Sunday, September 21, 2008


After a long hiatus I decide to accept one of Tobias’ invitations to go orienteering at Umstead State Park. I arrive at the park and am greeted by Tobias and his girlfriend, Alexis.

This is Alexis's( just realized both of their names end with S and are trickier to punctuate when using an apostrophe) first time orienteering and I think that it’s sweet that she’s out here to give this beloved activity of Tobias a whirl. And, she’s missing church to do this.

Now, Tobias, being the big deal Orienteer-er that he is decides to do the very difficult Red Course. Alexis and I decide to do the Orange course, which is one up from the easiest. The easiest being you just walk along paths and roads (which, in retrospect, might have been perfect for us).

With confidence, we proceed to look for our first checkpoint. I mean, it’s only 50 yards away from the starting point. We look. And look. And look. And then laugh. Really, where is this damn thing? Then, we spot some boys. About 15 years old. They’ve also been looking for checkpoint #1 for quite some time. We decide to join forces. We’re not sure these teens want anything to do with us but we sort of follow them around. This new alliance doesn’t really help, but we feel better that we’re not the only people still stuck here. The boys find the first checkpoint. We insert the finger stick and move on. Later, our records reveal that this first challenge took us 31 minutes. At that rate, we’ll be out here until after dark.

We continue on with a bit more success, right behind those teens, but around checkpoint #5 we decide to Orient our way back to the starting point. When Tobias returns we attempt to convince him that we’ve been waiting around forever but that illusion doesn’t last too long.

Later on, we learn that there were two boys who didn’t make it back by 3:00, which is kind of the deadline and they sent out a search party. I’m willing to bet they were our boys.

Also, we learn that the orange course was a bit more difficult than usual.

Sure hope I don’t get lost on Kili.

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