West Point Middle, day two
Start to 2: I felt good at the start. I was reading the contours, and moving well. I was moving with confidence.
2 to 3: then I got cocky. Or maybe tired. I started only paying attention to one or two details, instead of processing ALL the information that was available. I convinced myself that I had gone all the way down the length of the hill on my left. I never saw, or considered: the hills on my right, or the shape of the reentrant I was looking for, or the curve of the hill just before my control. Stopped soon, wandered around, ran to another control, finally stopped and figured out what to do.
3 to 4: clean navigation, but it was a pain. Not only going uphill through thick mountain laurel. But I had an early start, and the sun was in my eyes. I thought ”just go up and look for the big cliff” but I couldn’t see a damn thing! Fortunately, I managed to keep a straight line and did hit the cliff I was expecting.
4 to 5: another case of stopping too soon. I knew where I was when I passed the first hill, but somehow I forgot that I had one more hill to go, and went up too soon. Ironically, I did find a marker up here (just hanging by itself, no SI unit). As usual when I miss a control in the rocks, I felt compelled to look around a bit to make sure I wasn’t overlooking it. Then I finally looked at my map again, and figured out what I had done.
6 to 7: Izzy passed me on this leg. She started 6 minutes after me. I was glad that it took this long for her to catch me :)
7 to 8: are you kidding me?????? As I was going to 7, I thought, OK, we’re heading downhill already, so we must have some control picking at the bottom of the hill. I rarely look ahead at my course, so I was pretty shocked when I finally did look at this leg. 17 contour lines straight up! I slogged my way slowly up the hill, watching Izzy run away, then seeing Jenny run past me. Made it to the top of the hill, and couldn’t find the marker. Decided I had to search, so headed a bit west. At some point I stopped and looked around, and then I saw the marker, just a few feet away from where I had first come up the hill. Argh!
9 to 10: really tired after the last two climbs, so I made a poor decision. I just didn’t feel like contouring any more.
I was bummed when I finished, disappointed in my two big mistakes. But, it turns out they weren’t as drastic as I feared. I’m getting better at stopping and relocating, instead of wandering forever.