2009-03-17 49 -122

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Tue 17 Mar 2009 in Surrey, British Columbia:
49.1726518, -122.4165445

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The point is just off the Lougheed Highway on a shoal where Lower Stave Lake meets the Fraser. Imagine an inverted Y north of the road, with the east branch stopping just before the road, and the west branch continuing under the road (there's a bridge). The hashpoint is at the north tip of the triangle of land in between the two branches of the Y. It looked accessible by walking along the shore from a side road that runs along the east side of the centre shoal.


Robyn had a much procrastinated errand in Mission to do, so swung by on the way back.


Starting in Mission, I drove west on the Lougheed, knowing that I would drive past a lake on the right and then turn right immediately after the lake ended, but before the bridge over the second arm of the lake. As I slowed for the right turn, I could see that it wasn't a proper highway exit, just a gap in the concrete barricades, and that the road was fenced off with lots of signs. I didn't take the turn, continued past over the bridge, and took the next right, even though it was on the wrong side of the lake. I was now a kilometre away and getting further, but where does this road go? And why is it so dangerous in the event of an earthquake?

It went to a dam, an old hydroelectric plant, built in the era when everything looked like it a set from Batman. I pulled over and took some pictures. Sometimes you can drive on top of a dam. I wondered if maybe I could get to the other side this way. There were no trespassing signs at the edges of the dam, but they were signs prohibiting you from jumping into the reservoir or over the spillway. I got to drive right across the top of the dam, and the road continued in the general direction of the geohash. But it wasn't going down onto the shoal, it was going back around the east side of the lake, and back to the highway.

I got on the highway and this time did take the right turn that didn't go anywhere to examine the signs on the fence. The fence was absolutely festooned with signs warning me not to trespass, nor park, and of the fines, dangers and penalties that would befall me if I disobeyed. There was a number to call if you were a visitor, and surely a geohasher is a sort of visitor. Sadly I hadn't brought my cellphone so I couldn't all the number and ask to visit, but I don't expect I would have been allowed. I'll call tomorrow and find out what it's all about.

I did pass a "recreational area" sign on the lake side of the road on the east side of the dam. That might have provided access that allowed me to sneak up on it from the other side, but it would have been a long way to go across a swamp filled with "hidden dangers." And I didn't think about that option until I got home. I had been expecting a quick side of the highway hash and hadn't come prepared with a rubber boat, alligator repellent and mine detection equipment.


Follow Up[edit]

I called the number on the No Trespassing poster and Ray, whose purview it is, is on holiday until Monday. To be continued ...