The awesome beauty of fall foliage is peaking as we make final
preparations the day before the meet. Snow is questionably in the
forecast however, and we decide to hang the majority of the controls
on Sunday so as to avoid leaving telltale footprints. We manage to
accomplish this and exit the park a little before dusk, with chilly
air settling in. We wonder how many people will brave the cold,
breezy, lake air on Monday.
The sun is shining as we approach Grafton on Monday morning. The threat of snow is gone, for now at least. Morning preparations take a bit longer than hoped, but by a few minutes before 10:00 am, we have donned our polar fleece coats and pants, shielded them with a layer of Gore-Tex, and are ready to go! With temperature in the 30's, the first participants arrive and are eager to begin on the white and yellow courses. Over the next couple of hours we see lots of orienteers, lots and lots of white and yellow course enthusiasts, and lots and lots and lots of groups. By the end of the day, registration logs in 105 orienteers of all ages, and 49 individuals/groups start and finish on the various courses! No wonder it seems like many people are coming and going!! We learn that a record is broken for this day - which is that the temperature turns out to be the coldest 'high' on record for this day in history! We suspect another record is broken - and that is the wonderful turnout of 105 participants at a local EMPO meet!!
As far as the snow goes, we don't escape it completely. On Tuesday, for completion of control pick-up, we witness Grafton's winter beauty. The ground is graced with a thin, pristine white layer, the foliage accented with a frosting of snow, and the controls artfully decorated with a light icy topping. Absolutely outstanding!
Grafton is such a beautiful place, the woods a perfect orienteering experience. What a superb way to get out, be challenged, and enjoy some of the many benefits of the state park.
-- Robert & Rita Reed
last updated: --Thu May 27 2004 07:58:28 PM EDT--