O Log - Elk Neck

[23-Oct-04] 

    Elk Neck is one of my favorite local maps; in Maryland, sitting on a peninsula along the Chesapeake Bay. It even figures obliquely in a book I've written. Given its steep ridge valley terrain, and thick veg in places, it may be the most relevant map in the Mid Atlantic for WOC '05.

    When I heard the Stumble was being held there, I jumped at the chance to set courses. I know the map pretty well, so I did alot on paper trying to plan interesting route choice situations. I figured all I had to do was check control sites that I didn't already know, hang streamers, and get maps printed.

    Unfortunately, it was hit by a hurricane. Unmapped hurricane blowdown is never fun for competitors. Coupled with park restrictions on where we can stage, and the fact they have sold some of the land, is turning the course setting job into a nightmare. Its sad, because course setting to me is an artistic process, and I find it tough to deal with as the constraints pile up, and given the blowdown affecting the areas I think are the most interesting, I don't have the confidence that I can set fun, challenging courses. I try to set "on the edge", meaning that to adjust to the blowdown, I either have to dumb down the courses, or make them too hard. Neither situation is appealing.

    Oh well, hopefully another day in the park, and things will not appear as bleak as they seem. I only checked a handful of areas, and it was not all bad, its just that some of my favorite areas were hit pretty hard.

    I guess the saddest thing is that one of the best maps in the Mid Atlantic isn't as good anymore. Top that off with the fact that I spent 5 hours running thru hurricane blowdown the day before a club championship. Oh well.

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