Monday, May 4, 2009

Orienteering at Tyler State Park

Saturday April 25, Mr. G picked me up at 7:30 AM and we headed two hours to the east, to Tyler State Park. We drove in and out of rain showers on the way. I blamed Mr. G for that, as at the last event, he'd commented how we had not had to orienteer in the rain this year.
We arrived to just light sprinkles and went to check in. We then wandered back to his car and got our different gaiter, compasses, clue holders, hats, tape and other items we take.

I did the Brown course and didn't really have any problems with it. I finished in an hour and 23 minutes. Mr G did Green and it was very long and he took about an hour and 50 minutes. It was still sprinkling on us at the start of the event. About half way into it, I'd taken a compass bearing and was heading cross country when I decided to back track. The area I was into, was very wet with chest high grass. I was getting soaked. Other orienteers were in the area, but I'd noticed the trail I was on, would intersect a power line. Power lines are like highways in the woods. The utility companies keep the underbrush open. You can follow them. The orienteering maps are so detailed, that even the power poles are noted, so you can count the poles and use one to go into the woods at. I decided to do that and not get so wet in the grass.

After the event, we cleaned up, ate lunch and attended the awards. After that, we went and sat under the trees and read and napped. About 4:30, we headed out of the park to Bodacious BBQ. We sat with an orienteering couple and discussed world events.

After that, we headed back into the park. They were doing a Night-O event. Orienteering in the woods at night. Last year, about 100 people did it. This year, only eight of us. Mr. G and I do it as a team.

The photo at the top, was one of my control points. It was located on a bend in a stream. The control bag is the orange and white thing, the orange thing below it is the paper/manual punch. And strapped to the tree (click the picture to zoom in), is the reddish electronic control punch. After I dropped down to the control, straddled the stream to get my e-punch, I then had to hoist myself up the bank of the stream and head up that hill in the back ground. Such is the way of advanced orienteering. Now, add darkness!

Below are some photos.

Tree at sunset from a trail

Trail at sunset

A night-o photo from the internet. The orienteer has on a head light for hands free use in the forest. Mr. G and I don't have a HEAD light like that one, but we also carry a regular hand flash light.

And what the orienteerer sees during the night-O (not really, you can see 25 to 30 meters)

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