Willow Creek wasn't the first meet that caused me to ponder why so few orienteers showed up to enjoy a new map on terrain so close to Boise. This time there were only seven. After much consternation and much less thought I conjured up an explanation.
As I recalled the experiences of the last year I began to see a pattern emerge. It was about a year ago that Jeff Black directed a meet on the Queen Mine map newly developed by me. The Mile Marker 14 Fire burned over the map in the middle of July. July brought not only fire, but also a lot of untimely rain. We had scheduled the Pine Creek Meet for July 10 because everyone knows we don't get much rain in July, rain that could render the Pine Creek Road muddy and impassable. Due to the improbable deluge in Boise we postponed the meet for a week. Oh! And then there was more fire. I had made considerable progress mapping the Avimor area when a late July fire negated the work. August didn't work out too well either. My partner, Norma, owns a house in Cascade adjoining terrain full of the kind of features and variations that make an orienteer drool. I had a good start mapping it. The landowner denied us access. Well, so much for 2016. January's frozen ground at Willow Creek seemed like a near ideal venue for our January meet. In case you were hibernating and missed it, we experienced a wee bit more snow than usual in January. By March the snow was gone. Who could have predicted that the March 25 version of the January meet would be delayed due to rain? Maybe a better question is who couldn't?
Perhaps you being somewhat more discerning than your much humbled reporter can see the pattern here I resisted for so long. When John Murray is involved in a meet, something, large or small, recoverable or irredeemable, will go wrong. Apparently a lot of other folks discerned the pattern long before I did and exercised their good judgment to stay away. Hence, the seven orienteers least imbued with wisdom signed up for what promised to be the folly of Willow Creek March 25.
Before discussing the meet itself, I should pass on two pieces of good news. First, I will not be directing the next meet. Instead, the ever reliable Sergey Velichko will titillate us with a new map of the recently completed Esther Simplot Park. And if that's not enticement enough, he hopes to use the new e-punch system. And, second, I won't be directing a meet until October. You are safe to return to orienteering until then.
Strangely, a folly it was most emphatically not. Everyone seemed to enjoy the terrain, and nobody complained about the map. That was strange indeed. On the contrary, orienteers found the contours to be accurate, as expected when the elevation model is derived from high resolution LiDAR. Because the only significant vegetation was brush—sagebrush, rabbit brush, and bitterbrush—LiDAR produced a high quality vegetation map to the extent that it identified a single large specimen of brush. The snippet is from Control 8 on the Intermediate Map and Control 12 on the Advanced Map. The circle is about 55 meters in diameter. The green dot in the center is the large sagebrush on which the control bag was hung.
Thanks to a very tired Michael Bading for picking up the most exhausting controls. And, thanks to Jeff Black, who was not entirely recovered from his 100 miler last week for picking up some others.
|Doug, Brad, and Bill After Finishing|