July 25, 2022

This Month's CTOC News and Meet Report

Bill Pilcher's Dog, Birdie at ADV12/INT7

 A couple of months ago in the Rabbit Creek meet report I quoted Crash Davis, Kevin Costner's character in the movie “Bull Durham” about respecting a streak. Much to my surprise “Bull Durham” prompted Ole to put me onto a recent newspaper article based on the director's book about the making of the movie. Another friend, Russ Pilcher, mailed the print article and generously followed with the book, “The Church of Baseball”. All that and a call to let me know that watching “Bull Durham” was one of his Father's Day activities. If you've seen the movie and know Russ, you would not be surprised to learn that the main thing Russ got from the movie is, “The rose goes in the front, big guy.” I could explain, but I won't. It's best to see the movie.

Saturday's Goose Plateau Meet brought another Crash Davis quotation to mind even though it needs to be updated to match today's situation. “Some days you win, some days you lose, and some days it rains you have COVID.” There were several things about COVID. Least important was my waning case. Andy Hill took over setting up the start desk and getting things going while I tried to keep my distance. I spite of a minor bout of COVID-induced fatigue I managed to get all of the controls set in good order the day before.

What was of much more importance was Sergey and his daughter Masha's COVID. They had travelled to Italy for the World Masters Orienteering Championships a couple of weeks ago. After finishing 16th in the sprint finals out of about 200 of the best men's 60-64 orienteers in the world and qualifying for the middle course, Sergey came down with COVID and withdrew from the competition as did Masha. When we watch Sergey run we know how much he loves the sport and how well he represents CTOC. I'm sure Sergey is already thinking about the World Masters Championships 2023 in Kosice, Slovakia. They got off easy this year. Not so next year I'm confident.

Sergey reported that he is still feeling the aftereffects in the form of fatigue. Kirsten was currently a little over a week into her COVID, but still managed to turn in a respectable second place in the Intermediate Class behind David Bergset's solid performance.

Once upon a time in a world that's hard for Ole to imagine he beat Sergey on one leg of a classic course. Ole, ever the modest gentleman would never brag about a small (although I think it to be monumental)

victory like that. The reason I know about that long ago anomaly is that Ole in his matter-of-fact way mentioned that he had a photo of Sergey catching up to him when that rare event happened again at ADV 12/INT 7. In light of Sergey's lingering COVID fatigue (if you can believe that as he turned in a 1:13 advanced course victory almost halving Karin's performance—Note that Karin is no slouch having recently finished second in her age group on the middle course at the Western States Orienteering Championships at Missoula.). Judging from Sergey's smile he was happy to be there in spite of being the victim of the rare phenomenon.

And, that brings me to Sergey's map with his track in red. It was on Control 12 where you can see that Sergey chose not to take Ole's direct route from 11 to 12. Thanks, Sergey, for contributing your map. It illustrates the importance of route choice and reminds us that no matter how skilled you are, you can lose a few seconds with what seems like the most efficient route at the moment.

Photo courtesy of Bill Pilcher
Lynette & April Credit Ole

Ole noted the presence of Lynette and her friend April. “A couple of ladies, we met several times out in the woods as we were on the same course. Fortunately they followed their compass rather than anyone they happened to meet out there. They were definitely better off for it.” Bill captured them in a photo at INT 7. They are both ultra runners. Among other reasons for orienteering the idea is to improve map skills for those long endurance runs.

It was good to see Pete Paradis. He's become a regular, and judging from his strategy to attack the last Sport Course control from the finish, he's learned a few orienteering skills, among which is using attack points.

There is a Super Sport category populated only by Christy and Scott. They finished the Sport Course in good spirits and wanting a little more navigation. They took on the last four controls on the ADV/INT courses.

Credit: Andy Hill

The big question is how good is this terrain? Should we use it again in the coming years? Should the map be further developed? It's clear to me that if Goose Plateau were within an hour's drive of Boise, we would make regular use of it. If you are camping or hanging out in McCall, it works as part of a weekend vacation. As a standalone meet requiring a five hour round trip from Boise, not so much. Sergey likes it. He said Saturday's ADV course qualified for a red designation. (Of seven levels of difficulty red is the sixth most challenging.) The one drawback he cited was the 2.5+ hour drive.

The old World War I song says, “It's a long way to Tipperary”. I checked. It's 419 miles from London to Tipperary. I drove farther than that while mapping Goose Plateau and directing the meet.

David, Andy, & Kirsten--The last of the pickup crew.

Some days we need more help than others. I am always grateful for the help I receive as a meet director. Because of my reduced energy level I was especially grateful and a little bit amused as Ole, David, Karin, Andy, and Kirsten all volunteered and even vied for control pickup assignments. You guys are great. I am fortunate.

John Murray

Meet Director

June 20, 2022

Castle Rock Traverse

I hope all enjoyed blue skies, bright sun, and abundance of flowers this past Saturday at Castle Rock traverse! Surprisingly for this arid area but surely refreshing knee deep mud near the creek put additional challenge for those who tried to fish lost shoes :) This is very difficult physically terrain due steep hills and knee high (some would say waist high in places) bushes that prompted to zigzag energetically. Lots of smiles and heated course discussion at the finish were good indicators that courses were challenging, fair, and memorable.  
Photo: Kirsten S. 
Staying on a selected line of sight was key to a successful finish. Lots of rock features are excellent landmarks to use for navigation as well as groups of trees, mainly on the sides and bottom of ravines. Flower season painted sides of the hills in colorful palitra. And views were certainly breathtaking, especially at the moments you reached to the control on the top of that hill :)
Photo: Andy H.

Beginner (6)2.0 km 0 m8 C
1Oat Team1:03:52
2Dobby Team1:15:34
3Peter Paradis1:18:49
4Marsella Mink1:20:27
5Kristy-Scott Morris1:23:21
6Sandra Wright1:36:27
Intermediate (5)2.9 km 0 m10 C
1John Murray1:25:30
2Dustin-Heidi-M Tomas1:37:18
3Ashley-Grace Boyd2:23:55
4Jerry Stewart2:24:02
Koko-Taylor Peepsdnf
Advanced (6)4.3 km 0 m16 C
1Kirsten Severud1:29:02
2Jason-Brend Russel1:45:02
3Bill Leahy1:47:44
4Ole Bergset2:13:50
5Andy Hill2:21:51
            Ryan Patterson                                        dnf   

Notable head-to-head competition between Team Oat and Team Dobby and Kirsten moving 
from the intermediate courses up posted the best time on the advanced course.

Split time are available at Castle Rock Meet Split Times

More meets are coming this summer! For the next couple we move to beautiful McCall area and in September to Edna Creek near Idaho City.
Photo: Andy H. 
See you out there!

May 26, 2022

Golden Day for an Orienteering Event


Some days we are just out there for the adventure. Gold Rush Middle stood up to the championship level challenge this past weekend, but it was a beautiful weekend to be momentarily lost in the woods! With 46 folks starting out on the course it was a big weekend. The terrain was big too with lots of reentrants, ridges, and hydro-mining craziness in a short distance. 

I choose to direct this meet because it seemed like a neat area and is an hour from home, however I had never done an event on this map. Luckily, with so many new members to the club I also had the support of the club leadership to reuse the courses from the 2015 championship. With a variety of course levels to choose from I had to start by acknowledging that 4 courses by myself with over 50 controls was beyond my reach. Even with these head starts, I spent a beautiful early May day hitting as many of the controls as I could, spending a good 7+ hours wandering the woods and whittling the list down to 36 controls and three maps. 

Father and son pointing at found control
Happy orienteers. Photo: Ole B.

While "reusing" courses has its advantages, trying to recreate a course has its own challenges also - you have to make sure you actually put the controls in the correct place! I had doubts in my ability the first day I went out, using every trick in the book- maps, compass, and yes, even GPS - to flag the correct locations. Even then the subtleties were tricky in such tricky terrain and I got much more practice with the control description symbols - they really are worth looking at closely (Need to study up? click here). The day before the meet while I was setting controls I had a little bit more confidence working my way back to the same locations, often from a different direction. It was a good exercise in locating different features on the map from which to navigate to the same location using different routes. (I heard stories on meet day of participants doing this same things in an attempt to locate a particular the control.) Despite all my efforts it was an amazing relief to have Margene, Elsa, and Erik finish up the sport course, followed by John on the intermediate course, and Ole on the Advanced. All my controls were close enough to the right place that they were findable!! Hooray! 

However, findable didn't always mean exactly where participants where looking! One determined participant asked mid run if one of the controls was in the correct place ?!? - minor moment of panic! - but yes, John M. had run that course early and ensured they were. Nonetheless, the determination for this particular participant paid off and the course was eventually completed, albeit to them in an unsatisfactory time. For many on this map, even a completion time was out of reach this day. The steep slopes and complexity of terrain was a challenge too great in the time frames folks had allotted themselves and many did not finish. Despite the challenges faced on the courses everyone returned with giant smiles of gold. This was the best part of the day for me. Everyone had a good time and no injuries where reported beyond a small finger cut. 

Course Terrain

Karin had a good showing in the middle of a long drive between Twin Falls and McCall. Melanie and Ole as regulars on the advanced coursed had good showings as well. Jennifer had a great event beating the team of Torin, Angela, and Jackson by less than a minute. The first finishers of the day, Margene, Elsa, and Erik, were also first on the sport course. 

Gold Rush was a family affair this year. It was great to see so many kids out with a few of them trying out the course on their own. John M was joined on the course by his son David and his family. John's grandson Sam was shadowed by his dad David on the intermediate course, while the the ladies of the family, Alecia, Belen, and Eloise took on the Sport course coming in second. Erik, along with his youngest daughters Sophia, & Julia had a short, but fun try at the spot course, while his older two, Audrey & Jonah, tried out the first few controls of the intermediate. Jeremy, Madison, Carter, Reagan returned with big smiles as well. Anne, up from Logan, Utah, and her 85 year old mother took it easy on the sport course, but can't wait to come out again. A few groups were the type of family you choose, friends that you can get lost in the woods with and still have a great day like Ashley, Mattie, and Grace or James and Pete. Plenty of other family groups and pairs where out as well which is fun to see.
Control bag hanging on a tree
When I went to this location while doing recon, I was surprised to find a control bag handing from a previous event and missed on pickup. 

Despite all the smiles, there were a few complaints. Since it wasn't all my course design to begin with though, I could pass blame for a few of those along to the previous mappers and course setters. There was a complaint about too much brush 😉 - sorry John S, careful what you say, as next month's Castle Rock is 10 times worse. I could pretend to understand the complaint about the highway noise, however, I appreciated the goodbye honking that the Wrights sent after they picked up a few controls and I was picking up a few near the highway. I heard you!! No one complained about the perfect weather, the abundance of wildflowers, or the unique wildlife finds. Christy, as first on the course, caught a glimpse and picture of a deer, and Carrie took some bone pictures. (I'd seen them too - elk maybe, they seemed large.) I found a wild turkey egg shell mostly still intact, and got scolded by some red-tail parents when I passed near an unseen nest location. While there were no reports of gold found in them thar hills, I'd say it was golden day for an orienteering meet.

Thank you to John, Melanie, Innes, and Katrina (Happy Graduation!) for helping with control pick up. 
Meet Results Table

Thank you everyone! Hope to see you June 18th for Castle Rock Traverse.

John M and Kirsten at the start desk. Hi Zach! Phot: Jennifer S. 

April 25, 2022

Respect the streak "...because they don't happen very often" - Crash Davis

Rabbit Creek Terrain by Kirsten Severud

I had experienced an orienteering meet at Julia Davis Park sometime around 2005 and wasn't interested in trying another one. Then in 2010 I got a message about Rabbit Creek and decided to give it another
John Siebold on Rugged Terrain--Leslie Perez

try. That was it. I was hooked on orienteering. The Seventh Annual Rabbit Creek did it and has had a special place in my heart ever since. 

 Baseball players are notorious for resorting to the extremes of superstitions to maintain a hitting or pitching streak, sometimes refusing to change socks or underwear as they are caution not to change a thing, lest ending the underwear streak will also end a hitting streak. For 19 years in a row there's been an orienteering meet at Bill Pilcher's Rabbit Creek Ranch. No other CTOC venue comes close to that streak. 

As I thought about how this streak should be preserved and driven forward I was reminded of an R-rated conversation from one of my favorite movies. In the movie Bull Durham, Tim Robbins' character, Nuke LaLoosh (loosely based on Steve Dalkowski), finds himself in a relationship with Susan Sarandon's character, Annie. However, when he goes on a long road trip, he begins pitching better and the team begins winning, and Nuke attributes this to his period of abstinence. 

The setup: Annie storms into Crash’s apartment, furious about his interference with her relationship with Nuke. Crash feels he did nothing wrong. 

Crash: “Nuke’s chastity was your idea.” 
Annie: “I know!. I’m telling you to keep your hands out of this.”
 Crash: “I never told him to stay out of your bed.” 
Annie: “You most certainly did.” 
Crash: “I never told him to stay out of your bed.” 
Annie: “Yes, you did!” 
Crash: “I told him a player on a streak has to respect the streak.” 
Annie: “Fine.” 
Crash: “You know why? Because they don’t happen very often.” 
Annie: “Right.” Crash: “If you believe you’re playing well because you’re getting laid or because you’re not getting laid or because you wear women’s underwear, then you are. And you should know that!” 

 As Crash (Kevin Costner) said, “...a player has to respect the streak”. So, we did. And we should as long as we have access to Bill's ranch. Start thinking about making it two decades of Rabbit Creek.

Unknown Specie
 After a week of windy conditions the wind abated and a lot of people came out on Sunday to enjoy the weather and the terrain. By my count, which might have overlooked one or two people on teams, we had 44 participants on four different courses. 

Long-leaf Phlox
 The high desert goes unappreciated by folks who only find beauty in lakes, rivers, and tall trees. “Desolate” is the word I hear from them. The high desert is a place for people who can appreciate the small things. Thank you, Leslie, for your photos of a couple of the many species of flowers in blossom. You had a couple of good orienteering photos including both the orienteering and Rabbit Creek's excellent rock features. 

 Becky Ruths sent a photo of herself and some of her team at the first control on their first orienteering map. She reported that they all had a great time. We hope to see them at future meets. 

 Kirsten continued her streak of Intermediate Course victories. I hope she changed her underwear since her last meet, but I know that in this competition you have to do what it takes. And speaking of doing what it takes, Jerry reserved a Sport Map instead of his usual Intermediate version after a momentous week of running Robie and having cataract surgery. Then at the last moment opted for the Intermediate Course. Although he didn't finish, just getting out there a doing it at 80 years-old is some kind of admirable triumph. Jerry, you are a hero. 

Sergey's Route
 After she finished the Intermediate Course Jennifer discussed her route choices with me. If I recall her routes correctly, she will be pleased to see how closely her routes correspond to Sergey's on the Advanced Course. For those of you who are not familiar with Sergey, his orienteering skills are such that I like to use him for a standard. That's not to say Sergey is perfect. By his own admission he is not. He reported that his 1:01:15 time included 2-3 minutes of hesitations. 

It would have been a very long day arriving back in Eagle long after dinner time without the kindness of the three people who helped with control pick up. Thank you David Bergset, Erik Bergset, and Kirsten Severud.

Kirsten Severud plans to host the next meet May 22 on the Gold Rush national championship terrain a couple of miles northwest of Idaho City.

Some orienteers requested digital copies of the maps. For proper scale print these maps on legal size paper. Advanced and Intermediate maps and  results follow:

John Murray
Meet Director
208 342-2165

March 13, 2022

Unknow-O Report

The meet center was in unknown before location, as well as all controls were in unknown before places. Unknown-O started with excellent weather, albeit strong wind blowing away papers and even SI sticks. Many thanks to Cristy and Melanie for gracefully hadnling the registartion table and improvised beginner clinic. And to John for always much appreciated feedback.

Weather was sunny and smiles were wide. Here are some photos of happy starters and even happier finishers.

Many moved to higher levels of course difficulty. And this is great! Do not hesitate to learn from the best and tackle more challenging courses! Discussing and listening for after race stories is certainly a way to improve. Just remember that orienteering is a skill that is improved through the practicing. These are results of all courses, Randy and Darla Rhude and Roy and Kim Tsuda on intermediate course selected honor system thus don't have official times

Advanced (9) 6.6 km 0 m 22 C
1 Zach Clayton 51:46
2 Doug Lamott 59:42
3 Jason Russel 1:02:56
4 Merrill-Mike Bading 1:09:18
5 Melanie Wright 1:13:09
6 Torn Ford 1:19:37
7 Carrie Magnuson 1:37:15
8 Team Boyd 2:03:08
9 Jerry Stewart 2:32:14

Beginner (8) 1.9 km 0 m 8 C
1 Girls Russel 35:38
2 Peter Paradis 36:51
3 Lorelai-Aiden-Fa Wise 39:21
4 Susan-Rebekah Rhoads 40:13
5 Addison-Michael Ishmael 47:16
6 Fred-Madyson-Mac Mccarn 47:50
7 Marie-Kids Schwarzenberger 54:51
8 April-Kids DeCarlo 1:21:21

Intermediate (9) 4.2 km 0 m 16 C
1 Dusten-Heidi Thomas 46:44
2 John Murray 52:51
3 Chisty Morris 59:25
4 Michail Fragkias 1:06:04
5 Katrina-Sara Wright-Morgan 1:22:52
6 Heather-Matt Steel 1:27:49
7 Family Swan 1:32:30
8 Shravik-Annalisa Sethi-Miller 1:41:59
9 Jim Hull 1:48:26

Sport (5) 3.6 km 0 m 14 C
1 John-Eli Arambarri 46:02
2 Brett-Leslie Smith 1:25:37
3 Jacquelin-Jeremy Gaddy 1:25:51
4 Brandon Blowers 1:38:35
Patti Knutson mp

You may access splits and compare to best at Winplits link for the event.

We are finilizing details for the April meet. Tentatively it will be April 24 at Owyhees for famous Rabbit-O event. We have meets defined for the rest of the year. Meetup events are being populated with information. Access these from this page. We also posted a list of nearby large events (like PNWOF) and USA/World championships. Some of our club members are planning to travel to these and everone is encouraged to join. Nothing could substitute for new terrain, challenge, friendship and cameraderie.

Hope to see you all enjoying outdoors at our meets!


February 20, 2022

Ribbon of Jewels 2/19/22 - Meet write up - The Road Not Taken

Photo credit: Cat Yates
I approached the prospect of serving as "lead" meet director for my first time with that of a soul needing to find their way home through the thick undergrowth that has crept into many of our lives while surviving a pandemic.  Over the past two months, I spent countless of our inversion-January yellow "sun break" afternoons delighting in the quiet spaces, where often among the snow and mud I trod steps of my own, while many ran the other way (but a few did stop to ask me, "Do you work for the City?  Tell them they need to replace this part of the Greenbelt").  

The process of scouting the map, mixed with learning the OCAD software, and coordinating with our experienced club leaders, has been an incredible opportunity to challenge myself to extend my skills as an orienteer.  I would highly recommend the experience - as it will surely help you choose to take the road less traveled - and it will make all the difference.  My enduring gratitude to Sergey, John, Melanie, and my wife Lauren, for their guidance and encouragement in this new endeavor. 

Additional shoutout goes to my doggo Sue for her constant "hype gal" mentality to join me on all of my map scouting adventures. 
Sue enjoying the sunshine

Write up inspirational credit goes to Robert Frost's The Road Not Takenhttps://poets.org/poem/road-not-taken

Now for some fun photos and numerical highlights of our February Meet:
  • 67 - total participants
  • 16 - first-time orienteers
  • 2,100+ - orienteer minutes on courses
  • 445+ - controls punched
  • 10 - new/renewed CTOC memberships
  • 47:35 - Sergey's unofficial time to run/step-up course controls while carrying a golf bag and a duffel bag (see photographic proof later on)
  • 8 - seconds separating the Intermediate course's 7th-9th place finishers
  • 3 - first-time orienteers who placed in the top 3 in their course
  • 1 - times Kirsten looked at her map and then ran her course (incredible!)
  • 0 - times Veteran's Memorial Parkway was illegally crossed (henceforth known on this map as The Road Not Taken)

Lukas F. at the stick fort

Elise O. and Johnny B. on their first course

Mike B. starting off strong

Photo credit: James Hull

Heron patiently waiting for a snack

Lauren H. smiling per usual

Cat and Trenton Yates enjoying the sunshine

A blurry 8am Sergey because he is running so fast or because it is 10x zoom across the park on my IPhone?

Results by course are listed below and timing splits can be found at this link: http://obasen.orientering.se/winsplits/online/en/show_event.asp?id=79940

Advanced (9) 4.0 km 0 m 17 C

1 Mike Bading 52:13

2 Bill Leahy 57:35

3 Doug Lamott 1:00:07

4 Melanie Wright 1:05:02

5 Family Ford 1:11:54

6 Lauren Hennrich 1:19:55

7 Jerry Stewart 2:14:43

        Cat Yates dnf

        Trenton Yates dnf

Intermediate (13) 3.2 km 0 m 13 C

1 Innes Wright 59:12

2 Katrina Wright 1:00:04

3 Karin Didisse 1:07:13

4 John-Eli Arambarri 1:15:45

5 Leslie Parez & John Siebold 1:20:41

6 Laura-Greg Hayes 1:27:22

7 Pete Honeysett 1:43:49

8 Christy-Scott Morris 1:43:54

9 Carol Kaczmarski & Janet Sammis 1:43:57

10 Team The Adventures 1:56:22

Darla and Randy Rhude manual punch, 2:00:00

Kim Tsuda manual punch, 2:00:00

        Andrew and Jocelyn Olnes finished course, but un-timed due to e-punch error 

        James Hull manual punch, no time reported

        Steve-Erika-Anni Fransen dnf

Sport (9) 2.3 km 0 m 10 C

1 Kirsten Severud 39:30

2 Johnny Boyd & Elise Overgaard 50:08

3 Terra Kolb 56:04

4 Grove Hummert 56:27

5 Michail-Lukas Fragkias 1:17:51

6 Jacquelin-Jeremy Gaddy 1:22:05

7 Donna Pitzer 1:23:42

8 Family Swann 1:33:32

        John Murray manual punch

Beginner (9) 0.8 km 0 m 6 C

1 Terra Kolb 17:55

2 Grove Hummert 22:48

3 Windy-James Irwin 27:57

4 Shravik Sethi & Analisa Miller 28:27

5 Ian Mckenzie 31:13

6 Lynette-Team Mcdougal 32:35

7 Jeremy-Jacquelin Gaddy 41:41

8 Patti Knutson 48:18

        Lilly-Miles Gastil manual punch

Photo credit: Cat Yates
For next month's meet, we travel a little up river to the Kathryn Alberton's Park area for the "Greenbelt Unknown O-Meet" on a new map developed by Sergey.  If you have not joined CTOC for the year, you can easily join between now and the next meet.  See the Membership section at: http://ctoc-boise.blogspot.com/ for details.


Thank you to everyone who joined us at the 2022 Ribbon of Jewels O-Meet!  I hope to see you all out on the road less traveled soon.