Ryan’s perspective on the weekend :)

Hi everyone-
The photos and most of text is taken from Trish’s Blog, and then I edited it for my perspective. Blue and the photo captions are mine and the black is Trish. (thank’s Trish, I didn’t feel like typing it all out!!)

At the start of our little adventure – nice and dry… That only lasted about 5 minutes.
(L-R Trish, Ian, Brendan, Me)
So, four friends decide to enter a team in the local
rogaine event. E2C Eco-Endurance Challenge, a fundraising and awareness event for Halifax Regional Search & Rescue. Essentially it’s on orienteering challenge, where you attempt to locate as many checkpoints as possible in a set period of time. There was an 8-hour challenge, and a 24-hour challenge, with several different categories. I thought nothing of following the lead of the two who first decided to enter, and do the 24-hour challenge. In hindsight, had we done the 8-hr for our first-time entry, we would have been “golden”, as Brendan likes to say. -I thought Brendan was a little ambicious with the 24 hour, but he thought we could wander through the woods for 24 hours, we are in pretty good shape… How hard can that be???
-I was pretty nervous as I really didn’t get much of a chance to train specifically for it, and the other three are like marathon runners and stuff, so I thought I would be slowing everyone down, but I seemed to hold my own in the woods (on pavement, a totally different story!)

Ok guys, Trish is pointing the camera at us, try and look like we know what the heck we are doing.

I don’t think we could have chosen a better team, especially for the fun factor. We worked well together, and all simply enjoyed being out there. There were teams that were highly competitive, sticking to the roads and high point value check points, which was likely a good strategy. However, we were in the recreational category, and I honestly would have been disappointed not to do the bushwacking that took us along beautiful streams, through dense woods, and mossy foot beds. This was an event worth doing just for the sake of doing it, so it was a big success regardless. We located 11 checkpoints in the first ten hours.

The weather was fantastic, especially considering the rain they were calling for.
It was overcast and cool about 10degrees through the day, and about 4 after dark. It was supposed to rain all weekend. It rained really hard the night before got it out of it’s system, but of course it made for very wet conditions.

How did I end up in the woods with three guys?? They will never stop and ask for directions send help, pleeeeaassee!!

What? I know where we are going… I look confident don’t I? Trust me Trish!

Yay, we found one!! only 59 more to go in the next 23 hours…

We decided to attempt a series of checkpoints, and started out with a number of bushwacking routes that were grand fun. Early on Ryan fell in a “little stream” up to his sternum (Ian & I missed the entire thing as we were searching on the other side of the thick brush for a way through).
After the first checkpoint we determined that we needed to cross the steam and continue to the next one. The stream wasn’t very wide, about 10-15 feet and very slow where we were. The area was boggy and muddy, so I really didn’t think the steam was very deep. There was a tiny little tree across it that wwe could walk across… (see Picture) But my balance is not that great, I wasn’t sure it would really hold me, and I thought that it would be more dangerous as I would surely fall half-way across and could hurt myself. My famous last words were “oh, how deep could it be?” and I stepped in to see… Suddenly I was swimming and gasping for air. It was so cold I couldn’t breath! I scrambled out quickly and Brendan managed to refrain from laughing until he had helped me out. Apparently I looked like a beaver swimming in the stream. I thought that was going to be it, (and the others thought so to) I figured I would have to strip and put on dry cloths and start over. But once I was out it really wasn’t that bad, so I figured I might as well get through this section(at least across the river before changing-since I might just get wet again) I didn’t actually change until we settled down to wait for the search and rescue people 11 hours later (I was still waiting to find a dry section!). So it is definatly true that synthetic materials (and wool) really do still keep you warm when cold. If I had been wearing cotton, I suspect I could have had Hypothermia before getting back to the start.

I fell in right next to this (geeze why didn’t Brendan get a photo of it!!?) apparently Ian has better balance than I do, and is a good 50lbs lighter. So he has no problem crossing but we decide we are not going to cross there as it is to tricky.

We crossed down stream a bit and then ended up having to cross back later as the marker was on the same side of the river as we were on!!!

My ankles did well through the bush early on, then we started getting fatigued. We hit a couple of check points late in the evening that were relatively easy, with terrain that was very manageable, so we decided to go for one more checkpoint of the series before heading back, as we knew we wouldn’t be trekking back out there if we didn’t do it then. It was dark, we were tired, we didn’t plan our route in well, we got turned around a few times, entirely missing the landmark we were looking for, and my feet were in very sad shape. I couldn’t keep my footing and twisted my ankles repeatedly during a good hour (plus) long exploration. When we finally gave up on that check point and started walking, I was not doing well on my feet. The boys lightened my load as we walked along the road, we stopped and chatted with some volunteers on ATV’s and they told us what a couple of our options were to get back out to the start/finish (where our tent & extra supplies, and the medic tent were).

None of us wanted to call it quits, but it was becoming apparent I wasn’t the only one feeling it. We finally stopped and waited for the ATV’s to come back and see if they could call the suburban ’round to get us. I was already beginning to get chilled, with our pace having slowed considerably before stopping altogether. As it turned out the best option was for the ATV to take me to the medic tent to check out my ankles and get me warmed up, and for the boys to wait where they were for the suburban. It was disappointing, but after riding through the trail we intended to walk (our only option besides more bushwacking in the pitch black of night) I knew it was the right choice. My ankles never would have held up on that 12-14km walk back, at least now I can rest up a little a couple of lightly sprained ankles, and be back on the dirt in a short time (no worries for Cabot Trail!) I wish I could have taken a photo or two to show the guys what we would have endured. It was a fun ATV ride, needless to say.
As Trish was leaving the volenteer’s said, ‘you guys can finish now’ there was a hesitation that the other guys ‘say’ the contimplaited it. But I think we were all thinking ‘Well there’s no way I can continue, but I’m not saying it’ I know I was. I felt pretty good when we stopped I was still running through the woods at the last point and nothing inparticular was injured. But, as soon as we had stopped for 30min all my muscles seemed to just seize up and I could barely walk! we all had put down a tarp and were lying there with little foil emergency blankets over us ‘trying’ to stay warm! it didn’t work, we were all freezing. I was colder then than after I fell in the river. I still managed to fall asleep even though it was very rough ground and I was so cold… I was pretty tired.

While I can’t see it as a failure, but a grand first attempt (there will be more) it was certainly disappointing to drop-out 12 hours in. A couple of lessons learned: be better organized, allow for extra time before the start to really plan a strategy; where footwear with strong ankle support; take more frequent breaks; most importantly, continue to do what we all did best: Have fun!

So I spent a few hours in the medic tent where a couple of others were just finishing up their treatment and calling it quits. By the time the suburban had finished with the first crew it was assisting, and gotten to the guys, then all the way back around to the start/finish (their route back was much more limited than the ATV’s obviously) I’d been warm and icing my ankles for a good couple of hours. They got checked out and we called it quits., it was almost 5am by the time we got home.

Next time around we’ll be much more successful! There’s already talk of the four of us doing some geocaching between now and the next rogaine! 🙂

My feet, legs and shoulders are aching – a sigh of a good event I think. 🙂

Lovely scenery!

Were getting the hang of this!

Lunch/supper break

We just climbed a very steep hill that had freshly been clear-cut… Very dif ficult to walk through.

It’s getting dark out here! we had enough trouble when we could see! I probably shouldn’t have watched the Blair Whitch Project before doing this…

Refilling waterbottles – and, yes Krystol, I treated my water!

Ah warm at last! after lying outside in the cold for 2.5hours it was nice to be back to the warmth of Brendan… I mean the van.
I can fall asleep anywhere!

Catch ya later-

About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two