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Daphne Joel Beth Ben Events Orienteering  

Boulder Dash 1999, Hillsbourough NH
April 30 - May 2
by Daphne Gould

Photos Boulder Dash 99 Pictures
Joel finishing the second day
One picture is worth a thousand words!

I have a tendency to not think in dates. When I think of an event in the future I think of the day of the week and how far away it is. On the Thursday before the Boulder Dash I thought it was still a week away, but then of course reality hit and I noticed that we were leaving TOMORROW. I hadn't made hotel reservations or packed anything. After a whirlwind of activity I had us packed up. I decided not to make hotel reservations but campground reservations instead. The weather report said it would be about 70 during the day and 35-40 at night. Pretty good weather for the beginning of May in northern New England.

Friday we put the last of our stuff into the car and took off. When we got to the campground at about 6:45 we checked in and set up our tents. After the tents we set out to find the bathrooms. Now when I had made reservations the lady on the phone told me it was a long way to the bathroom. When I asked how long, she said about 700 feet. This didn't sound too bad. A ways but not too long. It turns out the bathrooms were about 1/3 of a mile from our site. Twice the distance we were told, and all uphill. This was too long to let the kids go off in the dark alone. The trip to the bathrooms turned into an event. We would take the car up to brush our teeth twice a day and let everyone go. Most of the time we just watered the local trees. After we had everything sorted out at the campground, we finally got to eat at Caron's Diner at about 7:45 pm. We were all starved to wait that long for dinner, but the good food made up for it.

That night Joel was cold. I wore my long johns to bed so I was fine. It didn't quite reach the freezing mark but it came close. Joel later told me, "When you check whether it is warm enough for camping, check the low temperature of the day not the high." The next morning we checked out the campground a little more. They were doing major renovations and it was mainly a RV spot so it wasn't our idea of a great campground. The section we were in was just recently added. It was lonely there, only one other tent in the area.

Just after 9am we took off to the meet. Our start times were not until just after noon so we just hung out for a while and ate an early lunch. By noontime the day had turned hot. My start time was 12:10 just two minutes after Beth's. I started out on the course well (Brown F-Open), and went right to the first control. But afterwards I got into trouble. I kept drifting up the hills. Most people have a tendency to drift down when they contour around a hill, but for some reason I kept doing the opposite all day. At the third control this was particularly bad, since I ended up drifting off the map. I ended up at a rock wall that did not fit the directions of any rock walls on the map, so I knew I was lost off the map. I ran into another gal at the rock wall and she asked for a drink, as she was very thirsty (I carry two squirt bottles full). So I gave her some of my Gatorade. She thought we were off the map too. She headed off in one direction and I in another. If I was lucky I would run into the rock wall close to control #3 if not I would probably have to go all the way down the hill to the major path to relocate. Luck was with me and I found the rock wall, I made sure it lined up with the rock wall on the map and took off to #3. The rest of the course went fine with only minor errors. My time was about 98 minutes. I always walk the courses because of knee problems (if I get my knee in really good shape I can run bits and pieces of a course but not much), but it was still a pretty awful time for me. Joel did quite well and the kids did ok. The results will be posted when the scores are finished being double-checked.

Back at camp we showered and rested a bit before dinner. The other orienteers started showing up at the campground and we finally had neighbors moving in. Bob Dangel moved in right next to us, so we got to discuss future mapping with him.

There was a group dinner at a church in Hillsbourough. We sat next to the Tarrys. The food served was spaghetti and salad and the definite hit of the night was the pies, all different varieties. I had my favorite, pecan pie. Joel and Ben had chocolate cream and Beth had pumpkin. Afterwards Tony was going to announce who would win the registrar's award, but no one qualified. To win we had to not make any extra work for Tony, ie not sign up for T-shirts, the dinner or any special requests. Of course you had to be at the dinner to win. We were disqualified twice we got tickets to the dinner but we didn't sign up for them in advance. Tony found someone that didn't want their tickets and saved them for us. Thanks Tony.

The next morning was just as cold. We ate our coffeecake and oatmeal and packed things up as quickly as we could. We got to the meet site quickly, then had a long wait before our start times. This time my start was at 10:12. I did much better this day. I made two little errors at controls 1 and 3 but for the most part I was right on. I found the course more crowded. I was with four other brown orienteers on and off through out the course. I kept trying to make different route choices to get away from the crowd, since I hate orienteering in a crowd. But I was not totally successful. One other orienteer would always end up at the control at the same time as I. Some times he would get there first, sometimes it would be me, but we would always see one another. My final time for the day was just under 90 minutes (and the course was about half a kilometer longer than the first). I was not the only Gould to have a good day. Ben had a great day. He was in fourth place and moved up to third, enough for a medal (White M-12). Beth was in second place the first day and though she remained in second overall, she came in first for the day (White F-12). I ended up in first, but I was the only one competing in that class. Joel was second on the first day, but his second day was not so good as he slipped to third place (Brown M-Open).

The family all had a great time, and would like to thank UNO for the wonderful A-meet. Joel and I both agreed that the Brown courses were well set up. We also liked the terrain, except for all the boulders. I guess we can't complain too much about boulders, this being the Boulder Dash. For more information on Up North Orinteers who put on the meet go to Up North Orienteers web site.

This web page (http://www.gouldhome.com/boulderDash99.html) was last updated on December 19, 2001. For any comments or suggestions about the site contact Daphne Gould. Contents copyright © 1999-2003 by Joel and Daphne Gould.