2008-08-23 40 -88

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Sat 23 Aug 2008 in 40,-88:
40.0212979, -88.7773962

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The coordinates fell in a cornfield at the extreme southern edge of the graticule, about 30 miles west of Champaign/Urbana, Illinois.

Brett, Josh, Alejandro, and Lucas drove from Champaign. With the University of Illinois back in session, they hoped other students would go geohashing this weekend. Unfortunately, they arrived late, and no one else appeared to have made it to the coordinates.

The precise location fell near the center of a one-mile-square block of corn and soybean fields. Brett, Josh, and Alejandro decided to hike into the field to get as close as possible to the coordinates. Lucas remained with the car—like Michael Collins to the moon landing crew—because his shoes were unsuited to tramping through farms. This proved fortunate, since the other three geohashers would eventually exit from the opposite side of the field.

The three planned to reach the coordinates by traveling along the border between the corn and soybean fields. They first hiked through a field of prairie grass to avoid disturbing the crops. The tall grass was like thick syrup pulling at their feet. Brett stumbled into a deep ditch at one point and Josh got stung by a hornet.

Despite those minor difficulties, it did not take long to reach the edge of the crops. They continued along the dividing line between the corn and soybeans. In many places they had clear dirt, but in others they had to walk between the rows of corn.

Eventually, they reached the closest point possible without traveling against the rows of corn. They left a marker flag proclaiming "The Internet was here!"

They returned to the road by wading between rows of soybeans.

By the time they emerged, their pants were colored green from brushing against so many plants. Lucas was waiting to pick them up.