Sunday, November 01, 2009

Yes, you do need a compass.

I ran into a old coworker on facebook a few weeks ago and discovered he was into orienteering, something I've enjoyed from Oldest Son's time in scouts. On Friday, I discovered that both Oldest Son's Troop and my friend were heading to the scouting event in Washington's Crossing State Park.

I decided to check it out.

If you've never been, orienteering is about finding specific spots on given map in the woods for time.

I signed up and selected the "Yellow" course (second easiest) and headed off to the start. I was behind a couple that was doing the "Orange" course which is the next one up and I couldn't help but eavesdrop.

They must have been on a first or second date because she asked if he had ever seen Seinfeld.

Not a particular Seinfeld episode mind you, just the whole show. In retrospect this is the stupidest question ever since everyone short of Osama Bin Laden has had to have seen at least one episode of Seinfeld, even if they hated it. Just the fact that she was asking it meant they didn't know each other really well. I have never asked my wife "Have you ever seen Seinfeld?".

This is clearly too early to be bringing a subject as controversial as map reading into a relationship. Married couples with years of experience sometimes do not survive a bad map reading experience.

When she asked if you needed a compass, I thought this is really not going to go well.

They headed into the woods one minute ahead of me at 11:07 AM.

I went about finding all my controls but I had done this before.

I was thinking that I should have done the Orange course since after starting, I remembered that I always did the Yellow and really should have challenged myself a bit more. I didn't see the couple ahead of me at all but that may have been because they were on a different course. Or they were really, really lost.

I didn't do bad for not having done it in a few years. After getting started, I neglected to look for a bridge around a creek before heading out and had to double back once and got lost looking for control 5 but other than that, found everything just fine.

I finished at 12:14.

After that I had lunch with the old Troop. It was like old times, eating a ham sandwich in the drizzling rain, watching the boys bite open the milk container and catching up on Troop drama.

After lunch, I hung out and asked around for my old friend. The course director told me he was out on a course and so I waited for him near the finish. While I waiting I spied the couple ahead of me pop out of the woods. They had spent over 2 hours out the woods with a map.

I'm guessing it didn't go well and yes, you do need a compass. I hope there is a third date.

Pictures Here.

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