2009-04-26 40 -74
Er, none really. We were out for the day in Berkeley Heights, and decided we had time to stop by in White House Station for a geohash.
When I looked up the location on the map, I figured this was the only one of the three locations this weekend that was really reachable. From the Google map, it was just a matter of getting to White House, going down Railroad Ave, and scooting across the tracks to the clearing on the other side.
When I got there, I discovered that Railroad Ave. rose and fell with the hilly geography common in northern parts of Somerset County. At the corner of Main Street, it was even with the tracks, but not far along it was as much as 30 feet lower, then only a few feet, then much lower again. When we crossed the intersection for Dove Cote Ct., it was about 20 feet up to the tracks, and I mostly expected to pitch it right there. I got out to take a picture of the tunnel, where the stream passed under the tracks.
Once I got close to the foot of the tracks, I felt the geohash calling to me. It can't be more than 100 yards away, I thought. "The shoulder of the tracks isn't too steep. I'll just climb up and see if the other side is steeper. I found a break in the greenery, checked to make sure there was no poison ivy, and scrambled up.
The top of the railroad grading was wider than I expected. The line is diesel-only, the only un-electrified line in New Jersey Transit's network, and this far from New York/Newark, there was only need for a single line of tracks. Still, the shoulders were broad enough room for a second line with plenty to spare.
The slope on the far side was much gentler, with only a down-climb of a few feet. On the far side of the clearing was a "no hunting" sign. Now, if there's a sign, then someone expects someone else to be there to read it, so while I was on private property, I could come and go as long as I didn't disturb anything. Crossing an active rail line is another thing, but the sign was facing the tracks, so again there must have been some expectation of someone getting there to read it?
- If a no-trespassing sign is posted in the woods, and no one is there to read it, is it still posted?
All this of course was just rationalizing which wouldn't stand up in court. (Yes, New Jerseyans think like this all the time.) So I took my pictures to prove I had gotten to the right spot, and departed.
It was pretty hot for April, even at 6PM it was still 90F. This may be the hottest geohash so far this year.