March 28th, 2009
By Dan Welch
Snow at Nebraska's Indian Cave State Park! Still, plenty of Possums came to participate. The sun shined nicely after four of us finished setting the Courses the afternoon before. By morning it was snowing steadily. Robin Graham, mother of the notion of using Indian Cave, showed up first followed shortly by 13 Shawnee Mission North Navy JROTC cadets plus their leaders. We then knew we had a meet. When Dick Neuburger showed up all hands pitched in to set up a windbreak inside the windblown Park shelter and get ready. More Possums arrived as our setup continued. The 1st Possum started in the continuing snow for a close up view of Indian Cave at 10:28. By then snow covered the ground. Plenty others soon followed and all 4 of our Courses got a good workout.
Forty Possums came from all over to run; Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and even Iowa were represented. All Controls were located with the notion that the rough terrain of Indian Cave would make finding them difficult enough. No special effort was made to find "tricky" locations. Common Control #8 on both the Orange Course and Red Course beside a tiny creek within a deep gully proved to be a pain for many Possums. Control #1, near a spring, and Control #6, near the Lewis & Clark Overlook drew many comments from Red Course runners while Control #6, in the big hollow, drew many comments from Orange Course runners. Our forty runners seemed to be all grins and the comments about our new map were gracious.
Indian Cave is a Park full of challenges and surprises. It certainly offered me a new lesson Saturday. Many of us came to receive the many presents it gives; a chance to share nature's world, chat with others of similar interests, see young people get a healthy grip on life, and let our public officials know that they have made the correct decision to assist us in letting this all happen.
Many thanks to those that assisted directly with Nebraska's 1st Orienteering Meet. Paul Clatterbuck for Course vetting, Event setup enthusasiam, and Control pickup. Robin Graham for Event setup and Control pickup, Nick Hockman for Event setup, Registration, and Event treats organization. Kevin Shipley for his beautiful Event map. Dick Neuburger for his steady and reassuring hand as well as assistance everywhere over several months. Nancy Neuburger for Control setup. Reta Roe for Event setup, Registration, and patient teaching. Mike Shifman for Course advice and Course vetting. Phil Nicolas, Rich and Debbie Carstensen for Control pickup. And Park Superintendent Kevin Holliday for his steady attention and reassurance that all would be right at Indian Cave before and during our Event.