May 4, 2021

Rabbit Creek O-Meet and Potluck

    I try not to say the word literally too often. I think it's overused. However, there are times when any other word won't do. For example, I've never heard any respectable orienteerer claim, "I metaphorically went to all the controls." Unfortunately, thanks to a reptilian incident, now I'll need to use literally whenever I tell this story.

    My friend Michael from Chicago visited for the weekend and not only competed in his first orienteering meet, but also got the deluxe package: control setup AND pickup, camping with the coyotes, and catching the sunrise for a great shot.

Sunrise at Rabbit Creek (Michael Lin)

    The action started from the moment of our arrival on Saturday. Two bullsnakes welcomed us to the ranch; we nicknamed them Bert and Ernie. After a quick snack, we said bye to our new friends and ventured off into the beautiful desert scenery to place controls. And it was truly beautiful, as a few pictures illustrate below. A huge thank you to Bill Pilcher for hosting us all at his oasis and helping continue the Rabbit Creek tradition.  

                                                             My favorite control location

                                                          Oranges skies and an orange tractor

                                                        The custom Rabbit Creek O-Meet flag!

    Given that we'd already seen two snakes, Michael was on high alert for more Sesame Street pals. Meanwhile, I, like a good orientereer, was checking the map. Suddenly, Michael jumped backwards. He wildly gestured for me to come towards him, his gaze locked at my feet. I decided not to look down. He whispered a single word, "run." 

    Having someone whisper "run" while staring wide-eyed at your feet is a deeply terrifying experience. Nevertheless, I casually strolled off without breaking a sweat, although Michael claims the dust cloud I left behind suggested otherwise. A safe distance away, somewhere between a few feet and a half mile, I spun around and saw a massive snake. Coiled up in the path, it looked indignant, probably because of the footprint straddling its broad back. "I literally stepped on a snake!!"

    According to Michael, by the time he'd turned around, it was already too late. There I stood, consulting the map, one shoe in the sand and the other firmly planted on the snake's scaly back. It was easily three feet long and, to embrace the Rabbit Creek theme, as thick as a carrot from Bugs Bunny's wildest dreams. I'm not sure if the snake was dumbfounded by my cluelessness or an extremely gracious reptile, but I want to personally thank it for its patience. I hope the bruised ego gets well soon.

   The actual Sunday meet was equally adventurous, with reports of rabbits, rattlesnakes, lots of running around the ranchland, a few slightly misplaced controls (I blame Bert and Ernie, I think they moved the controls in the middle of the night), and for me, a very rewarding feeling to watch everyone try out my course designs. Rabbit Creek is one of my favorite CTOC locations and I was super excited to organize the meet this year. We had an impressive turnout of 51 people, with strong showings on all three courses. Thank you very much to Michael and Jennifer S. for helping set up controls. For those who are interested, the times are posted below; friendly rivalries are welcome to continue in the next meet!






Scouting the terrain (Rachel Meyers)

#61, in case you missed it! (Kirsten Severud)

    Last March, I wasn't particularly thrilled to come home during my senior year of college, to say the least, but over the past year, I've genuinely appreciated the chance to be back in Boise. It's been really nice to spend time with family and, furthermore, I always looked forward to the monthly CTOC meets. It was wonderful to chase Sergey on the advanced course, chat with the regulars, make friends, and meet new CTOC orienteerers! I was even able to design my first orienteering meet (Pine Creek 2020), and I couldn't have asked for a better sequel with Rabbit Creek this weekend. I'd like to thank Michael Lin, Bill Pilcher, John Murray, and Jennifer Smackey for their invaluable help in making my grand course ideas into a reality, and thank you all for attending!













4 comments:

Kirsten said...

Great write up and I love the Rabbit Gate sunrise picture! Glad everyone else treated the snakes with respect and the snake treated you with respect despite your misstep! Great story!

rp1020 said...

What a superb after action report. It’s comforting to witness the younger generation assume the helm; especially when executed with such zeal and competence. Congratulations on your successful meet and sincere thanks Zach Clayton; continue to March!
Russ Pilcher
Rabbit-O’s 1st Competitor

rp1020 said...

What a superb after action report. It’s comforting to witness the younger generation assume the helm; especially when executed with such zeal and competence. Congratulations on your successful meet and sincere thanks Zach Clayton; continue to March!
Russ Pilcher
Rabbit-O’s 1st Competitor

Zach said...

After publishing the meet report, I realized I wanted to mention Ole's "too much fun" injury, and I'm glad to hear he's already on the mend. A single "DNF" doesn't even come close to accurately capturing his personal sacrifice in the spirit of friendly competition, and we all wish him well for a speedy recovery. I'm always impressed to watch Ole zoom off on the big courses each meet, and it will be special to have him back out there again. Get well soon!