I have been meaning to get better at a map and compass. By saying “better” I mean learn how to use a map and compass and retain said knowledge.
Once, long ago, in 2011, I was serious about entering the Barkley Marathons for 2012. I started to learn about using a map and compass…then I got into Hardrock for 2012 and abandoned any idea about orienteering.
Well not exactly, but any orienteering event took a back seat to running/training. With me still rehabbing my knee, I have much more time to pursue other activities-like Project 50 activities, like orienteering.
What is orienteering? “Orienteering is an activity involving navigation using a map and compass. You receive a detailed topographic map on which a variety of land features are circled as control points to which you will navigate as quickly as possible. ”
I signed up for this orienteering event, still didn’t know what was going to happen. I signed up one day late, so I didn’t know if I could still just show up. I was still waffling on Saturday. (The event was Sunday.)
Then two things occurred. One, I read Brendan Leonard’s Friday blog post: The Value of Just Going. The second came in the shape of an email from a dear friend:
“Life is short, so very true, therefore, back to whatever you were doing in your delicious life and Kimba? Savor it!!”
This seems pretty deep to dive into for just an orienteering class/event. What’s the worse thing can happen? The NEO OC folks will say no, I can’t orient, so I will just go for a trail run/walk.
Just go out and do it!
I had no idea what this orienteering was all about, so I asked a nice couple, Shelly and Mike from Akron, if I could piggyback onto their route. They said okay, so off we went!
We were following the yellow “strong beginner” route. This orienteering session was not what I thought it was going to be. Essentially, for the yellow, we were just following the trails, and the controls were right on the trails.
There was no map skills required. My trail recognition of Camp Tuscazoar was probably a help along the way.
It was a very hot day out there. We had ten controls to find. We missed the second one, which I believe was on the trail below us.
lt was a very nice day to spend the afternoon in the woods. The Camp Tuscazoar trails seemed a bit much for my trail companions. But we all stayed in a good mood as we hiked around the Camp.
When we couldn’t find the 10 control, I used my trail knowledge to reroute our group up the trail by the cabins, by Tom’s Chapel and up by the Camp Tuscazoar blockade.
And we were done! A great afternoon spent in the woods! I had forgotten how nice the trails are at Camp Tuscazoar. It’s definitely time to do some running here.
Soon there will be beginner mountain bike trails directly across from Camp Tuscazoar, so I can see another Project 50 Goal being ticked off soon!
Have you been orienteering? Did you take a class? Do you have mad map reading skills?
A time capsule is a picture in time; a snapshot of the moment. I created a capsule of the year 2016. I procrastinated on this quite a bit. Once I started gathering items it became much easier than planning it all out.
Time Capsule contents:
White Flower Farm catalog
A non-functioning Zune MP3 Player
My homemade Global Running Day bib
NEO Trail Club Sticker
A list of my Project 50 and explanation of what I am doing in the year 2016
My husband’s first e-book, “Observations on Turkish Bayonets”
My blogging business cards when I was the Ultra Trail Goddess
This blog post printed out
I almost forgot the sleeve from Downton Abbey, the first three seasons. I binge-watched this while off with my knee surgery
I plan on storing this time capsule box in the attic. I believe I will put a 40 year old opening date on it. I will be NINETY when I open this. I wonder if anything in the box will be relevant then?
Have you ever thought of or created a time capsule? Have you opened it yet?
I visited Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob on the same day. These two Frank LLoyd Wright designs are about fifteen minutes apart in driving and two entire different worlds in design.
The Hagans, original owner of Kentuck Knob were friends of the Kaufmann’s who owned Fallingwater. This was how the Hagans were able to get te 86 year old Wright to design their house.
Wright never saw the site before his design and he was only at the house once.
Kentuck Knob is a far different design. It is in the Usonian style. Usonian you ask? “Wright proposed the use of the adjective Usonian in place of Americanto describe the particular New World character of the American landscape as distinct and free of previous architectural conventions.”
Usonian homes were small single story houses without a garage or much storage. Apparently Wright didn’t worry about people’s “stuff”. The homes were usually in a L shape with a flat roof.
Kentuck Knob is all about the angles. Hexagonal to be exact. Our tour guide said the only 90 degree angles were in the bathroom to accommodate the plumber. (Aside: I didn’t examine the doors enough. No 90 degree angles there?)
Kentuck Knob is kind of under-whelming from the outside when you’ve just visited Fallingwater. It looks almost like a typical ranch house.
You step inside and see that no, it’s not your typical ranch house.
All the recessed lights are triangles.
I mean, who thinks these things up? “Hmm. I think this house shall be made without any 90 angles. That will keep the carpenters busy.”
The house was originally a bit smaller than built. The Hahns insisted on making it bigger-as they were the ones living there, and paying Wright-so some areas were enlarged.
When I saw the view of the YoughioghenyRiver Gorge, I would have to disagree with FLW. I would have loved the house built into the knob, facing the other direction, to have a view like this every single day!
Have you visited Kentuck Knob? Have you ever designed a home?
Fallingwater is about ten miles away from our playground, the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. Despite visiting the area for the last ten years, I’ve always been too busy running than touring iconic architecture.
Project 50 gave me the perfect reason to visit not one, but two Frank Lloyd Wright homes.
I arrived about 1/2 hour before my scheduled tour time. You have to buy tickets online for Fallingwater and choose a time frame. I had time to visit the restroom and the museum shop before the tour began.
Gaven was our tour guide. We started beside the house where we could see the creek going under the house. Gaven explained that FLW wanted to put the house in the water, not place the house where the homeowners could just see the waterfall. From wikipedia: In December 1934, Wright visited the site the Kauffmans had selected and was immediately inspired by the presence of Bear Run and the waterfall it presented. He later wrote, “The visit to the waterfall in the woods stayed with me, and a domicile has taken vague shape in my mind to the music of the stream.”
I was already ready to move in when I saw Bear Run running under the house. Not only can you walk down the steps directly into the creek; to the right in the picture is also a “dipping pool” where you come down some side steps into about three feet of water, to soak or get stimulated first thing in the morning. The water is from the creek.
Once I went inside, I was ready to pack up the suitcases and go. But alas, the house now belongs to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy now and is off the market.
The word of Fallingwater is cantilever. Think of a swimming pool spring board, supported on one end with no vertical supports under the free end.
We enter the house. It is nothing like I envisioned! The living room is not that big, and the ceilings are low. The walls are low, and there is glass everywhere, to bring nature in. There are terraces off every room, where you can wander outside and BE in nature, and BE in the trees. You can look down and see the creek, the wonderful rocky, bouldering creek with the water just burbling over, and hear the Bear Run.
Remember this house was built in the 1930’s. We might appreciate all these windows and natural light-no curtains here!-but this was not nowhere near the norm of design in the 1930s.
I’m not a creative person, (maybe just writing) when it comes to art. I’m truly appreciative of folks who can draw, paint, write and play music and build houses that float above creeks.
One of my favorite features was this “corner turning window” without mullions causes corners to vanish. It had me feeling inspired to rethink the window designs in my own home; I didn’t know that so much could be achieved with something I had always just taken for granted. Maybe I’ll actually pay attention to that Vinyl Replacement Window Buying Guide that came through the door the other day, and see what I can do!
So to see all these details-the glass without frames in the corners,
Picture Source Link on photo
all the window to promote air flow, the cantilevers, the lowered beds, desks, in order to not block out any views of nature. You see if this was me designing this house I would have had to look at something like these Plantation Shutters so I was able to control the natural lighting being let in, but I guess the original designers had the beauty of the exterior in mind instead!
Architects baffle me. How do these people come up with these concepts? You have to be creative, also have a good grip on math, science, have some “design” in concept. being the architect and interior decorator that just blows my mind. FLW designed both the building and the furniture-and even the lamps!
On the regular house tour you are not allowed to take pictures inside the home. I did take some pictures outside, but had a bit of a time crunch since I had a 4 pm scheduled tour at Kentuck Knob.
Visit tip: Allow yourself three hours to view Fallingwater. The tour was about 70 minutes. You will then want to take more pictures outside and visit the gift shop (and/or cafe).
I have been visiting the Laurel Highlands for the last ten years. I have never made it to Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob until this year.
Why not? Because usually I was having too much fun doing this:
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail has always been a favorite playground for NEO Trail; therefore all time and energy was spent on trail and recovering from trail!
I have been working the aid station at the Laurel Highlands Race for the last five years. We man the first aid station that the runner encounter, around mile 12. The runners have started and climbed the hardest and best part of the trail. For runners not familiar with this early 8 miles, they sometimes arrive at our aid station in a bit of shock.
We tell them that the worst is over (it’s true) and most of their journey will be up on the ridge of the Laurel Highlands.
Working the first aid station means the runners are through about eleven am and we are wrapped up and ready to boogie by noon.
That gives one an entire afternoon to spend in the Laurel Highlands vicinity.
This year, courtesy of Project 50, I purchased tickets to Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob. That meant I could get a short trail run in, a quick “trail bath” at my vehicle, and then roll into the 10$ parking lot with the regular folks from Pittsburgh who drove over to see Fallingwater.
I had a super time visiting Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob.
The Frank Lloyd Wright homes will be a Project 50 post because these homes deserve a post all by themselves.
Have you visited a Frank LLoyd Wright Home? Have you visited the Laurel Highlands? You really should!