Teams The Show and Murray — Aiden Thomas, Wyatt Murray, Joy Thomas, Angie Murray, Molly Murray, Evie Thomas, dog Maximus, John Thomas, Ellie Murray — navigate the Fall Orienteer Meet Sept. 26. Photo by Susy Stephens

Connie Carpenter | Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series

Teams of family orienteers encountered unusually high temperatures and hints of fall foliage at the fall orienteer meet Sept. 26.


After securing their orienteer maps and race passports, nine teams of family members distanced themselves around the parking lot and grassy areas as they debated capture plans, loaded strollers and leashed excited family pups.

Dad Erich Eshelman with dog Lola, grandmother Evelyne Eshelman and young James navigate between control points during the Fall Orienteer Meet Sept. 26 off Sherman Road. Team Eshelman captured 11 controls in two hours, 36 minutes. Photo by Susy Stephens


Racers considered numerous factors while selecting their attack plans. Their three choices included a long Olympic course consisting of the heavily wooded southern woodland trail, an intermediate course containing urban terrain with some vegetation areas, and an introductory course having treks over level urban terrain.

Dad Erich Eshelman, grandmother Evelyne Eshelman and young James, accompanied by dog Lola, read the course map during the Fall Orienteer Meet Sept. 26 off Sherman Road. Team Eshelman captured 11 controls in two hours, 36 minutes. Photo by Susy Stephens


Seven families chose the intermediate course factoring in the shorter legs of the younger orienteers and the all-terrain capabilities of strollers and striders. The course consisted of 12 control points placed at landmarks and terrain features including spurs, creek beds, and vegetation boundaries.

Junior orienteers John Hausauer and Clayton Tucker return to their family Teams Haus and Tucker, who paired up for the challenge, after punching checkpoint No. 5 during the Fall Orienteer Meet Sept. 26. Teams Tucker and Haus recorded nine controls in two hours, 15 minutes. Photo by Susy Stephens


For many teams, the event offered a first experience in orienteering. Team Haus — Beth, TJ, Mary, Conner and John Hausauer — and Team Tucker — Jason, Meagan, Clayton and Colton Tucker — paired up to familiarize their family members with navigating to points via terrain features. Using his fingers to demonstrate a land feature, dad Jason Tucker showed the young orienteers how a spur represents a thin, horizontal section of land that projects forward while the terrain surrounding the feature drops vertically on each side.

Junior orienteers John Hausauer and Clayton Tucker, of family Teams Haus and Tucker who paired up for the challenge, capture a control point near the Missouri River during the Fall Orienteer Meet Sept. 26. Teams Tucker and Haus recorded nine controls in two hours, 15 minutes. Photo by Susy Stephens


Teams Haus and Tucker captured nine controls in 2:15.


Team The Show — John, Joy, Aiden, Ethan, Gavin and Evelyn Thomas with dog Maximus — and Team Murray — Angie, Wyatt, Ellie and Molly Murray — formed a semi-organized platoon of orienteers and strollers as they crisscrossed over the urban frontier. The teams secured 12 controls in 1:36.


Team Hanley — Brian, Melissa, Brendan, Sara and Avery Hanley and dog Cooper — demonstrated their strong technical skills and teamwork topping the intermediate division by securing 15 controls in 2:12.


Team Howl — Kristopher, Julie, Alexandrea and Elisabeth Howell and dog Nutmeg — conquered the rugged six-mile Olympic course punching 18 navigational controls in 2:24.


Team Mungo — Chris, Melissa, Thomas and Gregory Thornton — cleared the introductory course of six markers in 1:21.

Team Howl — Kristopher, Julie, Alexandrea and Elisabeth Howell with dog Nutmeg — trek toward control point No. 10 after capturing controls in the rugged southern, woodland trails system during the Fall Orienteer Meet Sept. 26. Team Howl cleared the Olympic course capturing 18 markers in two hours, 24 minutes. Photo by Susy Stephens


The orienteering series continues Oct. 31 with the Great Pumpkin Orienteer Meet starting at 8:30 a.m. at Gruber Fitness Center parking lot. For more event information, visit FTLVAdventure.com or call (913) 683-5634.

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