2009-01-01 36 -75
When we first checked the 2009-01-01 coordinates at 15:51 UTC on Wednesday, we found a great spot in the middle of a residential road in the city of Raleigh, North Carolina. We then decided on a midnight geohash with an attempt at the Speed Racer Achievement, middle of the street formal attire, and a couple of chalk outlines. So, with all the planning completed by lunch time, we felt confident that we would add another geohash to our list. But, we were flabbergasted to find a totally new coordinate for all locations when we happened to check the website one last time at 19:21 UTC (thank God I am a bit retentive).
After combing Google Earth and Garmin Topo for an hour trying to find a nearby geohash that was achievable, we were exasperated – all the hashes were either in someone’s back yard or deep into some God-forsaken wasteland – simply impossible for a midnight attempt in a few hours. In desperation, we cast a wider net all the way to the coast and stumbled upon the Virginia Beach, Virginia Graticule, which is mostly ocean. To our utter disbelief, the geohash for New Year’s Day landed on a narrow strip of land, barely a kilometer wide, in the Atlantic Ocean – the North Carolina Outer Banks. Even more amazingly amazing, Google Earth and Google Maps street-view seemed to indicate the geohash lay in a vacant lot, which is simply miraculous in the otherwise crowded beach resort. Are we dreaming this? A geohash at the beach?!!...a sunrise geohash on the first day of the New Year?!! OK, we go to bed at 8:00pm, wake at 2:00am, and drive the 4-1/2 hours to make the 7:14am sunrise. Our rendezvous with the ultimate New Year’s geohash awaited.
After an uneventful drive to the Outer Banks, we made our way north to Corolla, past the Currituck Lighthouse, and then past an old school house, now a museum, with its yard dotted with colorfully painted cutout horses. We parked at an antique shop and stealthfully exited our vehicle, lest we arouse the ire of Corolla’s slumbering residents. We thankfully found the lot still vacant and, therefore, the entry point to our fated geohash unobstructed. With the early-morning sky turning purplish, we made our way towards the swamp bordering the Currituck Sound. The 30.6°F/-0.8°C temperature meant the swamp would be either frozen or cold enough to freeze the dress shoes onto our feet. So, attired in our Sunday best, we navigated our way through the brush and maze of Raptor traps (briars) to the fated rendezvous, spooking a large White-tailed buck who trotted away in a snort (or was it one of the wild horses? – too dark to tell). Then…success! Oh what sweet victory. Despite the last minute panicked planning and hair-raisingly-questionable satellite and photographic intelligence interpreted with simple luck, the 21st century-technology-wielding-Cro-Magnon man and his wife had achieved the geohash of a life time. After photographically recording our achievement, we hurried to the beach to make the sunrise and kiss the dawn of a new year.
Eisen & Bear - NCBears
NC Outer Banks at Corolla. Sand dunes and beach on Atlantic side with swampy areas facing Currituck Sound. Geohash was in frozen marsh behind vacant lot in the Corolla township, 0.3 km NW from the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. Location was amongst cedars, virginia creeper, and Raptor traps (briars).
White-tail deer, weasle, domestic cats, domestic dogs, goat, horse, sparrows, Northern Harrier hawk, Seagulls, Blue Herron, and Swan. As we approached the Geohash, we scared either a large White-tailed buck or one of the many wild horses that live in the area.
Low 30.6°F/-0.8°C, clear skies, 10-20mph/16-32kph wind