I had to run solo today. My usual buddies were all out of the state. I have never been to Ocala National Forest before, so I came into this one completely blind. No homework. That's been the theme for the last several months to prepare me for all things in Blue Ridge, GA. I immediately attacked FLO's toughest course for the day, the blue course.
Everything was just about pinpoint, except CP4. The faint trail that was mapped was non-existent from the main road, so I resorted to trying to read elevation and contour lines. Unfortunately, that put me too far out and I attacked the wrong area, before backtracking and finding it again. It was kinda nasty, about 10minutes lost.
Onto CP5, I decided to try to find the fastest route possible, so that included a lot of bushwhacking across terrain. I doubted myself a few times after not seeing the trail with the T near it, but I really started getting the hang of reading elevation at this point, so I chased down the highest point north of CP5, before honing in on it. This CP was my proudest moment :)
One thing that helped tremendously was that I counted paces at every attack point until hitting the CP. It allowed me to really understand where I was on map and when I overshot. The contour lines added a second layer of positional confirmation (amazingly, there was enough elevational changes in Ocala to really use them to my advantage).
I missed having my teammates on this one. I was so tied up doing everything and had no planning for the next CP til I punched the current CP :)
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