orienteering 1:57:11  *** 5.1 km (22:59 / km) +85m 21:13 / km
14c shoes: Inov8 O-roc 280 Red
DVOA Rutgers - Green
Bummer of a day, as I had my first DNF (or technically MP I guess) in a while and it was a pretty bad mistake. Things were going well up until that point too. This place is kind of scrubby and it's easy to get into thorns/downfall/random nastiness. Anyway, I was headed from 10 to 11. 11 is on the very edge of the mapped area. Below it there is a big blank white area where the map has not been updated and thus was just removed. I must have gotten pulled to the left as I was weaving through the scrubby stuff. I hit the small trail, actually thought I was too far right for some reason, went left a very short distance and headed off on my bearing along what looked like an elephant track. Confirmation bias....
I figured that the stream on either side would funnel me down to their junction and I could attack from there. But since I was apparently outside the streams, that didn't happen. I encountered two boys (scouts?) at one point, after I had gone a decent distance, who said something weird about being barked at by a dog at a house near the control (which is not really super close to any houses). At this point I thought maybe I was in the rough open which looking at the map now makes zero sense.
I was weaving through some green when I started getting the feeling of having gone too far and also started to feel a bit panicky. Nothing had been recognizable for a while. I looked up and saw a house through the trees. Getting closer I realized they were very large buildings, which should not have been the case. I pushed through a bunch of thorns and came out in the parking lot of a retirement complex. Okay, now I had no clue where I was. I had passed through a large unmapped area of forest and was now in a large unmapped area of buildings and roads, but with no ability to use them to relocate.
Since the road was to the SW here, I ended up walking through the retirement complex in that general direction until I came out the main gate. At this point I was pretty sure I was on River Rd. but not certain because there were no signs. I started walking to the corner (now walking on a trail next to soccer fields, off the map entirely next to the road) and some stupid trucker honked at me. As I approached the intersection I could see it was Cedar Lane and now could at last establish my location. I took trails back up and ducked in to get 12 which was visible from the trail. Considered backtracking to 11 here but it still didn't look very pleasant and I was spooked after that experience. I did go on to get the rest of the controls, so finished with a MP for number 11 and a major unnecessary detour. And a lot of mud. So much mud.