Boulder Dash day 1
How could I not return to Burnt Mountain? I loved the challenge of this map at last year's NAOC long. And I wanted to practice reading a map and moving through the woods before next month's US Champs. So I went back to NH.
My only goal for the weekend was to get some practice on a technical map.
I followed my day 1 plan, and walked the whole way (except for a tiny bit of jogging on the trail to 9). Slow and careful to 1 and 2.
From 2 to 3, I planned to follow the line of knolls down the hill. But when I hit the trail junction with a big boulder, I was very confused. There were several trails here, and I couldn't make sense of them for bit, ran down one for too long before I made myself go back and start again. This would become my theme for the weekend: get close, stop, relocate, try again.
Pleased with the execution of the route to 4.
Then I looked at 5 and had two reactions: yeah, a long hard leg. And OMG, a long hard leg, help! I took it very slow, checking off features as I went. It was hard to make sure I was reading things right, and not trying too hard to make things fit. Then I got tired and or/lazy and stopped reading well. I did admit that I no longer knew where I was (I had been trying to hit the pond SE of the control) and stopped, which is a big improvement over past years. I stood still for quite a while, had a drink, made myself think. I noticed lots of folks nearby, and I also noticed an obvious reentrant with cliffs on both sides. But the reentrant was running the wrong way, if I was near the pond (should have been going N, instead it was going E). I thought, what have you seen most recently, where could you be? I remembered passing through a bland area. And now I was in a big reentrant and there were lots of other folks about. Perhaps I was actually just a bit west of the control? Why yes I was!
Then I looked at the leg to 6 and said out loud "I don't wanna do this leg!" None of the options looked good. But I finally opted to go around the hill to the north and attack from the trails on the N. I made it to the trails, but they weren't exactly what I expected, and I finally came around the hill and found the correct trail. Left the trail thinking, stay close to the hillside. I didn't notice that I needed to be between the cliffs. When I saw the first set of cliffs I stopped (yeah) and then wandered over but didn't see the flag (boo). I did see some blazes on the trees in the distance, which made me question if I had hit a trail south of the control??? I was so confused, I decided I better go back and relocate at the trail. came right back to where I just was, found the control this time. Frustrating! (Turns out the blazes were not part of a trail after all)
7-8-9 went well. The I cautioned myself to take it slow going to 10, don't want to mess up a short leg. I carefully tried to follow my compass but I didn't find the control. I heard someone behind me, turned and saw a marker. Doh! Went back to the marker, and it wasn't mine. By now I was flustered and I guessed which boulder I was at and moved off. Tried to follow compass but of course, no marker. Finally stopped and thought things through. Realized I had missed my marsh, and needed to go back. Ugh!
Attackpoint and WinSplits say I lost time to 11 and 12, but I think I was just discouraged and moving pretty slowly. I saw the run-in was slightly uphill and kinda long (for me) but I decided to give it my all.
So, this was a weird day. I survived a technical course, but I made errors on several controls. I seemed to get close, but then have no real plan for attacking the control. I also had compass issues, but I was never consistently right or left.
I talked with Eileen B after the race about compasses, and she told me she was selling Moscow compasses. I remembered how I loved my Moscow compass, and that I had never really bonded with my current one from KanPas. So I looked at the compasses she had for sale, but they weren't right for me. Then I stopped at the Berman's tent and they had a Moscow Model 9. Perfect!
I was staying with Sandy at the KOA campground in a nice cabin. The campground was having all sorts of Halloween activities. It was fun to see the decorations and kids in costume. Dinner was expertly cooked by Valerie and Amy, and included John and Caleb. Great company! Then we walked around looking at campsites that had been decorated and watched part of the Walk of Horror. Fun to see people get spooked when the guy jumped out of the coffin.