Team Stories – Chin Chan Chinamen

April 19, 2006

Chin Chan Chinamen (P.Chan, D.Chin)
1750 points
14/25 teams in Rec-8
Course Time: 6.5 hours

Yes, we’re brothers and we have different last names and we’re both of mostly Chinese descent. We’re also part Scottish and part Native Indian but Chin Chan Scotsmen just doesn’t have the same ring to it. I’ll tell you why I changed my name some other time. I can admit it now, nobody is looking for me anymore 🙂

We’re also both middle-aged and on the disabled list so we decided to sign up for the 8 hour recreational category. When we got the map we realized that it was a runners course designed by a sadist who wanted to watch everyone slog up the hill to the finish area. Since I can’t run, we had to devise an alternate strategy. We’re crazy enough to actually like bushwhacking so we decided to go after the controls furthest from the trails. We also figured that once around Quacks Lake might be all we could manage.

We let the runners and the fast walkers start out first and followed the pack to 138. From 138 we walked around the hill and then charged down the hill to 127. We were feeling good. After 127 we stopped to take off our coats and pop some Motrin. Followed the trail and then a short bushwhack to 122. From 122 we set a bearing to 195.

A curious thing happened on the way to 195. I always walk with my compass hanging from my neck and it is usually open. While pushing through the bush, a branch must have brushed my compass dial and changed the setting by about 15 degrees. This has never happened before. I don’t know when it happened or how long we had been trekking on an incorrect bearing but I was a bit shocked when I realized the problem. 195 was at the end of a small pond with no marked streams. There was a chance that we might walk right by the pond.

I reset my compass and tried to get a feel for the landscape. We were expecting to traverse a hill sloping down from our right to our left before reaching the pond, however, that was only mildly helpful since the incorrect compass bearing would have caused us to miss the pond to the North. I visually corrected to head a little more South and pass closer to the top of the hill. We were lucky and we hit the pond just South of the control, whew!

We walked around the East side of the pond and then headed due South to Quacks Lake. Stopped for lunch in a clearcut area. We reached the lake and then followed the shore down to the point, arriving at 12:30 pm. We were doing well up to this point having found five controls in just 2 1/2 hours. Now came the long trek. We followed the shoreline and skirted the edge of the swamp to the road. We decided to follow roads rather than risk getting stuck in the Lower Bog. From 189 to 175 took us 1 1/2 hours and we didn’t arrive at the control until 2:00 pm.

Thick bush from 175 to the road. We just put our heads down and pushed through the trees. Over the hill toward 163. On the way I noticed that my compass was once again brushed off course. Since we were heading to a lake/stream junction it wouldn’t be a problem but thereafter I closed my compass after each bearing check. From 165 up to the road and on to 126 at the top of the hill. We were getting tired so we skipped 184 and walked down to 125. Back to 121 and then to the finish, arriving around 4:30 pm.

Final route: 138, 127, 122, 195, 189, 175, 163, 126, 125, 121 plus the bonus for 1750 points.