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Bon Tempe Reservoir

Date: Nov. 30 - Dec. 1, 2013
Location: Fairfax, CA
Event Director: - 415.378.6416
Course Setter: Greg Ehrensing
Type: C; Annual Volunteer Appreciation Event; LIMITED ATTENDANCE; RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

Please note that fees and time limits apply, unless otherwise mentioned below. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

Note: The event dates were initially announced as December 7 and 8. The dates were changed to eliminate a conflict with the Sprint The Golden Gate A-meet (

November 20 Update: Registration for Sunday, December 1, is filling fast, but there's lots of room still left on Saturday!

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and on the Saturday and Sunday following Thanksgiving, BAOC will be holding its annual volunteer appreciation event at beautiful Bon Tempe Lake just outside of Fairfax in Marin County. In addition to allowing club members to run off some Thanksgiving calories, the event will give thanks to those members who have volunteered their time to make our 2013 events successful.

The terrain is among the best we have in the Bay Area, with varied, rolling terrain, redwoods, open forest, rolling grasslands, and great views of the lakes and Mt. Tam. The ground is already soft from the early rains we've had, footing is good, no grazing is allowed, and amazingly, the poison oak level is very low. If you've never been to Bon Tempe, you really should treat yourself to a very special location. If you've been here before, you know what a wonderful site this is!

The only drawback we have is that the land's owner, the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD), strictly limits our allowed attendance. Because of this, the map, originally hand drawn in 1978, while touched up here and there, has never been professionally mapped, and is of rather poor quality. 40-foot (12.2-meter) contours hide a lot of detail, while the vegetation has changed dramatically in some areas. That said, good, challenging courses can still be set on the map, and this year will be no exception! The good news is that the courses this year will avoid the "Hillside of Death" (since I didn't want to go down there myself!).

In order to maximize the number of people who can enjoy this orienteering heaven, the event will be held on two days, Saturday and Sunday. There will be three courses, Short, Medium, and Long. These courses will be of advanced difficulty, so beginner orienteers are not advised to attend (sorry!).

The preliminary course statistics are as follows:

   Course     Length     Climb
   Short      3.4 km     135 m
   Medium     5.9 km     240 m
   Long       8.0 km     330 m

New this year, the Bon Tempe event will use E-Punch!

Important Information!

This event is our club's annual volunteer appreciation event. That means in order to attend, you must have volunteered at one of our events sometime during this year.

Because of the limits imposed by the Marin Water District, our host, this be a low-key event with no signage and limited to only 20 participants per day. Thus, preregistration is required, and, if necessary, preference will be given to Event Directors, Course Setters, and Registration and E-Punch volunteers. Preregister by sending an e-mail to stating the following:

  1. Your preference for Saturday, November 30, or Sunday, December 1
  2. Your course preference: Short, Medium, or Long

You can change courses later, but we'd like to have a rough idea of how many maps to print for each course. Sign up for one day only!

(If I don't recognize your name, I may have to ask you to remind me when and where you volunteered.)

Note: Do not simply show up at the event. Everyone must preregister.

This event is free to all participants! The only expense is the toll at the ranger kiosk, which is $8.00 per car. This kiosk is staffed sometimes, but usually not, so you will most likely need to use their electronic toll machine that takes cash up to $10 bills, but does not always return change! You can also use your debit or credit card to pay at the machine.

More information will be available closer to the event.

Driving Directions

The first challenge of the event is to locate it! Due to MMWD rules, no directional signs will be posted. There are several ways to get to Bon Tempe from Highway 101 in Marin. the default route is listed here:

From Highway 101 in Greenbrae, take the Sir Francis Drake Blvd exit, and go west for 5.5 miles to the town of Fairfax. Turn left at Claus Dr (Rino gas station on the right), and then immediately take another left onto Broadway. Turn right at the next corner, which is Bolinas Rd.

Stay on Bolinas Rd for 1.5 miles. Turn left at the large, brown, wooden sign with white lettering that says "Lake Lagunitas". Stay on this road until you reach the ranger kiosk. Pay the entrance fee ($8 per car) at the pay-and-display machine (see comments above).