2008-06-14 30 -84

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Sat 14 Jun 2008 in Tallahassee, Florida:
30.8067463, -84.0388869

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June 14, 2008 Meetup for Tallahassee, Florida[edit]

The drive to the geohash began easily enough; it was just a straight shot up Thomasville Rd into Georgia. The Google map said to then turn left at Rose City Estate. The only problem: there IS no Rose City Estate where my GPS told me to turn. So after a couple U-turns, I pulled into a promising dirt road which led to very private property.

Soon enough I came to a fork. The map had said to stay left on Rose City Estate, but there were still no road signs at all. I know by this point I should have disregarded Google, but I turned left. Oops! The "road" dead-ended at somebody's house - and it looked like they were home. I made a hasty retreat and backtracked to the fork, and took the right instead. This time, the dirt track kept agreeing with my eTrex, and I stopped the car beside the lake I recognized from the map.

I was finally less than 200 feet from the site, just after 4:00 PM - but I could not reach it. Not that I didn't try; no, I stomped around for over half an hour following my GPS, having it get within 70 ft then point behind me. Once I get the pictures up, you'll see that it took me almost until 5 o'clock to get more or less right on the spot.

I may have been annoyed with my GPS, but the place itself was quite nice. There was an abandoned cottage beside the lake, with a covered boat shed right on the water off to the left. A wooden pier extended about 20 feet into the lake in front of the cottage, where I often paused my hunt for the exact site to take in the sights. I saw a red-headed woodpecker (or maybe a pileated, I don't know) fly off during one of my searches. There were many wild blackberry bushes, and I couldn't resist popping a ripe berry into my mouth.

The weather held up well. It was sprinkling when I first arrived, but it soon cleared up and was dry for the rest of my visit. The clouds kept the temperature well below what it was last week, but I was still plenty sweaty by the time I finally found the precise location of the geohash.

Immediately after I photographed my eTrex telling me I was on the spot, I returned to my car. I had decided earlier that I would wait until 4:45 for others to show, but that time had come and gone with nobody approaching. On the way out, I saw a type of squirrel I had never seen before. It was larger than the common ones, with the top and sides white and the belly dark brown. It looked like a cross between a squirrel and a lemur.

I chose a good time to leave, because I had only driven 5 miles or so back down Thomasville Rd when the bottom fell out of the sky. It started raining so hard that I was going under 35 MPH with my high beams on, wipers at full speed, and still I could only just see the road. Not only was it raining amazingly hard, but the wind felt like it was shoving my car around a little. This wind and heavy rain lasted at least 10 minutes before diminishing in intensity to "normal" rain. The wind was still blowing enough that my windshield kept cycling every couple of seconds between fogging completely and becoming clear. This was serious weather. I'm glad I made it back in one piece.