2008-08-15 55 -114
According to Google maps, this geohash is 37.4 driving kilometres from the town of Slave Lake, and all but the last three kilometres are on roads that actually have names. The terrain is reasonably flat, and while there are rocks and trees and lakes, it appears navigable. If the roads in questions are pretty good, it's conceivable that I could get there and back within my four hour time budget. It's at least better than yesterday's.
Robyn and her really crappy Wal-Mart bicycle are the only known participants in this geohash.
I left Slave Lake on highway 2, knowing that I needed to turn right on Range Road 43A, 16 km ahead. I already knew that it was unlikely that the roads would be signposted, and I didn't have a bike computer nor a GPS that records track distance, so I didn't have an exact distance to find the turnoff. It was really slow going. First off I had a 15 knot headwind. I should have figured on that having just landed in those conditions, but with an engine slung under each wing the effect of the headwind isn't as miserably clear as while riding a high wind resistance cheapie mountain bike. I was plodding along in a low gear and couldn't be sure I was making even 15 km/h.
The first candidate for Range Road 42A which I found was uphill but I rode and pushed my bike up it to find some kind of utility recorder, which I rate as the coolest way to prove the date of a geohash. The next candidate was also uphill and dirt but was more promising. It led to a cool oil pumping thingie and then continued on into the bush. I started along it, but unfortunately reahed my "must turn back and go to bed" time before I had gone very far. I got closer than yesterday, though!
At least on the way home I had the wind at my back.
Disregard the "track" in the GPS photo. It's an aviation GPS so I discovered that it doesn't record speeds as low as that of uphill mountain biking and it sucks batteries so fast that I leave it off and just turn it on to peek at my progress during rest breaks.