2009-01-07 48 9

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Wed 7 Jan 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany:
48.5667703, 9.1393151

peeron  Eupeodes google  osm  crox

[edit] About

The hash is in one of the easternmost parts of the Schönbuch forest, near the village Rübgarten, which is an incorporated part of Pliezhausen.

[edit] Expedition: Ekorren

This was another of these "too close not to try" locations, with less than 9 km as the bird flies. It also was another of these cold snowy days, but did that spoil me during the last few weeks? It didn't, and it won't this time. Anyway, the forecast didn't expect any new snow, so there were just those few centimetres of yesterday's snow to deal with.

The residential road where I live wasn't very promising, but according to the experiences of the last few weeks of frozen hashing, I expected the main roads to be free of ice and snow. I chose a route through the inner city, which I expected to be more convenient than the usually fastest route around it, and I was quite right with it. After leaving the low traffic residential roads, I got with no ice obstacles to Lustnau, and up the slope to the village of Pfrondorf, from where I would take a forest road to... nowhere. At least that was what the sign after the last house showed (see picture 1) - usually there is the name of the next place in the upper box. Well, I wouldn't expect them showing "Hash 2.5 km" on a road sign, and the road actually didn't really lead anywhere.

Even after leaving the town and entering the forest, I was surprised about road conditions - there was just a layer of dry snow on the ways, which made it neither very slippery nor took much energy to plow through. So I maintained a decent speed until 215 m before the hash.

Now the way split up. There was a northern way which would lead probably until about 50 m from the hash, and a southern way which would come near to 100 from the hash. However, the southern way was perfectly viable while, after a few trial steps, the northern one seemed to be in rather bad condition. So I took the southern way, and when my GPS showed 90 degrees to the hash, parked my bike and walked into the snowy forest.

Soon I got stuck in underwoods, and neither trying to follow deers trails would show me a way through the thickness. 60 m from the hash it was now either using an axe or giving up. I didn't want to damage anything (and neither I had an axe with me), so this was... well, a perfect MNB consolation prize.

But a true geohasher never gives up on the first attempt. So I went back to the intersection to try the northern way. And it turned out this one, which the map had shown as drivable way, wasn't at all a way in bad shape as I had thought - it was a non-way in white disguise. Through the snow layer I couldn't really see the surface, but from how it felt when stumbling through holes, ravines and a selection of large stones, this probably never had been more than a machine aisle. On the plus side, it was all deepfrozen. Would probably be a mess of mud otherwise. Btw, OSM didn't know this way and I decided to leave it so.

60 m from the hash I parked my bike again (why the heck did I even take it with me on this part?) and walked into the forest on another attempt to reach the point. And this time I succeeded. I found a nice cave a small snowman could live in, so I left one there.

Going back the same way is boring, and anyway, I needed to buy a number of things which would probably be available at a certain shop in one of the nearer villages, so I went back onto the good way and continued via Rübgarten to Kirchentellinsfurt. The way leads along a large lake which is a popular bathing spot in summer but... was just as populated today. Walk on the lake? Sure. Bike over the lake? Why not. It could be a shortcut, after all. And it's something you can't do each day (unless you're Jesus, who I ain't). And with a five centimetre layer of fresh snow, it isn't too slippery on the ice, anyway. And the ice was perfectly stable. Don't mind the signs... and don't miss that fun, when coming to a lake near you.

Another Remark:

I got asked several times by strangers whether it isn't too dangerous to bike out in the forest on a snow day like this. Heck, snow will slow you down but there's nothing unnatural or even dangerous with it. There were several hashes where there wasn't snow but ice. Today the only dangerous part were the residential roads in the city.