US Nationals, Long course at Bishop's Lake
I've orienteered in Michigan before, so I knew the terrain would be hard to read and understand. So the plan was to walk with purpose. Still, I was surprised that it took me three controls to get "into" the map reading. I was really slow on 2, nothing was quite making sense after I passed the marshes.
Things finally started to click, somewhat, after 3. Still lots of hesitations when things didn't make sense, but also a few moments of yeah, it will be right up there.
Was right on track for 6, then took an unexplainable wander a bit off to the side. Spiked 7 (yeah for finally getting a spike)!
My biggest mistake was 9. Just couldn't figure things out as soon as I passed the big depression to the south. I hesitated a bit, and then did a logical thing (for a change): I walked back to the big depression and started again. This is progress. Lately I have been in a "I'll just wander it must be just around here" phase. I was pleased that I stopped and relocated. AP says I lost 2:45 here. I'll take it over a 15 minute mistake any time.
I had a hard time picking a route to 10 (good course setting!). I planned to stay on the trails more, but I was lulled into the white woods just past the marsh. After that, I executed as planned. I'm glad I attacked from the curve in the road (NW of the control).
11 was weird for two reasons: one: I saw the marker from a distance but I thought it couldn't be mine, the placement made no sense. Looked like a flat dry marsh, to me. I was quite surprised to see it was my control when I saw the code. And two: I did a 180 leaving the control. Fortunately, I caught it pretty quickly.
12 to 13 was just a slog, and I hated the green stuff here. Halfway through, I went through a patch of vines that were wrapping me up at every step. That was not fun.
Overall, I loved the terrain and the course. I'm not happy that I was tired and could only walk through this challenging terrain. But I'm very happy that I navigated decently and relocated quickly. I'll take it as a win.
Quick drive to Detroit for an early flight (possum was there also). Nice to be home by 6 pm for a change.