2009-01-28 48 8
The hash is down in the Neckar valley, situated between the railway and the river at the village of Bieringen. Bieringen is incorporated to the town of Rottenburg am Neckar, so this is the third hash on the area of this town in January.
This was something new for me: A hash that was neither on a mountaintop, nor behind it, nor even on a smaller hill or at least on a slope, but actually in the valley. In the very same valley where I live, not even very far away, and there would be a rather easy trail leading there. You can't miss such an opportunity, can you? Well, there is always something or someone trying to hold you off, and when I finally got on my way, it was hours later than I had intended. Still it was only early afternoon, so there should even be enough time for some detours.
I went on the very same Neckar valley cycle trail as for the previous hash, only in opposite direction - this time I would go west, up the river. After little more than half an hour I reached Rottenburg and found that the shop I needed to visit there was closed for two more hours. Bought some food and went on. At Bad Niedernau I left the main trail to add a parallel track to OSM, and reached the village of Bieringen around 14:20.
Some months ago, a heavy flooding washed away the brigde connecting the train station - and also the track along which I arrived - with the village, leaving a number of houses which were only reachable by train, foot, or via several kilometres of bad forest track. The bridge still hasn't rebuilt yet, but a temporary replacement has been put in place.
Now there was a slight problem. Usually these fields are accessible from several directions. This one wasn't. To the north there was the Neckar river, to the south the railway, to the west nothing between those two. And to the east there was the farm which the field seemed to belong. And since there wasn't anything else than that field and an abandoned hut in that dead end area, it would be difficult to make up for a cover story what I want in there. I passed the farm several times, trying to find a way around it, until some children started to get suspicious. I came to the conclusion that noone at the farm was looking anyway, so I went in and past their houses.
This was as far as my bike would take me - because now, the way ended. Still 537m to go, the GPS said. But there seemed to be a tractor trail in the right direction, so it would be possible without trampling on any crops - ok, park the bike, walk on. It's only a few minutes anyway.
On the way I passed another one of those abandoned huts. These huts originally housed sources of carbon dioxide which were exploited for use in carbonated beverages - but some decades ago, the sources ran mostly dry, so nowadays there's nothing left of that industry except of quite a number of these huts and an abandoned factory a few villages further up the valley.
Reaching the point was easy now, still there was no need to step on any crop. So I took photos, left the marker in a nearby tree (actually I wouldn't expect anyone to find it here...) and walked back to the bike. Obviously still nobody got suspicious (the children weren't there anymore), so I just could leave again without being asked any questions.
It was now well into the afternoon, but going back the fastest way would be boring, so I chose a track into a side valley which was... mostly unpassable. Eep, there hasn't been any ice or snow anywhere for days. But this track was... pure ice. I had to get off and push the bike for very significant distances, and it didn't actually make a difference in effort whether to push the bike forwards or sidewards. There simply wasn't any friction. Turn around then? No. Walk besides the way. This mayhem will have an end somewhere...
It had, but not long before the track reached a secondary road which I followed up into the hills. So I got, slow but without any major injuries, to the next village. Knowing that apart from the passing main road the village was unknown to OSM, I started to map it - until I recognized that I had run into slight time constraints if I wanted to get home before it's pitch dark.
Ok, now drop the rest of plans, take that good trail which leaves the village into the right direction, and make it back with some daylight. And there, I found - a dead end. And another one. And then a hill I hadn't taken into account. And another one. And finally some serious time constraints. And when I reached home, it was pitch dark.
Note: Every expedition will take at least 110% of the available time, no matter how much that is.