orienteering 2:57:43  *** 5.5 km (32:19 / km) +210m 27:08 / km
9c shoes: Inov8 O-roc 280 Red Redux
DVOA French Creek Central - Green
It was great to get back out for some real orienteering, but unfortunately things didn't go so well for me. I don't know if it was the summer veg, lack of practice, heat, or my physical condition. Probably a combination of all, I guess.
I went right to 1, taking trail and then cutting up to the road and following the gravel road. But I departed too early, couldn't see anything due to veg and ended up doing a lot of sidehilling. 2 was ok, more sidehill stuff but I was able to use the buildings and other things across the road to keep my position in check. Crossed the road and field and went around the left end of the hill to 3, but wasn't entirely sure of my location until I was drawn into the control by Chris.
Beelined it to the spur above 4, through some trashy veg, but when I dropped down I was again not entirely sure where I was. Saw Francis moving along the trail and ended up going out to the trail/road junction and back in, then still didn't see the control immediately.
Out to the road and then back in at the rocks to 5, which I actually found with no problem. Intended to contour all the way around the right side of the hill to 6, but found a decent place to pop over it. Then had to fight through a bunch of rock and green to actually get to the platform. Saw Sam here.
Headed NorthEastish to the stream and then along it into the corner and down to the platform at 7. Another sort of successful one.
I crossed the stream and now intended to try to follow the fence, but it was in no way visible and there was a lot of trashy undergrowth. I kept getting pushed more and more south, then decided to try walking IN the stream but quickly came to a very deep spot. So I just went south to the road, figuring that was easier than fighting along and being pushed off my line through the woods. Took the road and then up the gravel road (Harrison Lloyd Road on the map, but apparently now called Green Lane according to the street signs.) Turned in after the houses, though I never did see the stone wall. I saw Kathy behind the control at 8 and thought she was catching up to me, but apparently she was actually overshooting 3.
Now the wheels really came off. I went back to Green Lane and continued up to the end. My intention was to take the leftmost trail out of the parking lot, go up to the fence, and go around the fence and drop down to 9. In reality, the trail had been decommissioned. But it was pretty good in the beginning and I could still see where the blazes had been removed from the trees. I got to the part where it takes a 90 degree turn up the hill, and suddenly lost the trail entirely. I was still trying to go up toward the fence, but instead I was getting pushed around by all kinds of rocks, green, fallen logs and thorns.
After fighting through this for a while, it started to get kind of scary and I felt like I would be stuck in there forever. I could hear the road so I decided to bail out, but even that took quite a while and involved bashing through a ton of thorny bushes. It seems like I get into one of these situations every 5 years or so. I did eventually see the houses which was comforting, then popped out onto the road right in front of Chris.
So I did what I probably should have done in the first place, which was take a long road route around to the left. I popped over to the pool entrance road when the two roads curve close together, then passed the finish and headed up toward 9. Unfortunately my brain was sort of fried. I realized there were streamers going back from finish and decided to just let them take me to the control. But the streamers continued on the indistinct trail past the control, and I ended up about 3 lines too high on a platform. Ughhhhhh. Back down the hill to the control, then back down to finish, with only a few minutes to spare.
Not a banner day by any means, my arms look like they were attacked by tigers, and there are a ton of thorns stuck in various parts of my body. But it was nice to see everybody and attend an actual event.