Monday, August 29, 2011

The Other Day I Went Orienteering.

"Orienteering is a family of sports that requires navigational skills and using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain, and normally moving at speed."

That's Wikipedia's definition of orienteering. And I'd say I met at least four out of the five qualifications that make it orienteering, at least.
I did have a map, so that's one check. A compass? Another check. Diverse and unfamiliar terrain? Definitely. "Moving at speed"? Well, no, not really. Navigational skills? Yeah!

...Or, I had thought so, until yesterday.

Here's what happened:
I chose Route 4, which had 10 points to look for on the map and was about 3.1 km long. The goal is to begin at the starting point, find the first listed point, then the next point, and the next point, etc., until finally you end up relatively close to the beginning again. On Route 4, the first point I was supposed to find was marker number 56.

It started out well.

I found a lot of trees.

But I didn't find marker number 56... I did find marker 83 though, which I was pretty proud of at the time, until I discovered that marker 83 was the finishing point. I then decided to re-orient myself and find marker 56 again.
Somehow I instead found myself on the edge of a clearing and realized that I was lost and should probably turn around, so I did, and...

...found marker 74! Even though marker 74 wasn't supposed to be on Route 4, I still considered it an achievement. Marker 74 was kind of on the way to my next goal (marker 75), so I decided to continue.
The next obstacle was a field of waist-high ferns.

They looked so innocent.

Somehow I lost my map in the ferns, but I soon found it again.

Probs a fern conspiracy.

I then continued south, and my navigation skills followed. I decided that I had passed marker 75, so I turned and tried to go back, but I got lost again. After walking for a bit, I found a road!

So, I followed the road and hoped that it led back to the bigger road.

It did. :D
After a few minutes of walking along this road, I found the starting point of the event and the safety of the car. And my orienteering was finished.

Until this Thursday when I'll do it again. :D

I'll try to add some of my macro shots at the end of each post, just to keep things interesting...

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