Monday, November 24, 2008

Orienteering at All Saints Camp

Over the weekend of November 15 and 16, I went orienteering. It was a two day event for North Texes Orienteering Association. It was at one of my favorite camps, All Saints. 660 acres of forest nestled up on Lake Texoma. Being a two day event, you must complete both days to be in the hunt for an award. I went up with the Marcus High School and the Flower Mound High school kids. We had four adults and about 14 kids on day one. We left on the bus at 6:45 AM and arrived about 8:30 at the camp. Being a two day event, they also had us all pre-registered so we even knew our start times. But with that many people, we had to be up there early. I do the technically difficult orienteering, but the shorter course. Better for this out-of-shape-bad-back guy. Day one, I made a royal screw up. Not on the course. I finished the course in about an hour and 11 minutes. Being advanced courses, we were electronically timed. Meaning, you wear an RF thing on your finger. When you find a control point, you verify it is the correct one and then stick your RF thing into the device strapped on the control point. It records your time onto your RF thing and you keep going. You know it recorded, as it "beeps" and flashes at you. I got to the sixth control, and it wasn't recording. In that case, you must revert back to the punch card method. The lower, easier courses, all use punch cards. On those, when you reach the control, it also has a paper punch. Each punch makes unique marks and you punch the paper into the box for that control. It sounds confusing, but it is easy. So on the sixth and seventh, I reached into my pocket to yank out the paper, punched it, stuffed it back into my pocket and kept on going. You can always paper punch to be sure your presence is recorded.

About an hour after my return to the bus, I remembered that at 6:15 AM, I'd ALSO put my Texas drivers license into that same pocket! Yep, my license is out in the woods. I checked at the finish, but it hadn't been turned in yet. By then, all our group was back, so we headed for lunch and back to the Dallas area. I figured I'd ride the bus back up and then I had about an hour and thirty minutes on Sunday, and would check for the license and then ask permission to head back out onto the day-one course and those two controls and hope to find it. They would probably not be using that side of the camp on day two.

Can you say "Needle in a haystack"? Sure. I went out to the two controls and the one spot where I'd had to climb under an old barb-wire fence, but no luck in finding the missing license.

Over all, I did well. I got third. Our fearless leader also got a third. One kid in our troop got a fourth. Only one other kid in our group, had bothered to finish their orienteering course.

Here are some photo's. The bus, the camp area, the cabins, the woods.


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