2008-07-14 39 -121

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Mon 14 Jul 2008 in Chico:
39.1469375, -121.8314698

peeron geohashing.info google osm bing/os kml crox

This was a highly suspenseful and exciting hash. Google maps showed it to be just a few steps off highway 20 between Colusa and Yuba City, so we headed down. I'm on the back of the motorbike, my somewhat reluctant geohashing (but more enthusiastic marriage) partner is driving, with the GPS mounted on the handlebars. The prearranged plan was that if he was hassled by highway patrol, to say that my boot was coming off so we had to stop for safety.

The road is perfect, with a wide shoulder, then a path beside unfenced orchards. There's going to be no problem stopping. We have two miles to go. In moments I'm going to be photographing the GPS under a lime tree. We pass a fruit stand. Perfect! I even have a reason to stop.

A mile to go, and suddenly the road narrows onto a bridgelike thing, no wider than the white lines at the edge of the road. It curves off to the left. It's long. I'm watching the numbers count down on the GPS from tenths of a mile, to feet, and then flip around to backwards. Finally, the bridge ends, maybe a quarter of a mile past the hash.

He takes the next turnoff and turns around. We go back the other way, slowly, hoping that perhaps we'll get close enough to the hash in the westbound lane, but even on the shoulder, it's clear that the hashpoint is off the edge of the bridge. It's so frustrating. I can't even see a river down there. It's just a plain. Who builds a bridge over a plain?

We return to the fruit stand at the west end of the bridge and each buy two pinkish orangish pieces of fruit, one fuzzy and one smooth. Both are insanely delicious. This is what fruit tastes like when it hasn't been trucked to Canada. It inspires us to greater effort.

We drive eastbound on the bridge thing again and I watch carefully as the GPS flicks through station passage. It's next to a graffitied wall on the plain. Graffiti suggests accessibility. We take the turnoff again and actually find a dirt road leading towards the wall. It's blocked by rocks, but not to a pedestrian. GPS in hand, I'm off.

I reach the wall, and discover it's flanked by barbed wire fences. Thwarted. But wait, there's a path through a gap in the fence. I keep going. Until I'm stopped by a wide slough. Huh? I didn't see this from the bridge? I walk along the bank as if it's going to suddenly end.

And it does! It's a short slough with a path going around the edge, and another path leading right towards the columns of the bridge. I see my distance remaining cycle to zero right by a big tree stump.

VICTORY! As sweet as the fruit. Too bad it's 5 p.m. on a Monday and there's no one here. I take my photos and run back to Wade, who is pretending to be patient, waiting at the motorcycle.