Maps and Memories

This week we decided to bless your eyes with some of our favorite maps. Some of them are favorites for the terrain, and others for the memories that are associated with them. Hopefully they give you a bit of a smile either way.

The first map is from Kirsten in Pennsylvania:

I really enjoy the fact that although I know this map like the back of my hand, I still manage to make mistakes there time and time again. It always manages to keep me on my toes and even when my navigation is going well, it’s still hard moving with all the saplings and the spiders (not many thorns though which I’ll give it credit for). The saplings, annoying as there are, just make success all the sweeter. Plus, they add the extra challenge of really limited visibility in the summer. Another factor is that I just have a lot of good memories associated with the map from all the years of training camps there. I’m still sad about this year’s training camp being canceled (understandably) since I don’t know when I might go again, what with college and all.

And a memorable map from Oriana, also from PA:

This is not my favorite map but it’s a course I set for training with Alex and Diana, I particularly enjoy the map because of the photographs. Germantown Academy is pretty fun for sprints too. 

Editor Bridget’s note – I have no idea why my face is on this map – if you want to ask Oriana and tell me her response I would be grateful because she refuses to tell me 🙂

The third map is from Diana, with memories of good races and scratched arms in pretty prom dresses (VA):

This is the map of the middle course for Junior nationals and JWOC team trials in 2019. From the whole weekend I felt that this was my best race. It also reminds me of being with the other juniors, which I miss. And most importantly after my course I got to go to my senior prom with scratches all over my arms.  

And on to another sprint map from Victor, this one from Canada:

This is the sprint from a few years ago and it stuck with me. I met someone on this map, which is why I kept it, and overall it had some interesting elements and niches that I hadn’t seen before which were pretty interesting. I love sprints as well, so this is one of my favorite maps that I currently have (I remember a couple but I don’t have the maps sadly).

The map that Julia (and AJ) can’t stop talking about:

Somehow despite living in California all my life this was the first year I went to Anza Borrego and holy moly the terrain there is insane! It is the desert and there are gigantic cliffs and ridges and slot canyons. It’s challenging both to make sense of all the cliff craziness and to actually make your way up and down the cliffs. I really enjoyed scrambling up and down the slopes like a crazy person but being careful is also a good option. This was the last orienteering event I went to and I was really excited to go again next year 😦 but 2022 hopefully! It’s a really fun event and it’s must-see terrain so if you’ve never been you should go.

And now for the two KP maps…

First, AJ’s choice of a very technical area that was once a mine:

Maybe not my favorite, but definitely one of the most interesting maps I’ve been on this year. Greg took us out to Brownell during our time out in the Poconos and it was absolutely insane with the level of contour detail gleaned exclusively from Karttapullautin, making for some of the most technical training I’ve been on EVER, PERIOD. Learning how to read this much detail and being able to run fast is a level of orienteering I hope to reach at some point in my life, but for now I am content taking it slow and not making any huge errors. Definitely excited to go back and tackle this terrain again!

Editor Bridget’s note: AJ sent this map and my immediate reaction was, darn, I’m going to have to chose a different map now. This area is incredible. The contour detail from the old coal mine is a blast to navigate through, and then it switches to bits of broad, vague contours on the other side of the powerlines and line of cliff. The vegetation is easy to run through so you get to focus on the navigation and appreciating the cool contour features. The place where we finished was also absolutely beautiful – there were some short cliffs on the edge of a lake, and you could look across to more forest and the wind turbines in the distance, and the start of a sunset just made it even prettier. The one thing I don’t like about this map? The weirdly edited photo of Greg at the bottom.

And my (second) choice, the beautiful woods of Shickshinny:

Now this map. I really enjoyed the detailed contour areas formed from mining in the past (do you see a pattern in the type of terrain I enjoy?) – the giant pits and mounds of mining waste make for such fun contour reading and also looks really cool. There are also some old ruins (probably also related to the mining?). The powerline makes for a pretty view in both directions, especially when near sunset. There is some mountain laurel, but there are enough slivers of white that it’s not too awful to get through. The most important part, however, is the strip of white woods near the finish. That section of woods between the two lines of green is incredible. Like, if heaven exists, it might just be miles and miles of woods like that (to appreciate the beauty, click this link for a video Greg took of them). Also, there is a waterfall on the other side of the road which is a fun little trip for a warm up before a course.


One thought on “Maps and Memories

  1. Linda says:

    This is a very enjoyable read! I’ve been to the Anza Borrego meet and found it fascinating but the rest look equally exciting. Thanks for making my day.


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