It all started out just fine, a cloudy morning with threats of rain but not too warm. Clouds were swirling all day but only a few drops and some mist managed to come out of the sky. Trails were in the best condition that I've ever seen at Capitol Forest...in other words, very little of that nasty slimy greasy mud and the deep ruts were dry and pretty easy to avoid. Things started out great, made it to checks 1 and 2 on my minute. Felt really loose, fluid, and confident. Check 2 was in a pretty fast section and the woman marking my card seemed to be surprised that I was on my minute, so I got some satisfaction out of that and felt like I must have been doing really well. This just might be my day! That's when things started to get a little dicey. Another mile or so up the trail and there's a road crossing...the trail continues straight across the road, but there's one sign that says the trail is closed for logging, another paper note that says the trail is closed but open for the racers, another pink sign (same color as all of the course markers) that says "< Trail Re-Route" with an arrow up the road to the left, a pink ribbon all the way across the trail about 7 feet off the ground, and then to top it all off I could see all of the pink course arrows going right up the trail beyond the pink ribbon. Now, we were warned about this spot at the riders meeting, but we weren't told about the "Trail Re-Route" signs that match the course markers. So what you do here?? Also keep in mind that this was in the middle of a fast section that was challenging to stay on time, I knew the guy who was on the minute ahead of me was somewhere behind me since I passed him before the last checkpoint and I didn't want him to come by me because it was real dusty and I didn't want to eat more dust and worry about getting around him in a more challenging section, it was hard enough with him behind me. And I thought things were going really well so I didn't want to waste any time. So, of course I figured that maybe the logging folks or the DNR dude made an executive decision after the race had started that we couldn't go thru the logging area after all and there was a short course detour. So I turned left and went down the road looking for the next detour sign. Less than 1/2 a mile up and another "Trail Re-Route" sign with an arrow, so everything's cool and I just keep riding along. A little further and another sign, and then another sign pointing the opposite direction. WTF? I think to myself and just keep going thinking somebody either screwed up or someone just happened along and decided to mess with the race. So after about 3 miles of this I follow one more arrow for the Re-Route down a trail and start riding looking for some sort of course markers. Nothing.... Hhmmmm.... Okay, maybe they were in a hurry and didn't have time to put up more markers, just keep riding, don't second guess yourself. Another couple miles and I'm starting to really worry. There has to be a checkpoint here to let us know we're on course. Sh#t, I'm not seeing anybody out here... Just keep going, don't second guess yourself, focus, ride, stay loose, focus. Finally I realize I'm totally screwed and decide that there's got to be a trail junction soon and I can pull out the map to figure out where in hell I am so I can decide what to do next. Well, it was about a total of 8 miles before I hit a junction. Now it's time for a little side story... At registration in the morning, I noticed a little stack of trail maps for the Capitol Forest sitting off to the side of the registration desk. I have never seen an official trail map for CSF and didn't have any map for the forest at all. An official map? Cool! I'd love to have one of those. I decided to snag one since nobody was looking (cheap bastard) and stuffed it in my pocket. When I was getting dressed and deciding what to put in my pack I almost left the map in my truck. What dumb luck that I grabbed it and stuffed in my pack!! Otherwise, I might still be roaming around CSF about now... So I pull out my map and figure out that I'm totally on the opposite side of the forest, a minimum of 20 miles to get back to the start area and definitely no chance of avoiding a DNF. Or I could just backtrack the 8 or 10 miles to where I made the original blunder and try to beg the race marshals to let me finish. After about five minutes of debate with myself, I chose option 2 and headed back from where I came... After finally getting back to the original point of confusion, I decided WTF just go up the trail and see what happens. After about 4 miles or so I come across a checkpoint. Cool!! I'm back on course!! Unfortunately, I'm told the hour sweep has already passed and I'm officially a DNF. Mother fuck$r!! Oh well, time to kick back and ride the next 30 miles for fun. Another couple miles and I come up to a couple guys on the side of a road. I stop to ask if they need any help and they ask me where I'm going. Turns out they're with the host club and are pulling the short course (my course) markers and placing markers for the long course second loop. So my only option was to follow them for about 1/2 hour to a point where the long course markers were already placed and just follow them in. The cool part here is I got to ride this killer hidden section of the long course that drops about 1000' vertical in 1/2 mile where only about 10 bikes total have ever been down it. Yeehah!! My kind of trail! It was super steep thru brush, pretty much a bushwhack trail that you would never know was there if it wasn't shown to you. That's my silver lining to the story... After all was said and done, I got the pleasure of riding an extra 18-20 miles of sweet trails on a beautiful day when I felt invincible on the bike, everything just felt right. Too bad it's probably the last enduro of the season and I'll have to wait until next Spring for another shot at glory... And it turns out that the "Trail Re-Route" signs were placed by DNR the day before but nobody from the host club thought to pull them down. And they didn't think to put someone at that spot to direct traffic... So Ron and Dave, how did things go for you?? Ron, I think you have a story of your own? I hope you didn't get injured. I saw your guys results, Ron what happened? Sorry I missed you guys at the finish, looks like you were long gone by the time I got back (they were just getting ready to dole out awards for the short course). Cheers, Brian "db"