SVO rogaine in PA put on by Eddie and friends. This was the 2nd event in my biweekly rogaine series. Eddie's hand-crafted stain-glass controls are the best prizes ever, so I was pretty psyched to find out that Katia and I were the only women's team entered in the 24-hour category, and therefore guaranteed first place if we could just manage to return under our own power and not lose our punch card, both of which were real concerns.
I knew we'd finished second, and a close second, when I heard Nadim say "sorry, Barb!" while looking at the results.
Rogaining in this terrain is a lot different than in Oregon, where it's so open and dry. Here there's a big element of dealing with unmapped features: trails, enormous enclosures surrounded by truly uncrossable fences, and laurel & thorn jungles. Eddie even threw in a bingo control to complement the natural challenges.
Our navigation was good. There were a few times when I felt we were being a little sloppy, but it turned out OK. I think I've reached a stage with rogaine navigation where what feels like instinct can be trusted, because I've been taking in enough data and pulling a lot of information from the map. There were a few places where we should have been more careful. We made relatively safe route choices. We missed the bingo control on our first pass, but nailed it on our second attack.
Katia lost her map in the first half of the rogaine. After that we passed mine back and forth to discuss route choice.
Went pretty low-key with the headlamps: Katia's was LED-only, and I had mine set to LED mode for the most part. I discovered in Oregon that spider eyes flicker weirdly blue-green in LED light, and I saw a bunch here in Pennsylvania as well. Also saw a tortoise, a black snake curled up on a branch I almost walked into, a turkey - and heard a bunch of whippoorwills (sp?) in the wee hours of the morning.
I was still a little weak from being sick on Wednesday. During the first half of the rogaine, I was experiencing the same GI pain that preceeded my illness of the previous week, and I was worried that it might develop the same way and leave me incapacitated out near some distant control. But by the tough part of the rogaine, I was physically settled into that long-haul rogaine feeling - and maybe the physical distress was good for a few extra endorphins.
I am especially grateful that we weren't bothered by mosquitos or other biting insects. The weather was great, hot in the late afternoon but otherwise cool, and not cold at night; no rain. We got our feet wet in the 2nd half in a couple of places: marsh, stream crossing and morning dew.
This was my partner Katia's first rogaine. She rocks!
David Onkst & Nadim Ahmed collected the most points. That's Mark Frank, Steve Aaronson and Mary Frank in the background (thanks Greg :-).
11:45 = 1st 12 hours - 15 minute rest stop