Well, certainly not an overall wonderful day. But at least there was a good bit of pleasure to compensate for a bunch of shit.
Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first, and that would pretty much cover the 44 minutes starting at 12:30, when I started today's M65 course, until 1:14, when I slowly headed back to the finish, limping badly, having trashed my right Achilles, trashed my right hamstring, and taken 26 minutes to find a control that should not have been any problem if only it had been where it was shown on the map.
On the good side, a number of good conversations, a fine dinner with a BAOC group and my local regulars (Charlie, Phil, Gail), and a 10-0 Board vote in favor of a "carry but don't use" GPS policy.
Back to the orienteering. Perhaps the best thing I could have done was to remember my activity of the evening before, when a little searching had uncovered a blog
that mapper Sam Smith had kept in the 3 years he had worked on the map. And as I read through the blog what struck me most was how much time he had put into it with what was apparently either a lousy baseman or no baseman. What I should have learned was not have high expectations, and orienteer according.
But, foolish me, I kept thinking that something on the map meant that there was something similar in the terrain.
Got to 1 and 2 OK, though feeling quite uneasy. To 3, followed the major ride (unmapped) that seemed to go about along the mapped vegetation boundary (nonexistent). Slightly to the left on approach, corrected quickly, and then managed to find the control in the wrong reentrant with the help of others.
To 4, not sure how I got from the first campground to the second when I was aiming for the control, but I did somehow. To 5, ran a long ways down the streamers to #11 before deciding that maybe 5 was a different direction. This one was surely all my fault.
But these were all minor matters. Got about halfway to six, was descending a short steep slope, and stepped in an animal hole, toes jammed up, nothing under my heel, sharp pains in the Achilles. Kept moving, it hurt but not so bad I had to stop. Got close to the control, well, I think the best analogy is to O's sister sport, golf, where a pro once was asked to explain how he managed to take 5 putts on a hole, and he replied succinctly, "Miss, miss, miss, miss, make."
I think on 6 I was "miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, oh no, why is my hamstring hurting, oh no, my hamstring is killing me, miss, and then make." Much worse than the 5 putts, but then he knew where the hole was. I thought I knew where the O' marker was, silly me, I was looking close to the river, at the top of a slope, and on the edge of a green patch, whereas the flag was quite a ways from the river, nowhere near any slope, and nowhere near any green. Quite obvious if you just knew where to look.
I found it by happenstance, and then very slowly walked in.
Certainly a good day to have a GPS track. I found the control about 46:30 after I started.
Thought about protesting, didn't, decided I was hurt before I got there and might not have finished. Leave it to someone else. And then I listened to a few other sad tales of woe there, people wondering if it was them or the map, not sure, relieved to know it was the map.
And still the question -- what do you do? Protest or not? People seemed scared to. You don't win any friends by protesting. It can be quite lonely. What do you do?