2009-03-24 48 9
The hashpoint is at the margin of a residential area at Dettenhausen, a large village in the Schönbuch forest.
There was: Only about 35 km to go round trip, a probably easily accessible location, and a weather forecast that promised only a little bit of rain. I prepared for a round trip by bike, searching a number of geocaches along the way. All counted together, that was an easy thing.
Well, first, the weather held me back. The forecast had been wrong as usual, actually it was cold and wet in the morning. Until noon, they finally had changed the forecast to now show rain and possibility for snow for the past few hours. Well, if you can call that a forecast then - after all, they just had adjusted it retroactively to the facts. However, they still expected dry, partly even sunny weather for the afternoon (and strong rain for the evening, with no indication when "evening" would start). Around noon, a strong case of XKCD 386 haunted the channels, and when I finally left home, it was almost hash o'clock. Could have waited for that also. Or, better not, since that's always followed by some lengthy research.
Dettenhausen is only about one hour to go by bike on the fastest trail, up into the Schönbuch forest hills on a mostly gentle slope and then steeply down into the village at the end. I decided for a way that was not the exactly fastest but neither much of a detour, and would meet a few conveniently located caches in the forest. Apart from a single fallen tree on the way, not even the past storm made for any obstacles. Well, I'll just ignore the fact it was cold and windy, also there was snow. One particularily uncomfortable snow shower left me waiting a few minutes in a shelter named Bärenlochhütte (bear pits hut, although I neither saw bears nor a pit there). Of course, there seems always to be snow on my expeditions, so that isn't really worth mentioning, is it? Also, it melted on ground contact, so there was really no reason to worry about, and in fact I smoothly reached the village margin.
Decided to try an approach rather from outside to draw less attention from residents and soon found myself in front of the gate to a small organic waste facility. Er. Ok, there was a footpath around, so that wasn't any problem either. The hash field actually wasn't fenced. Parked the bike near a goat paddock, and got to the point without trampling on crop. Come and go. Leaving a marker was no option because a) the wind would have blown it away immediately, b) the residents started to get suspicious. Prepared a non-answer in case I was stopped, but didn't need it as they seemed to be confident with the fact that I just went past them and vanished into the village.
To the railway station first, because the office there stocks a special kind of prepaid transport tickets which are both rare collectors items and handy for spontaneous expeditions. Found that I didn't have enough money, so I went down to the centre to visit a bank, then up to the station again to pay for the tickets. On a second thought... I could also try for a hashcard. So, down to the centre once more, haunt the shops without success, and up again.
Now it was 17:00 and daylight would last until 18:30. Dark clouds raced another over the sky. Getting home as soon as possible sounded like a plan, so I went for the way along the main road as that one is all paved. The forest tracks are mostly more or less bad gravel, so even downhill they limit you to 25-30 km/h. Took a forest track anyway in the end, as the signs on the last picture in the gallery strongly suggested to reroute...
After all, this was a rather quick forest ride with no special encounters. Hope the next expedition will leave more to tell :)