Well, partially, at least.
I went to the Ozark Extreme Adventure Race Clinic yesterday. That was a win. AFter some instruction about basic adventure racing equipment, I learned how to use a topo map, UTM reader, and compass to locate control points in the woods at Burns Park. After some plotting and pace counting, the 6 of us were let loose onto a ridge in the park to find 5 control points. I don’t know what order the other people went in, but I started with #4, because it was close to an unimproved road on the map and would set me up well to find #1, which was on top of the ridge.Ã‚ After a little wandering and a little navigating, I’d retrieved the control point codes and headed back to the starting point. I was the first one back and managed to eat most of my $5 footlong before the remander of the group showed up. I don’t think it was really navigating skillz as much as it was a good plan, some running, and a touch of luck.
After lunch, we rode our mountain bikes. It was a pretty uneventful ride other than a steep, rocky climb that stalled me out once. Not one to be defeated, I went back to the bottom of the hill and tried again, this time, making it all the way to the top. Once we arrived back to the cars, we wrapped the day up through a little trail-side bikeÃ‚ repair.
After finishing, I headed out towards Lake Sylvia. This is where my luck ran out. After making the 40 minute drive, I find that the park is closed (a sign on the gate said “Open May 1st”). Damnint! I know from past trips up there that there are places along the nearby forest roads where you can pull off and set up camp. However, I also know from past trips that there are some really insane and unpredictable rednecks that roam the area. I wasn’t willing to camp alone unless I had a gun… or at least a really mean dog, of which I had neither.
So, I headed back towards town. I figured I’d go to Maumelle park and camp where I stayed last week for the OT50k. My plans were foiled again, though, when the woman at the front desk told me that they were full. WTF?!? She said I could try Burns Park! I’d just come from Burns Park- it was crowded and, when I asked her if it was safe, there was a definite pause in her voice before she said she thought so…
So I drove back home. Lame. I’m going to train my tail off today. After I get in 4 road hours on the Outdoors ride, I plan on heading out to Stanky Creek for a couple of hours. It won’t be nearly as cool as 6 hours on Ouachita Fire roads, but at least it’ll be 6 hours.