19 June 2011

Scouting Things Out II

If you take a quick read back at this post I was trying to find a new route down on the Appomattox River Trail. This past weekend I was able to get back down there.

Now it's only about six miles but it reminded me of old school mountain biking when you had to scout black market trails. Most of the trail is a mix of access road and double track and I guess ATV trail. I did have a hard time after the second wooden bridge to find which trail to take, so with that I provide you with waypoints.

Starting point: UTM 18S 0285544 4123368

First Bridge (Forest Service Type): 18S 0285155 4123128

Train Trussel: 18S 0284218 4122613

First Wooden Bridge: 18S 0283518 4122325

Tunnel from First Bridge:

Second Woonden Bridge: 18S 0283473 4122371

End of Trail Eastside: 18S 0280382 4122610

Westside of Road: 18S 0280344 4122608

End of Trail: 18S 0277854 4122335

18 June 2011


Last night David R and myself hit the local park for a night orienteering event. It is the same as a regular orienteering event other than it's at night. We got there at 2100hrs so it would be good and dark. It's only going to be so dark with the lights from the ballfields..

We did the advance course which had 19 controls that we needed to find. Looking at the right of the map you will see a # 11 with S/F just to the upper left. This is the starting and finishing point. We ran our course counter clockwise. Control # 2 was hard to get to from control # 3. We could see the light from somebody looking for thr control. We went to the road to a horseshoe loop for there I took an azmiuth and lead Daid to the control. We found the control before thr other guy and he was a little pissed.

Now controls # 20, 19, and 18 are in this field and the grass and whatever else was in the field up to our pockets. It was the right conditions for a bank of fog to roll in over the field. I know I had a hard time seeing with my Petzl Tikka and could have used a more powerful light (note to self,search for a new light).

Total time was 80 mins on the course and we found all 19 controls. It was a fun event and I was glad to do this as a team. I think it made it more fun.

12 June 2011

Tour Divide 2011

If you don't follow the ultra-cycling events out there then you need to know that the Tour Divide 2011 started 10 JUNE at high noon. Go over to the site to find out more about the race.

This years race is going to be fun to follow because we have 3 Virginia Boy's in the race.

Race updates are called in by the racers and are put out as a podcast that you can listen to here. Live tracking of the racers can be found

07 June 2011


"No, I can't say I was ever lost, but I was bewildered once for three days"- Daniel Boone (1734-1820), Frontiersman

In my last post I said I was going on a rant about hitting the trail without a map and not knowing how to use it if you had it! Well the other I hit my breaking point on this subject. I went to my local outdoors shop to see if I could find a UTM plotter. Sales girls came up to me and asked, "can I help you find something".

Me- I am looking for a UTM Plotter.

Sales Girl- Is that like a compass.

Me- (I am thinking) you work here in a backpacking/outdoor store and you think that a UTM plotter is a compass. OK looks like you don't have one... Thanks

WTF! I guess I will not be supporting the local shop with a purchase. Don't think that I am going to ask if you can order for me. I can go online to do that.

Call it what you want, backcountry navigation, Land Nav, map reading, orienteering, or using a GPS. If you are going to hit a trail or go into the backcountry or even across town to somewhere you have not been you have to have somthing to help you get there.

Navigation is problem solving of the highest order. Orienteering is know as the thinking game. It demands you to be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to details. Navigation competence can only be developed by practice.

I don't know how I want to end this post, so I will leave you with a couple of links to checkout. One of the best ways to develope your skill is to go to a orienteering event. They have beginner classes at the event and different levels of courses that you can do. Go here to the Orienteering USA home page to find an event near you. Or go to chapter 12 of the Boy Scout Fieldbook if you want to read how to read and use a map. If you want the UTM Plotter or know what the heck it is then click here.

04 June 2011

Adventures From Last Weekend- A Quick Post

Took a day trip up to Shenandoah National Park last Sunday to have a Daddy and Me day with my daughter. Wife needed to do some work so we got out of the house for the day.

Since my daughter is six I try to plan do short hikes of about a mile round trip. Then we take a break and find another short trail to do. I try to keep the hikes to about 3 miles total for the day. Our goal for this day is to do a rock scramble and see a waterfall.

We had a great day and had two ice cream brakes at Big Meadows. Here are some pictures from our outting.

The wild flowers where in full form. Since we are going at my daughter's pace I get to slow down and smell the roses (wild Flowers).

When we took our first ice cream break I spotted some touring bikes. So I go over to take a look and the cool factor went up when I saw that one of the bikes was a Rivendell.

Off to the waterfall

Now you would figure that getting to the falls would be easy being maked with the trail signage pictured above. Well it is and I still carry a map with me. I don't know how many people asked me how to get somewhere. Please if you are going to hit the trail have a map and know how to use the damn thing! (This will be another post all on its own later when I have time to rant about it).

That's it for now.