Warm beautiful day, so I went to Clinton for a long outing on an old training map. This is a barebones map, no rock, no vegetation, basically trails and contours. (The woods are really crappy).
My goal was to look ahead in the terrain as much as was possible. I was also sleepy and hungry, so I decided this would be a good training to see how I could manage under those conditions (I often have trouble sleeping at A meets).
I started at 5 and tried to go on a straight line to 6. I remember crossing the parking lot and saying, I have to go to the second tree line in the distance. Trouble is, I didn't look at my compass. I really needed to head towards the third tree line in the distance. Went into the second reentrant, walked too long on the trail before things started to register as "wrong". Came out of the reentrant and still took a few moments to determine exactly where I was. Then finally made my way to 6.
This is my issue with looking ahead: I make a decision and put my brain on auto-pilot. I have to learn the right balance of letting go of the map and paying enough attention to the map.
Did much better on the way to 7. I was able to identify specific contour features and aim for certain points (such as a bend in the stream, or a certain distance from the curve in the hill.
I wonder if I need to spend some time warming up when I don't feel so awake and alert at the start? I felt better as the course wore on, even though I had no food or water with me (so I got thirstier and hungrier).
Rest of the course was pretty easy but I made sure to know what the next feature was around the curve in the trail.
Two odd occurrences today: I heard a loud series of cracking sounds, I assume it was a large tree falling nearby (although I couldn't see it). Odd because it was a sunny day with little wind. It was quite scary to hear this sound in the middle of nowhere.
Passed a man cutting branches with a machete. Odd enough. But he also had three little boys with him, standing quite close to the flying blade and woods chips. Hum.