Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Orienteering in KY

We built our 3-week trip around the Warrior Dash on the front end and the Kentucky Outdoor Adventure Games A-meet on the way back to Texas.  Always looking for orienteering opportunities!

Also - state #33 in our "racing in every state" quest (which is now lagging behind the highpoint quest for once):

Friday was a medium distance event at Big Bone Lick state park (yep, that's quite a name for a park).  Both of us had our ups and downs in the navigation department.  Overall I was slowed by thorny vines and undergrowth because I kinda suck at moving efficiently when things are pricking my legs making me go "ow, ow."

On the bright side, we got to run by a herd of bison!  Very cool.

And the last few points were sprint-style, back and forth just off the fields by the finish line, something I enjoy a lot (and don't suck quite as much at).

John got back in time to grab the camera before I showed up:

Across the field to find the next control behind a tree:

And over to the last control, I'm moving now!

Well, that was a fun finish:

I would normally cull this picture but I think it's kind of cute (and I'm short on photos for the weekend):

Friday provided by far the most scratches we would get all weekend, as we were thankfully moving to Taylorsville SP for Saturday/Sunday.  I was so much happier there in the open woods.  Occasionally we'd see greenbriar vines but I was getting better at spotting and avoiding them (although John can tell you about one that grabbed him by the ear and another that tried to capture his arm).

Saturday was the long course, including a few steep hillsides, running above the lake, and wonderful open woods without a lot of underbrush.  The course was set up with lots of great route choices between cross-country and going around on trails, and I did some of each and was constantly evaluating the benefits of straight/shorter vs. longer/faster.

I even nailed a couple controls , came down right on top of them, happy for that.

Oh, and the steep hills were Barkley-like (just much, much shorter) so I could pretend I was in training.

It wasn't all fun and games, however.  John caught up to me coming down a hill and I was already moving down the drainage at the bottom (whoop!  hi there!).  He tells a story of running into a wire fence and getting stopped completely, having to back up to go around (then noticing a piece of flagging the organizers had tied to the fence specifically so people would see it).

No big deal there.  The problem came when he was in the bottom of the drainage - he stepped on a slippery rock that was camouflaged by leaves, which caused him to fall.  John is normally good at falling (really, avoiding falls 95% of the time).  I looked over and saw him on the ground and expected him to bounce back up.

When he was slow in rising, I went over to check it out.  Nothing like a bit of blood in the beard to create some concern.  His lip was gashed and he wasn't sure about the teeth, but he was game to continue on.

I offered to stick with him, but he wanted me to go on ahead.  So I went on slowly and kept an eye on him.  I was doing a rather fine job of that, I thought, when I mistook the end of the lake for an inlet that we had to cross and proceeding to hop across on rocks.  John asked why I was doing that, but it wasn't until I looked at my compass on the other side that I realized my mistake.

By the time I got back across, John was long gone.  Guess everything is OK then!

I saw him again between CP's 19 and 20, and actually had a good split on that long point by running around the top trails (my highlight of the weekend - beating all but 3 runners on this one).  John was waiting at the finish and we went to the EMT for further lip inspection.

Yep, needs stitches.  Time to drive over to the Shelbyville urgent care:

Couldn't ask for a more "Frankenstein" look for Halloween:

Happily, his teeth and everything else were fine, yay!  He was up for running the Sunday course and hasn't slowed down for much of anything.  Although eating yogurt off a spoon was apparently not easy for a couple days...

He could eat this just fine - a lovely salad we found at a cafe in town (so good I will try to reproduce it sometime when we have some extra broccoli and edamame):

In the vein of "Roadside America" we present this pig bench:

Sunday's medium-length course went well, no events of note, still enjoying these woods and trails.  Well, we did get to run through our campground a couple times so that was fun.  I probably lost the most time on one point just off the road, going in a circle to try to avoid a large group of campers.  I saw John a couple times, together we found a pond that wasn't on the map (that's a new one for us), and he was taking it easier but still moving well.  And beating me.

And he found me another balloon!  He's like a Mylar magnet.

Posing with the pieces - while wearing the hoodie from the most memorable balloon find (a Happy Birthday balloon while racing on his birthday a couple years ago):

Fun weekend!  Guess our vacation is almost over...

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