Saturday, September 18, 2010

Orienteering at night

If you follow my blog, you may recall that Schnickelfritz and I learned about orienteering a few weeks ago.  Tonight we had the chance to "kick it up a notch" with a Night-O, or nighttime race.   The event was held in a city park and there were hundreds in attendence.  It wouldn't surprise me if nearly half were under the age of 12.   A fair number of controls were to be found on the parks baseball diamonds or public buildings so kids of all ages could join in the fun.   Through the dark you could see bouncing lights and  hear squeals of delight as young ones found the orange and white windsocks. 

Other markers proved to be a challenge.  One was hanging from underneath a bridge.  I tried to hop on the rocks across and ended up slipping and soaking by backside.  Fritz found a more stable and shallower path a few feet away, but enjoyed laughing at my expense.  

In the woods,  the controls were only 4 inch squares on stakes.   You try to find a four inch target with a flashlight while your huffing and puffing and see how hard it is.   I'll confess at least once we ran right past a control and then heard a voice behind us yell "Here it is!"  A storm was approaching so the organizers shortened the amount of time we had to search.  We managed to find 11 controls in 45 minutes.  Sorry there aren't any pictures but I didn't want to risk the camera by stumbling in the dark.

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