Orienteering (Brown middle) 59:06  *** 4.1 km (14:25 / km) +90m 12:59 / km
spiked:17/20c shoes: Jala Jukola Spider 6 #3
"Middle" brown course on the Moses Lake Sand Dunes map (1:10000, 2.5 m contours).
The dunes were mostly vegetated, but herd paths developed in places and it was just like walking on a dry beach -- slow going, especially up hills. From where we could park by an earth (sand) bank we could see the thin layer of Mt. St. Helen's sand a couple of inches below the top "soil."
After a few minutes of warming up on the road (it was hot, in the 80s I think, and I just wanted to let my body know what it was in for), and waving off the mosquitoes in the hollow at start, I headed out. Start triangle was up a sandy hill (dune, really), visible from the start, but then you couldn't really see where other runners went -- I located the triangle on my map on my jog up the hill, so I knew which direction to go after. I went as fast as my energy let me in this sandy terrain, slowed down more only by the bobbles I made. At 2 I stopped just a bit short, checking a control which looked like a reentrant from my approach, but turned out to be the side of a knoll, but I corrected (lost ~30 seconds from my detour). George (walk), who started 8 minutes behind me, caught up at 3 and zoomed in to a 40 minute finish.
Kept in touch and in the right direction through 9, then exited the control the wrong way (didn't check compass). My mind had shifted me to the next leg (10-11) which was 90 degrees different from 9-10. I didn't realize I was headed the wrong way until I got to the east end of the marsh (# 10 was in a depression at the WEST end and the marsh was a good 250 m across - d'oh! This was my biggest error, about 2 min. Once I left 10 on the way to 11 I still wasn't quite in control, questioning which reentrant I was in for 11, and then meandering a bit more than necessary on the way to 12. Then I left 13 headed in the wrong direction, but did check my compass when things weren't looking quite right. Mentally reminded myself at a turning control (14) to be sure to go to 15 and not follow the 15-16 line.
Took a windy route 15-16 past 13 and to the W of the ponds, thinking I might see 18 on the way (but it was on the other side of the dune), but knew where I was the whole way. Angled wrong after climbing the hill from 16 and visited the wrong spur before realizing where 17 was... and then when I got there misread the number and started to move away! I hate that. So a minute lost there (~2:30-3:30 total, including my estimate for more optimal routes). I'm not sure where I finished because they didn't have later results (we had fairly late starts) when we left.
I missed punching a split at 16 but did visit the control. :-)
FR = 5.354 km