On Sunday we weren't scheduled for a showcase track. Showcase is where everyone watches, following along with Sil and hearing his commentary. As with everything, you can learn a lot by watching, if you know what you are seeing. I was assigned a field for a "peer track". This means I could find someone else in the seminar who is also a peer tracker and we could go off on our own and lay tracks for each other. I asked Maureen if she'd like to be my tracking buddy and she was happy to do so. She is the mentor who was concerned about my line handling and I wanted to try a gloved hand and see if it was better. I asked her to work in some change-of-cover obstacles.
My Seaside Adventure
It was a very wet and rainy day. I was wearing my knee-high muck boots and my FrogTog top, which I thought would keep me plenty dry enough. Maureen asked me to lay a track including a segment up on top of the dyke. We thought there was a place to get up on the dyke in a spot we could see. When I got there, it looked like it was just really tall grass coming up from the cow poopy-water ditch. There are ditches all around these fields to contain the run-off from the recycling of cow poop as fertilizer and there was no way I wanted to chance falling into one. So I turned slightly right and followed along the side of the dyke (separated from it by the ditch) until I found a way up. Maureen had indicated there would be a way down to the south, so I turned left along the top of the dyke. I walked forever, laying down an article (4) every 100-125 yards.
Then I walked a lot further and finally had to give it up. I was behind another farmer's property and we didn't have permission to access it and even if we did get down there, a cow poopy-water ditch separated us from the property we were using, which would have meant a 1-mile walk out to the road and back.
By this time I was cold to my bones and completely soaked from the waist down. My pants were so wet from the shoulder high grass on top of the dyke. They soaked up water from the grass which ran down into my boots. My boots were soon full to overflowing. After all the "pain" laying this track, I didn't want it to go to waste, so I used my cell phone to call Maureen and suggested she run the track and I'd wait for her and Griffin at the end. She had to return to our cars to get Griffin and the track was very long, so it was about 30 minutes before they got to me. Meanwhile I sat on the big rocks on the other side of the dyke, looking out over the low-tide mud flats. Thus the reason for the name "seaside adventure". Maureen found the way down as they were tracking along the top of the dyke, so on the return trip, she let Griffin lead us through it.
So, two lessons learned. 1 - Always carry your cell phone, always. If I hadn't had mine and Maureen hadn't had hers, I would've had no choice but to walk back the way I came, ruining the track - a terrible waste. 2 - If the weather is inclement, wear all your rain gear. If I'd had my rain pants on, this would have been very different. As it was, I didn't have 90 minutes to go back to my hotel room for a change of clothers, so I ended up stripping from the waist down and wearing my FrogTog pants for the rest of the day and flip-flops on my feet.
I was wet, cold and exhausted (the water in my boots made them very heavy). Even so, I ran Gimme on the track Maureen laid. There were lots of articles, so if it became too much for me, I could have stopped at any article. The track was a long series of obstacles, in the form of changes-of-cover. Gimme did very well, even despite having a heavier anchor than usual. The gloved hand didn't help.
Maureen took video of the track, with a commentary. Unfortunately there are some problems with the video. It is downloading as slow motion, so it's not really usable. We are trying to sort out a better option. If we get a resolution, I'll post more about this.