3 and I figured I was already at the next intersection, having missed the trail to the right. Thus I double backed a couple of times before following passers-by along to the knoll.
On 5 I was hesitant upon passing a boulder field on the right side of the trail, wondering if I had missed the trail to the pond and had come upon the boulder field on the trail west. But kept going and recognized the pond and lamented that Dear Course Setter was pulling us into laurel. Spiked 6 but was against hesitant about how far I had gone when approaching 7.
On way to 8 I was aware the n.e. corner in the trail is subtle, with an unmapped short trail segment to the n.e. to pull those with narrow headlights off course. OK on 8 and 9 but didn't notice the first trail to the right on the way to 10 -- thus went past the second right I wanted to take, soon caught on to the error and retraced.
I goofed a lot, but fortunately recovered quickly each time, on way to 11, turning left too soon on to trail to field, correcting right through woods got pulled into wrong control, failed to see secondary trail lying underneath redline on map and ended up at 12 before bushwhacking n. to 11 and returning. I nailed 13 by knowing I had to get to the corner of the house before turning left into the field, resisting a crowd of lights from the Long Coursers at their control earlier down in the woods.