Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Corn maze orienteering

The corn maze orienteering shenanigans began as a training event for the gang of five, which was what we called ourselves when Ali and I lived in the valley and got up to all sorts of trouble with Phil and Gail and Peter. Peter figured we may as well do some orienteering at Mike's Maze, and Mike was down with the idea, and it turns out racing around in a corn maze is not only amazingly fun, it's also really good technical orienteering training.  That established the tradition, and every year the event has grown; this year we had some 50 odd people lost in the maze attempting to find controls, and the event is as fun as ever!

There were three events (well, four if you count dinner at Bub's bbq) on tap: A "classic" distance, a sprint, and a night-o.  The classic had a predicted winning time of 11 minutes or so, sprint should be won in 5 minutes, and the night-o was a get-as-many-as-you-can affair with a 1-hr time limit.

My parents came to join in the fun, and while I think they may have been egregiously lost at times, they appeared to have fun while being lost, and at this event, that's what counts.  I did a proper warmup, remember that this fun event is actually a lot like a series of suicide sprints, since when you do know where you are, it pays to just run as fast as you can, and then come sliding to a stop to figure out which junction you want to turn down next.  I started out well, catching up about a minute to Brendan, but then proceeded to get utterly and completely lost, and was incapable of relocating.  All this corn looks exactly the same!!  By the time I'd figured that out, I was in 17th.  I clawed my way back up to 7th, but not without two more pretty terrible mistakes.  Oof!  This corn maze orienteering stuff is HARD!

After a short break, it was time for the sprint event.  I determined to give more respect to the maze this time, and took it slow - too slow.  This time Brendan started behind me, and had made up a minute by control 2, and I hadn't even made any mistakes!  I rallied a bit, but it wasn't enough, and I ended up 5th.  Thankfully at that point it's time for the barbecue dinner, so we all headed off to Bub's, because what is better than trying to run on a belly full of barbecue at night in a corn maze? Yeah I couldn't think of anything better than that, either =).

She may not know where she's going, but gosh darn is she going to have fun while going there.

Searching for runners in the maze. Binoculars didn't help.

Good thing there's a viewing platform.

Corn maze festivities over, the next day the Jospe family headed out for a walk along the 7 Sisters ridge.  That is one beautiful piece of land, and it turns out the ridge is no easier to hike than it is to race. Oof! But it was a lovely day to be walking outside, and I couldn't think of anything else I'd rather be doing.

Looking toward Mt. Tom across the river.

Coming up the first hill's rock scramble.

Midway there's a nice pile of rock that really doesn't look like much of a trail, but a trail it is. I raced on this? What was I thinking?!?

Ed decided to run to the summit house, and just wait for us there. I found him napping in the sun, totally sunburned.

Rocks and roots!

Ed leaving signs for me pointing which way to go at junctions.

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