Saturday, May 4, 2013

FLO - Woodpecker West

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.

The breakdown...

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.

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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 :)

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CP8 was also a great one.  There was no obvious attack point to get there from any direction.  The first choice I had in mind was an epic long 1km bushwhack.  Even 1km is too far for our superior sharpshooting through forestry.  So I went to the main road for faster terrain and noticed there were power line towers every 200m or so.  Then I measured it on map, and sure enough, the little tick marks I saw on the map (red arrows) were the power line towers!  I used one of them to attack off of and that brought the attacking distance within reason.

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The rest was a slam dunk home :)  Then I did the orange and white course after.

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 :)

GPS route

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