Maps:Part 1 BaileytownPart 2 Trail runPart 3 SurebridgePart 4 Silvermine, first partPart 4 Silvermine, second part
1. I was resolved to walk, so behind most folks, but there were a lot of walkers going up the hill. Up the intermittent trail, up the big reentrant, a bit left of the line, and straight in. No particular difficulty, seeing a lot of people. I was behind Sam on the way up but lost sight of him, passed Sharon on the way up and didn't see her again.
2. Jogged a few steps on the gentle downhill, but didn't do that again. I was a bit right, but saw the big rock to my left and corrected fine. A few folks generally in the area.
3. Straight, keeping the point o the spur on my right.
4. Probably better to head right down to the trail, but I stayed along the line more, through lots of blueberry and hit the trail past the junction with the smaller trail. I heard voices below and headed down hill through thicker stuff to get down to the trail, popped out behind Sam, a little further behind Phil and Steve. Angled up and over, settling in with Sam and spiking it. Saw some people coming in from the W and some people who may have already been coming in from #7.
5. A little ahead of Sam for a while, but he caught up and we were together for the rest of this map. Seemed like it was taking a long time, but Sam confirmed there was still more to go. Across the last marsh and R of the prominent hill. Got sucked off by a boulder to the right before correcting, maybe 45 seconds. One of the very few not spiked.
6. Left of the marsh. Not hard, but a long way around.
7. Contoured around the big hill, which left a bit to cover once we got past the hill, but no problem.
8. R of the marsh, which meant getting hung up in some extra green and bailing out tot he drier land to the west and coming up that spur. So maybe L of the marsh would have been better.
9. Past 5 (spiking it this time, and on through the (dry) marsh and up. We had picked up Phil.
10. A bit of an elephant track R of the cliffs and the hill to he trail, trail for a bit, then across and climbing. Could see Steve approaching the flag up the hill. Easy to see it.
11. Climbing, L of the line.
12. Contouring, picking up the intermittent trail for a while. Steve and Phil were a bit ahead, We hit the trail R of the control and had to backtrack. Phil was already there and ready to leave. Steve came in behind us and left promptly, but I stopped to drink three large cups of water, since there hadn't been any on the course and I was pretty thirsty. Steve and Phil both had camelbacks, which turned out to be a good idea with water only occasionally available. Said goodbye to Sam, who was doing the Lowlander.
Trail run. Steve was about 100 M ahead at the start, and Phil maybe 100 M ahead of him, and Phil seemed to be pulling away, so I assumed I wouldn't see them again. However, just walking with some determination I eventually reeled in Steve, around Hippo Rock, and probably got about 100 M ahead of him by the end of it. Didn't see Phil until the sharp bend in the trail where we punched 13, and he was more or less in sight the rest of the way in to the map exchange. Drank a bunch more water, ate a couple of pretzels, but there wasn't anything else to eat there. Phil and I resolved to do the rest together.
Hard to figure out how to do the long leg to 1. Easy road route around, or work through the woods. Thinking hard about that we got about 50 meters off in the wrong direction from the map exchange before looking at the compass. Walked back along the road as far as the trail run turn before deciding to stick with the road, me trying to stay on the side to diminish the clicking of my spikes on asphalt. Phil and I had gotten out of the exchange before Steve, but now we saw him off to the left and a bit ahead of us taking a woods route, or maybe on a trail. Continued on and finally left the road a little before the building before the trail and cut the corner up to the trail just before the big marsh. We saw Steve a bit behind us, coming up on trail. I stopped and drank three cups of water while those two continued on. I caught up to Phil and we followed a bit behind Steve as he cut up to the W and around the marsh. I was struggling with the climbing and the rocks and falling a bit behind.
2. Following P and S, trying to catch up, not navigating too hard here.
3. Fell even farther behind coming down the rocky hill. Just too jarring on my back.Once across the strream-bed they were still in sight, but I figured I would lose them. I went a little further left of line, picked up trail for a while, cut through the dry (and rock free) marsh and emerged even with Steve and almost up to Phil, who led into the control.
4. Phil and I under the cliffs just left of the line, climbed up on the spur with a little difficulty and down and across the reentrant, finding the control without difficulty. I was a bit rejuvenated and leading the way here, Steve not around, pretty sure he was behind us.
5. On compass, leaving the marsh on our right, seeing the hill before the control, going around the right of it, maybe a little longer, but very secure. Saw Steve arriving as we left.
6. Under the cliffs on an unmapped trail segment, then on compass across the spurs. A little uncertainty in the circle, but Phil picked the correct boulder and no time missed. Around here the left side of my neck started to ache, and bothered me most of the rest of the way. I think it was from holding my map in my left hand for so long. Anyway, a lot of effort to stretch it.
7. Took the intermittent trail E to the big trail and left of the big marsh. Probably would have been better just to aim for the water stop and from there there was a trail route almost all the way. Anyway,around the marsh and up the hill aiming for the small marsh,along the stream bed for a bit then we started climbing, realized just how steep the hill in front of the control was, so contoured around it to the left, got down in the vicinity and Phil saw the reentrant opening up, so bailed me out there.
8. Contoured across, reading the cliffs, seeing the flag on the rocky spur before we got to it.
9. Climbing up to the trail, Phil had a tachycardia incident, had to wait for a minute or so for it to resolve, and I started to think that might be a really good excuse to quit at the map exchange, but he felt ok, and wanted to continue. So along the trail to the bend at the top of the first hill, and angling down seeing the knoll with the rocks before the control, and then the reentrant opening up. Nice spike.
F. heading E toward the tower, a little hung up in some furious blueberry and rocks and crossing the pipeline. The mapped tower is the older tank. There is a new one, more prominent but unmapped, on the other side of the trail. Might have been better just to skirt the whole area. Anyway, out to the road and in. We hadn't seen Steve in a while, but Kseniya advised us that he was 3 minutes ahead. Drank a bunch of water and Kseniya gave me some chocolate covered peanut concoctions. They really cheered me up, and my neck stopped aching, at least for a little while.\
1. Phil advised the R fork and heading up in the vicinity of 4, and I was happy to agree. The trail seemed to take a long time, but once we got to the end of it and followed down toward the marsh, the rest of the leg seemed pretty easy. Another spike.
2. Can't say I remember a whole lot of this leg, Left of line,some climbing, some blueberry, approached from the NE up the reentrant, so easy enough.
3. S to the trail, feeling confident, looking for the smaller trail cutting off to the left to mark our progress, but didn't see it, or maybe it just isn't there anymore. Anyway, went a bit more and figured we had gone a bit too far, so into the woods, rocky ground, maybe the edge of the marsh, a little anxious because no clear landmarks, but then looked back and to the left a bit and there it was. Lucky. Phil said it didn't count as a miss, but I suppose we left at least a minute there.
4. Headed W to the trail, but didn't find it, or at least only found a few intermittent sections, but back to the trail junction and there it was across. Phil wanted to leave it and find a path through the blueberry, but I voted to keep on and attack from the small pond and he agreed. The pond was dry, and a nice soft respite from all the rock. On compass and we could see the hillside from a distance, and Steve stopped at the bottom of it consulting his map. He eventually figured it out, and in fact it was a bit higher than I had expected. When we were close enough we could see it facing us.
5. Climbed back up to the E, around the right side of the hill, and across the trail and down the other side toward the dry rocky marsh. The three of us going along on compass, more or less. Me in the lead, but looking back to see if those guys were following. Eventually we found the intermittent trail on the other side of the stream, floundered a bit when it ended, but climbed up and hit the trail junction, followed that to the bend and tlookde for the intermittent trail going NE, Never found that, but found plenty of thigh-high blueberry. Plunged along, on compass, trying not to drift down to the right. Found the little spot among cliffs where the map shows a bend in the intermittent trail, so at least we knew where we were, kept going until it started to flatten out, looking intently for the flag, and spotted it from about 75 M away. Very satisfying.
6. Looked for the trail L of the marsh, but didn't find it. Got out to the larger trail and followed it past the stream crossing, up the hill past the boulder and the slight bend and in on compass. I was a little too interested in a boulder a line down the slope, but Phil saw the flag and easy enough to correct.
7. More or less straight. Phil was slowing down a bit here and I was leading. About 2/3 of the way Steve showed up again and now he was jogging. I suppose I could have done that, but I wasn't about to start now, and Phil certainly wasn't going to, so we let him go.
8. Remembered the speech about the uncrossable stream, and so waited to cross it right opposite the control, happy to see it when I got up to the trail, right across from me.
F, waited a bit for Phil and then walked in together.
A really fun course. My energy was adequate, but the body is just not tolerating this sort of thing anymore.