Georgia Orienteering Club
June 2003 News

New Map - Sweetwater Flats - Sam Smith

Sweetwater Creek State Park has obtained about 500 acres of flood plain where the Chattahoochee River and Sweetwater Creek come together. We had heard that they had acquired a corridor along the creek to the river, but that was not really suitable for mapping. This flood plain is big enough to map and hold local meets on.

I've been out there twice now. It is 2 large pastures, split in half by uncrossable Sweetwater Creek, although there is a bridge. There are no facilities at this time. The plan is to park Colorado style in the field, sort of like we do at Cochran Mill.

The park plans to cut the pastures once a year. That should be enough to keep them open. There is very little contour detail, but that's not a bad thing. It's difficult to tell which way is "up". Sometimes it's good to be out in the open! There are copses, reentrants, single trees, fences, thickets, marshes, etc. Parts of it flooded in the recent rains - big surprise.

You can also see a long way - you should be able to see the finish line from a kilometer away. Field glasses will be handy for the spectators!

It reminds me very much of orienteering in WY, except the grass is elbow high here, and ankle high there.

It's possible to map this in the summer since it is so open, so look for a meet there "soon".

Cochran Mill Score-O June 15

Bill Farrell wrote: We had another great day today. It was wonderful in the woods... we were instantly wet, so we were cool all day... if not, just a fast creek crossing and you felt better.

Sam let us use his radio controls to set up a much needed practice Radio-O meet. I was terrible... I COULD have done better, but I didn't. This branch of orienteering adds more to our already complex sport. Five of us hung a control and then set out to find each others. I had to leave early, as did Martha, but I am sure everyone else did fine. The practice helped me gather the many areas where I might improve -- the main one will be to stay and help Sam pick up the controls... He had to do that all alone -- BAD! We shall agree that it will not happen again!

I saw Shawn's Score O course and it looked very inviting... all those swamps on the map ARE swamps again... yippeeee!

I know everyone had a great time. My thanks to all who helped. Bill.

Robin Shannonhouse wrote: Had my first taste of Radio-O today. Thanks, Sam, for lending me a rig. Made a big mistake, however, agreeing to let Steve "follow" me. He said he just wanted to see how I did. But actually, it was like taking a big, overgrown, yappy puppy for a walk.

We started out going for MOE and MOI. Every time they came on, I'm trying to listen to the signals, and Steve's bounding around me waving his antenna, shouting "There it is, hear that?", "Turn down your Gain", "Try the VCO!", "No, don't point your antenna in that direction!", "Do you want to cross the stream, I know a place!!". He yakked the whole time MOE and MOI were transmitting. So, I asked him to please keep quiet when they were on. He shut up thru MOS, MOH, MO5, then MOE comes on again and it's "There it is, do you hear it?", "Not that way, it's a reflection", "Come on, let's cross the stream!". Etc, Etc. Over and over. Every time they transmitted, he talked the whole cotton pickin' time. I love him to death, but he drives me nuts when he's "helping" me.

Finally, he said that he was going to have to give me some "hints" since I obviously couldn't do it on my own. They were not the best of hints, either. See, he hung MOE, so he supposedly knew where it was. Later he actually found it, but not before dragging me off the line 3 times. And, I found out later, I was about 100 feet from MOI when he said that he absolutely knew I was chasing a reflection off some granite and dragged me in the opposite direction. At about the same time, Bill Farrell came by, on a direct bearing for MOI, agreed with Steve that it was a reflection, and dashed off to cross the steam and "help Martha". I guess it's a guy thing.

The one major flaw in my ability to do Radio-O is my lack of speed/mobility. With a bad knee, the only way I've been able to continue orienteering is to go the most efficient route from control to control, as I am now very slow. But Radio-O needs the competitor to be able to zero in via circuitous routes, so I am really hampered by my lack of mobility. I am ready to give it another try (alone), but I think it might be beyond me physically to do well.

Thanks very much to Sam for having this practice. I really did enjoy it. So did my big happy puppy Steve!

Map Coupons Still Good - Linda Domine

From yesterday's Sweetwater annual meeting, it was noted that many GAOC Volunteers have not been redeeming their Free Map Coupons for a few reasons. Your efforts in contributing to a training meet or a meet event is Greatly Appreciated and currently, it is one way the Club can compensate you for your time in effort. So as you earn that Free Coupon, be sure and get it from the meet director before leaving the meet. A meet director has many meet details to finish thru Bag Pick-Up and thus, it is not always possible for the meet director to focus on giving you your coupon before you leave.

They are redeemable at the next meet you attend. Laurie Searle has been kind and supportive to list all volunteers on the GAOC website since last fall, when the Volunteer Free Map Coupon program was begun. It was decided at yesterday's GAOC annual meeting to close out the Volunteer list on the website since last fall and for Laurie to begin a new list, effective today - thru next year's annual meeting 2004.

Again, should you have earned a Free Map Coupon at any of this 2003 Spring meets you've not yet redeemed, you may still do so at the next meet you attend -but Laurie's listing of Volunteers will begin a new list today on the GAOC website extending thru now next Spring's 2004 O-season.

Appreciate and Thank All of You for Volunteering!

Canoe-O, Annual Meeting Report - June 8

Check out the Canoe-O Results, the Annual General Meeting Minutes, and all the great comments.

Bill Farrell wrote: Sam has done it again... another wonderful Canoe-O!

It takes a lot of thought to set one of these... making it both fair and challenging! Most used boats of one type or another and guys like me who could not get a partner for a boat -- better work on my people skills... or is it my boating skills -- or both!

Martha and I ran... went out in different directions, but finished with the same total points AND in the same time.

The woods were filled with pungent aromas... most wonderful flowers... a few not so sweet and the cloud cover held off the heat and it never rained. By noon food time, it cleared up and was very nice.

Laurie got the meeting going with some great "give 0 way" for the volunteers. We got great stuff and then had to give it away! The lucky ones... like me, ended up with what they wanted! Great fun!

The food offerings were great and nobody left hungry. The meeting happened and all those tough clubs decisions were made.

Thanks again to Sam, Laurie, Steve (cook) and Robbie (boss). Bill.

Kevin Haywood wrote:

The volunteer raffle was like Christmas in June. Great fun!

Lots of good prizes to take home. Shawn and I fought over a nice book, but in the end, I took home a nice prize.

It was good to see everybody and share "war stories" with my friends. Bill Farrell has some good stories, but my scar is longer than his! The meeting lasted long enough that I was accidentally volunteered for something again. I think I can figure out a way to get the other committee members to do most of the work. I just want to claim the mileage.

More adventure racers are discovering the "thrills" of getting lost in the woods. Now we even have an "adventure racing liaison officer". Maybe he can help our sport and our club grow. Robin will tell the whole story in the official minutes of the meeting.


Robin Shannonhouse wrote: At the 'official' end of another orienteering season, I want to thank all my clubmates who help make GAOC successful, cooperative and fun.

I am especially proud of those who pitch in to help when it's more work than fun:

1. Those that won't leave a meet until they make sure the tired course setter has enough help to pull in all the controls quickly, and volunteer to help do it if he/she doesn't.

2. Everyone who hauls meet supplies up and down the hill to the GAOC clubhouse -- because that means you've helped keep all our stuff organized and together.

3. Everyone who has helped fence a well on one of our maps so that no one falls into it while orienteering.

4. Everyone who worked on the event crew outside in the cold weather at the January Interscholastics.

It's not always fun, but it's always worth the effort. Thanks for being part of what makes GAOC a terrific club.

Linda Domine wrote: Thank You for ALL the fun your efforts gave us to have Great Canoe-O w/meal provided for our General Meeting yesterday at Sweetwater. The temps and weather was perfect - with just enough cloud protection not to be burnt or drained by the sun on the water and plenty of controls to drive us into overtime by 4 minutes. Though Bob and I were in a lower gear yesterday, it was fun to see the Callahans take the lead, with Rick's Team and others giving them plenty of competition.

Sam, Thank You for the fun you added to the course with the fish control, even though I did not grasp the details about it enough - telling Bob I thought we'd need to be on the lookout for it some in the woods!! No wonder he couldn't make sense of it!! Thank Goodness Bob does not have my same dyslexia!

Thank You, Again, Laurie, for all your help with the Volunteer rewards and Raffle and to all your thoughtfulness toward the Club's vision and future. This goes to you too Sam, Steve, Robbie, Bob, Bill, Martha, Kevin, Shawn, Rick and now Ron Sanders, for each of your talents tending so many details for us with the new committees and for the USOF Convention plans next year.

Couldn't be doing all this without each of you and the many other club members who were unable to be there but are the Club's Core Volunteer base. Bob and I are looking forward to some R&R time this summer but will still be in touch with respective committee members for strategy planning sessions.

Best to each of you for a Safe, Healthy, Fun-filled Summer!