Team Stories – Northern Sluggers

April 19, 2004

Northern Sluggers (G.Nix, A.Power, E.Ripley-Barrow)
2100 points
2/12 teams in Rec-8

Yesterday, Saturday May 1, I was fortunate to join veteran orienteerers Greg Nix and Alice Powers to be part of the “Northern Sluggers” in your Eco Challenge ’04. My love for the outdoors, plus my appreciation for a day close to nature made this a memorable event. At one control a “whiskey jack” (gray jay) ate trail mix from my hand,at another time a bald eagle soared over us as we trudged along a logging road in stifling heat. In the middle of a clear cut, which proved the toughest and least pleasing terrain, I found mayflowers surviving by a small stream that was trickling through the slash. The sound of the water was welcome after hearing my tired feet crackle along. If these flowers could survive here maybe I was going to make it through!

Finally, we were in a green area again and on to some absolutely beautiful old growth forest along a lake. The lush moss growth over the rocks and trees was incredible. Then the bog and wet feet and the discovery of pitcher plants which I had never seen growing before, wow! Thanks to the excellent navigational skills of my team mates we had a strong finish. Was it physically gruelling? You bet it was! My sore knee today is a reminder of that. However, fixated in my memory is a day when I challenged myself and got to places I never could have expereienced wihout the organization and hard work of the many volunteers who made this event possible. It was a great day for the soul. (and maybe this middle-aged body too!) The body test will come tomorrow morning when I return to work.

Regards, Eleanor Ripley-Barrow