October 6, 2017

Vampire O is back!

The Vampire O is back and at a brand new location! Did you know that Eagle Island State Park was originally a prison farm? On the eve of Saturday the 21st it will be transformed into the site for the return of the greatly missed Vampire O
It’s been a while, so in case you didn’t know, or don`t remember, the vampires and you come out at night. The Vampires will try to steal your map and all your valuable control points, then you become the vampire. Then it`s your turn to regain some points, you must hunt down another participant and steal their map!  

So Grab your lamp, and join us for a night of Orienteering in the Dark. It will be spooky out there, you may hear the faint sound of old rusty chains near site of the old slaughterhouse.  

Date:  Saturday, October 21st
Location:  Eagle Island State Park
(park entrance is now from State Street)
Format:  Score
Mass Start:  7:15pm. Don’t be late!!

Time Limit: 1 hour
Cost:  Maps $5 junior or $10 adult/team, CTOC members free, ($5 vehicle entry fee)

Make sure you pay the $5 vehicle entry fee on the way in at the entrance kiosk. For a bargain the Idaho State Park Passport is only $10 for full year access to all 30 state parks.
Event start is at the Harrier Shelter by the park office. Park at the main paved parking area.


1. 2 Vampires will start 3 minutes after the mass start

2. Vampires have a blank vampire punch card worth 0 points

3. Vampires attack orienteers by getting within 5 meters and yelling “vampire attack”, the victim must then surrender their punch card to the vampire. They then receive the “vampire card” and become the vampire.

4. Just like in tag the vampire can’t immediately tag back but must find another victim

5. All controls are worth the same amount of points, 10 points. They can be visited in any order.

6. Penalty of 10 points per minute if you are back late. Be back on time!

7. There is no separate beginner/intermediate/advanced course. The time limit is one hour. It is up to you to determine how many controls you can collect within the time limit. Remember you must be back by the time limit or lose massive points. You had better be a runner if you try to collect all of the controls. But remember, no matter how good you do you may be attacked by a vampire and lose your points, but you may end up with better points.

8. If you don’t want to be attacked by vampires you have the option of carrying “holy water” to ward off vampire attacks. Anyone carrying a 1 gallon jug of water is immune from vampire attacks. You must however bring your own jug, and you must carry it by hand at all times.

9. You can compete as a group but must remain together.

10. Ranking is by highest points and then quickest time.

11. Don’t forget a flashlight or headlamp, please no super bright headlamps, you don’t want to take the fun out of the dark. Also you must have a watch so you are back in time. Costumes are encouraged but remember you will want to run in them.

 It will be almost dark by the time we start, so plan accordingly.

The Vampire O has been a very popular event in the past. Please RSVP with how many maps you need so we print enough for everyone. Email to mmschuste (at) yahoo (dot) com by Thursday evening Oct. 19th.

October 2, 2017

Queen (Mine) for a Day

Sunday was ladies' day at the Queen Mine meet. Ever so aptly named, the Queen Mine drew five women to tackle the steep slopes and rough ground. Only Jay Morgan failed to get the memo that men were not welcome. But, we let him run with the women anyway.

Everything was all Wright. Although it was labeled a beginner course, it was really an orange-level  course that Katrina completed in 32 minutes and 12 seconds, no small feat considering that the grass was taller than she was in a few places. Katrina navigated at a level way above the beginner class while Melanie was out racking up a very impressive winning time of  1:15:32 on what was euphemistically designated as the intermediate course.

A few words about that intermediate course: It was intermediate only in that it lacked the gratuitous extra horizontal distance usually inserted only to gratify our indefatigable ultra-runners. Anywhere else in the country a course with 400 meters of elevation gain and loss would be regarded as excessively challenging. The Queen Mine's steep slopes and rough ground do present a challenge. And that terrain challenge is not without its navigational challenges either as it traverses re-entrants, rock features and is punctuated by dense vegetation.

Melanie Schuster followed Melanie Wright with a solid performance at 1:43:52. Due to injuries we hadn't had the pleasure of Kerry Davis's company for some time. As a bonus Kerry introduced her friend Natalie to our sport as they worked the course as a team. Kerry and Natalie finished in 1:55:06. It just wasn't the guys' day with Jay Morgan at 2:27:00. As for me, I'm a guy too. It showed as I took two-and-a-half hours to pick up controls.

Much thanks to the Wright girls for picking up the orange course. Mike Teller was kind enough to help me carry equipment to the start and, more important, to keep me company with good conversation. Greg Davidson and Melanie Schuster carried almost all of the equipment and supplies out and waited for me to return from control pickup which they followed up with some planning for the next meet.

Our next meet is the ever popular Vampire-O on Saturday, September 21. Thank you to Melanie Schuster for securing permission for us to use Eagle Island State Park. Mike Teller and I will begin field work on the new map this week. As we've begun mapping and planning we've become increasingly excited about Eagle Island both for our Vampire-O and maybe for a daytime classic. Thanks to Greg and Melanie for directing Vampire-O. It's going to be fun.

John Murray
Meet Director