startJPDouglassOn Friday we had a relaxed drive north towards Parkes through the bright yellow of the canola fields and the relatively green pastures, stopping along the way to ice cream up and go to the second-hand shop in Canowindra (highly recommended). The HH area was in an open paddock, so we pitched tents and flies ready for the forecast heat and no shade. Friday night's moon rose like an enormous balloon over the horizon, just as the temperature plummeted! Guessing minus a few degrees. Just like a nice day in Norway. But the cool didn’t last long.

moonriseHHSaturday morning was intense course planning and dodging the heat of the sun. (The cotton sheet bought in Canowindra provided excellent shade!). Our moderate planned course - for mature ladies - was heading east, north, west then south going past the excellent distribution of water drops. We decided to take the first few hours slowly because of the heat, but it proved more challenging than expected. Peggy had severe leg cramps, so we rested (yes – we actually stopped!) in the shade beside some pools in Gulf Creek to wet down, cool off and drink hydralyte.

Going on slowly, we dropped controls and travelled as much as possible along the creek lines or tracks. As night fell, the heat thankfully subsided. The bush was generally scrubby, scratchy and slow travel. The saving grace being lots of wonderful wildflowers. However, our route along the ridge to 96 and to 102 was very thick scrub, in the dark and was generally #*! awful. The best thing was that we navigated well and pinged 102. Cutting off more of our planned course, we arrived at the ANC at dawn and had some wonderful soup, said hi to Ron and others, and headed off to the south west of the course. We were surprised, relieved (as well as a bit miffed that it was not in the course setter’s notes) that the area was open and easy travel. If only we had gone clockwise!!

Unfortunately, we didn’t have any competition in the WUV or WSV but were pleased that we managed second in the WV and WO despite the heat and slow bush. A mighty congratulations to all those teams that won and all the others that pushed on through the scrub !!