July 14, 2020

Castle Rock Meet Report

By Marcel Duchamp - NPR arthistory.about.com

Over the years I've learned some things I really don't need to know. High on that list I count my knowledge of Marcel Duchamp's putative work of art pictured here. Unless you have been enlightened, you might need to be forgiven for thinking this object is a plumbing fixture commonly found in men's restrooms. Well, it is, or so I have been informed, a revolutionary work of art from 1917. If you find this idea mystifying or perplexing, you can dig in further and become an enlightened one. I refer to this “work of art” only to ensure that what I am about to assert is nowhere near the fringe of the realm of art.

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I have often looked at an orienteering map and found in it an elegance I did not expect in an object so functional. I'll leave it to you to choose whether a map can be a work of art. I'm kind of up in the air on that subject, but not so much in the case of a urinal. Having employed OCAD, our mapping software, to process LiDAR data to produce the Castle Rock Map, I can't claim much artistic input for myself as its author. Still, I believe it is pleasing to the eye in a way that attracts me to the art I hang on my walls at home. I haven't quite reached the point where I'm inclined to frame it, but that doesn't seem too far-fetched.

Earlier this year when LiDAR data became available from a FEMA project to map the Payette River Basin, an enormous area, I began searching within its limits for good mapping projects. Among several other possibilities the Castle Rock Road area looked good. I had driven past the area many times, mostly on my way to backpacking in Yellowstone. It looked interesting from Highway 20, but I never ventured beyond the main thorofare. When I mentioned it to Sergey he said he had also pegged Castle Rock Road as potentially interesting to the club. With the magic of some new and powerful mapping software employed to process the LiDAR data we quickly had what appeared to be a map suitable for a meet. What truly amazed me was how little time I spent on site mapping and field checking. My time on site before setting controls amounted to 2 hours in early June and 5 hours in late June. Most of the development was done at my desk. And, even that was far from the long hours drafting maps just a few years ago.

Whether we remember the course or the map, I'm confident that images like this one will remain vivid long after other memories have faded.
Photo courtesy of  Christy Morris
I have to admit I was somewhat apprehensive about how the map turned out. I will defer to three critiques from our eminent critics.
Photo by Kirsten Severud

The Castle Rock area is one of the most interesting areas of Idaho that I have visited (I didn't even know it existed until today). There is no lack of features in this area, and it seemed like the map captured it all. There were so many features to guide you along, you hardly needed a compass.

Thanks for a great course on a perfect day for orienteering. It would be nice to do the area again.
Photo by Kirsten Severud

Christy joined CTOC in December, and along with her father, Scott, has participated in almost every meet this year. Christy:
This was by far our favorite course I terms of location and scenery. Of course it helps that we also shaved some time off our previous "race".

A cliff from an apparently abandoned mining venture was a notable and unexpected feature. A small gap not visible in the photo remained from the incomplete closure of the tunnel. 

Thirteen people participated in the meet bringing our total 2020 participation well over 200. Participation this year far exceed any year in the last five, and it's just the middle of July. Notably, John Harbuck came all the way from Sandpoint to compete in our two-day event. Like John, several of us went on to the Dutch Lake Meet north of Stanley.

Thanks to Zach and his mother, Jennifer, for picking up half of the controls on a hot July afternoon. Zach Clayton will host our next meet at Pine Creek south of Idaho City. Meet information is posted at https://www.meetup.com/City-of-Trees-Orienteering-Club/events/ . We look forward to seeing you there.

John Murray
Meet Director

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