This (gpx) is a classic FTMO. TLRC left late, told The Long-Suffering Girlfriend that he would be back early, didn’t bring his usual gear, and generally took a casual attitude towards a midwinter ride that was “only 15 miles long”. The Plan was to ride up Ronco Rd. off Pedee Cr. Rd., circle behind Bald Mountain, go up the Peak, and return via Bald Mountain Rd.
Mistake 1: Planning a return on an unknown road on a very rainy short day, thus violating The Fundamental Axiom (“Only 15 miles”!).
Mistake 2: Not bringing The Usual Gear, which besides a bit of emergency stuff, has a nifty pair of folding readers, so TLRC can easily see things like maps and section markers, the better to know where he is. As it was, in the dusk-at-midday conditions that obtained, TLRC couldn’t read the critical section marker (TUG also has a light!), got irritated and ignored what he thought (correctly, as it turned out) it said, thus placing himself further along the ride than he was, leading to a Wrong Turn. The WT lead Down Hill (cf. The Fundamental Axiom ) to an intersection AND a big creek that made no sense at all to TLRC’s now warped reference frame and progressively misread map. Realizing that he was Very Likely Turned Around, and that his Infallible Sense of Direction was, in fact, most likely leading him astray, TLRC (regretting the handy mini-compass also to be found in TUG), realized it was time to head on back, especially as he had indicated an early return to TLSG, which was further stressing TLRC. The map shows a) how far off TLRC got, and b) how much farther back he rode than was required, simply to avoid causing further insult to The Fundamental Axiom.
It has been the misfortune of TLRC to be present for, if not to participate in, a number of outdoor adventure mishaps of various magnitudes. He has found that it is not uncommon for them to be built upon a foundation of little failures that accumulate and compound until it hits the fan. In this case, there wasn’t much it, and the fan was off, or at least not turning very fast, but it’s amusing to count the straws as they drop…and to once again marvel at how easy it is to get turned around in Oregon’s Spectacular Coast Range on a dismal and dark day. For those amused by the primitive navigation techniques referred to here, please see the Navigation screed.
There was an interesting thing. Rather than using the usual big ditch to “decommission” Ronco Rd.:
at the other end of this blocked segment, it looked like the powers that be brought in a giant gopher for the job:
There was a nice view down the NF of Pedee Cr. from here too: