Team Stories – Tenacious Turtles

April 19, 2007

Team Tenacious Turtles (S.Trussler, J.Garnhum, A.Harding)
9100 points
1/17 teams in Rec-24

We headed SE to 204 and lined up for the chance to punch, then headed down to 129 where the line up wasn’t as bad but I scared a few other teams as I stripped off a couple of layers I was already overheating. We then headed up to 219 and 121, there was some confusion at 219 as the marker was about 15m away from the stream/ lake junction, luckily it was a busy spot to be in and so once one person found the checkpoint we all did. We crossed the clearcut area to the W of 121 to the main trail and went NW towards the scout camp, we saw their tent and took a right up the steep hill, first left and then straight down to 217, next due E to 126. After that we planned on following the western most of the three paths to the foot of the hill, instead we followed the central one so we could wade through the swamp before heading up the hill to 208, back down and crossed the brook and rejoined the path heading north to 214, followed the tree line out to the path and then cut in again to 241. Shortly after that Jeff lost his glasses, we were cutting uphill through some tightly spaced alders, we looked for a while but couldn’t find them. We went back on Friday 18th and found them right away! It was almost 30 km. round trip so we were really glad it wasn’t wasted.

Back to our route – so next was 216 and then 200, down the hill to the main path and along to the water stop where we topped up before heading to 203, we were pushing hard now as we wanted to get to the scout camp by dark. So north to 197, east to 228, followed the path north as far as it ran and then NW to 246, straight across towards 139 and then before we got there found a path the curved around the north side of the hill, it took us pretty close and then followed an opening in to the top of the hill. Followed an unmarked trail down the hill to the path and then we headed south on the main trail, as we were closing on 248 it was starting to get dark and once we got off the trail we needed our headlamps. We decided to get one more before having a break and got 235 before stopping at the scout camp for an hour. We cooked up some flakes of turkey and rice and the scouts made us some hot chocolate.

Rejuvenated we headed off once more. 229 was an easy way to start and we went in to 227 next. Then an easy 500 points at 243 as the whole route was flat in and out. Next we got 127 and were planning on heading to the water stop in the SE corner when a team coming north told us there was no water left, we took a right and headed in to 189, next we got 169 and cut cross country along another unmarked path until shortly after the path ended we came out on the marked path and shot up to 210, cut back and went right to approximately where the end of the path is shown (not the end of the path though) there we cooked up some oatmeal. We then went up the hill to 205 our last “mountain series” and then 207. We had planned on crossing to 211 in daylight and it was getting light as we got back to where we had breakfast. The trail continued for a little way and we thought we were going to be lucky and follow it the whole way – yeah right! We came out at the small pond south of 211 and followed the stream north and then searched the wrong side of the river for 211 for a while before seeing it the other side. Then off to 195 and south to 212, we then followed the north side of the stream to the stream junction, the last couple of hundred yards was through a swamp, only to find ourselves on the wrong side of the stream and no way to get across! There was a submerged log and little spindly tree in the stream and on the other side some more wood that might help bridge the gap, we were pretty tired by then and a fall in the stream might have finished us off. I figured I could balance across on the submerged log, it sank until I was up to my thighs and almost my shoulders but I kept my torso dry. I made it but only just. I threw another tree on top and it made it a little easier to get over, Andrew had a little trouble as a branch snapped and he almost went in but only got his legs wet, Jeff found a forked stick to keep his balance and made it look easy. Then up to 124 and a long hobble to the finish, the last two checkpoints took a lot out of us and I’m so glad we came back that way and didn’t head out that way. I think we spent about 20 hours moving no running and we covered 55 km.