2008-08-30 39 -86
Near Lake Monroe, somewhere in a "private campground". Permission was asked before seeking the hashpoint. Lots of trees. It was very hard to see landmarks, which made finding the right spot difficult, but not impossible.
Erik, Kira, Neeraj, and Duncan.
We (Kira and Erik) decided to drag our dog Duncan and our friend Neeraj with us on our way to our first geohash. We lacked GPS equipment, and did not even have a compass, so the plan was to rely upon triangulation from landmarks. I (Erik) took lots of Google Earth snapshots and drew lines from the hashpoint that passed through two or more identifiable features (mostly on nearby buildings).
We drove to the general vicinity and discovered a "private campgrounds" sign. It wasn't a "No Trespassing" sign, so we figured it would be okay to drive in with the intention of finding someone and asking permission. There were lots of cabins and plenty of campers (both people camping and RVs), so we drove all the way to the top of the road, where there was a house and a large (I'd guess roughly 10-tractor) garage. I knocked on the door and informed the nice lady who answered that I had an odd question for her. "We picked a random spot on a map to travel to, and it happens to be in your backyard. Is it okay if we head back there and take some pictures?" Impressively, she did not seem terribly surprised, and thankfully, she did not sic her positively enormous "yellow labrador" (I have my doubts as to the purity of his breeding) Jake on me.
We tramped about a tenth of a mile into their backyard and down into a gorge. Thankfully, with lots of squinting and bending my head sideways, I was able to make out the house and a few other landmarks (the garage, a small above-ground swimming pool, and a very small building on stilts serving an unknown purpose) from the hashpoint, verifying to my satisfaction that we had the right place. Just to be safe, we tramped around the whole general area. Unfortunately, every part of that forest looks exactly like every other part of that forest, so there's not much in the way of proof to provide. Since we didn't get any really fancy achievements, I hope no one will mind.