February 16, 2018

Orienteering Results from Badger Hole

Typical Badger Hole Terrain
A few weeks ago I wrote that I hadn't selected an name for the February 4 orienteering venue and solicited suggestions. Well, while driving to the event a sign for a business caught Ben Brock's attention. I don't recall the type of business, but I do remember the key words: “Badger Hole”. One thing you notice while orienteering on this site is the number of badger, fox and prairie dog holes. On the Tuesday before the meet Sergey Velichko ran the course in its preliminary design phase in less than an hour. He reported badger holes causing him to fall twice before he slowed his pace and began spending more time looking at his foot placement. Henceforth this venue will not be known as Firebird or Freeze Out. It's Badger Hole.

There's not a tree to be found. There's not a boulder anywhere. With the exception of the clusters of animal dens this is highly runnable terrain. Navigation is all about contours and the network of ORV trails. The course design minimized the utility of the trails, placing the navigational burden on reading the contours.

Those of you who are familiar with cheat grass, medusahead and other noxious grasses know how annoying squirreltail can be. Usually, the seeds have fallen to the ground by February. That was not the case this year. Whatever we might think the benefits of the mild winter, it appears that squirreltail penetrating shoes and clinging to socks is not one of them. Adequate gaiters, resistant shoes and/or unconventional
Norma and Bonnie in their duct taped shoes
means of protection were necessary. The accompanying photo of Bonnie's and Norma's duct tape clad shoes exhibits one effective strategy. 

The weather was good. The temperature was mild. The terrain was in remarkably good condition for a February meet—dry without being frozen. It was pretty much an ideal morning to orienteer on a fun new map in our foothills. Regrettably, only five orienteers came out. Jeff Black and Ben Brock ran the 7.5 kilometer advanced course. Ben finished in 1:08 and Jeff ran it in 1:40. Carrie Magnuson completed the 3.4 kilometer intermediate course in 1:04. The team of Norma Bailey and Bonnie Coiner was unable to find a couple of controls. I expect they will do much better next month at Ann Morrison Park.

Thanks to Ben for picking up most of the controls. Ben came pretty close to running the course twice.

Sergey will direct the next meet on the Ann Morrison map he has expanded once again. We hope to see you there on Saturday, March 17.

John Murray
Meet Director

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