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George and Leslie Minarik at the 1996 Big Basin A-meet (Photo: Abby Wolfe)

O in the Oaks II - Recreational Courses

Two Days of Great Orienteering

Date: Saturday and Sunday, Nov 6-7, 2004
Event: Recreational Courses
Day 1 - Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, North of Livermore, CA
Day 2 - North Portion of Joseph P. Grant Park, East of San Jose, CA
Event Director:
Course Setters: Evan Custer and George Minarik
Type: A; National A-meet, U.S. Short and Long Course Championships, Recreational Courses

[Editor's note: These are the course Setter's notes for the Recreational White, Yellow, and Adventure Racer Training (Long Orange) courses on Saturday, Nov. 6. We do not have specific information about the recreational courses on Sunday at Joe Grant Park, but the following information should generally apply to that day as well as to Saturday.]

There will be a separate low-key recreational event held concurrently with the Short Course championships at Morgan Territory on Saturday, Nov. 6th. Standard BAOC fees will apply for these courses: $6 for an individual or first person in a group on White or Yellow (plus $2 for each additional person), and $8 for members and $12 for non-members on the Adventure Race Training Course. Standard paper punch cards will be utilized.

   Course            Distance   Climb   No. of Controls

   White              2.0 km     80 m      11
   Yellow             2.6       100        12
   Adventure Race     4.6       310        18

The White course is designed for first-time orienteers, families with small children, and people who do not want to get off the paths. It is the competitive course for boys and girls 12 years old and younger.

The Yellow course is significantly harder, and much of the course is off trail. There will be "handrails", such as paths, fences, streams, distinct vegetation boundaries or large reentrants, connecting the controls to each other. There is a short leg that does not have a linear feature to follow, but this leg will be streamered -- follow the streamers from control 10 to 11. This leg also is relatively steep, going both down into a reentrant and coming back up out of it. Take care when traversing this area. Watch out for poison oak. This course is designed for advanced beginners, or people who are very familiar with topographical maps, such as backpackers. This course is the competitive course for juniors age 13 to 14.

Dennis Wildfogel finishes the Green course at the Morgan Territory A-meet, October 2001 (Photo: Judy Koehler)

The Adventure Race Training Course is equivalent to a long Orange, or intermediate course. The controls will be off trail, but will be on big features and will have good attack points and/or collecting features.

The start for these courses will be right next to the assembly area. Both competitive and recreational White and Yellow courses will have the same start area. There will be separate finish areas for the competitive and recreational participants, close to each other but separated by a divider, approximately 250 meters from the assembly/parking area. Recreational participants should stay to the right; A-meet competitors (including A-meet White and Yellow participants) will be to the left.

There are multiple un-mapped animal trails. These trails are quite distinct at this time of year, although in the spring, they are not very noticeable. The White course will follow mapped trails only. People on the Yellow course may find that un-mapped animal trails provide easier footing to a control.

Gavin Wyatt-Mair, founder and director of the annual Briones Scout-O (Photo: Judy Koehler)

White, Yellow, and Orange participants will be using and crossing roads and trails through the park, which will also be used by the advanced orienteers walking to the remote start for the advanced courses. The trail may therefore be a little congested. Advanced orienteers walking to the start will try not to interfere with other competitors already on their course.

There is relatively little poison oak in the area used by the Yellow and Orange courses on Saturday. (The White course is entirely on trails, and you should not come in contact with any poison oak.) It is mainly around rocky areas. At this time of year, most of the leaves have fallen off, and it appears as a vine or short stems about knee high. It can still cause a rash, so try to avoid it if possible, and use Tecnu after the event.

AR and Yellow participants will be off trail for much of the course. The grasses are very dry now, and grass seeds (foxtails) will easily penetrate your socks. If you wrap duct tape around your ankles and pants, this will help keep some of the foxtails out of your socks, and save you 30 minutes for picking out grass seeds after the event. (The other alternative is to throw the socks away.)

Have a good time in the woods.

Driving Directions

Day 1 - Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, Livermore

Take I-580 east to the North Livermore Avenue exit in Livermore. Turn left, and drive north until forced to turn left onto Manning Road. Take the next right onto Morgan Territory Road, and continue 5.6 miles to the parking lot on the right. The road is very narrow with many sharp curves, so allow extra time and drive carefully.

Day 2 - Joseph Grant County Park, San Jose

Take the Alum Rock Road exit off I-680 in San Jose, and head for the hills (east). This exit is about one mile northeast of the 280/680/101 interchange. Continue on Alum Rock Road for about 2 miles, and turn right onto Mt. Hamilton Road. Go about 9 miles to the park entrance, which will be on your right.