2009-05-10 49 9
Today's location is on a slope in the forest near Retzstadt.
Country: Germany; state: Bayern (Bavaria, EU:DE:BY); administrative region: Unterfranken; district: Main-Spessart
The first part of Danatar's trip was easy, on the well-known cycle path along the Main until Zellingen. In Zellingen Danatar crossed the bridge to Retzbach, where he almost lost his way in the tiny streets. After a while he made it through and continued on another cycle track towards Retzstadt. Google maps shows a track that goes along the main road and then, shortly before reaching Retzstadt, turns back and towards the hashpoint. So Danatar kept his eyes open for a 170° fork/turn. Then he arrived in Retzstadt. Er... dude, where's my track? After some confused moments Danatar recognized the particular geometry of the nearby streets and found out that Google didn't know about the track he had just travelled on. He went uphill until he found a track going in the correct direction (back) and followed it.
The track turned from tarmac to gravel and Danatar found a fork that fit Google's description, except that the branch he would have come from was only a small path and not a nice track. But now he knew his directions and rode into the forest. The track turned from gravel to dirt, then to mud (luckily hard enough to cycle on), then the track narrowed to a path only one foot wide. Danatar questioned his orientation, but where could he have possibly gone wrong? While following the path, he met an elderly couple. "Oh, you have a map, where are you going?" they asked - "I just follow this path" - "Okay, but where are you going to?" - "Well, just along this path, into the forest" - "But you have to go somewhere, don't you?" - "Um, I only go a little bit more in this direction to a place in the forest" - "There is nothing here. This path doesn't lead anywhere!?" - "Yes, it's an adventure game, I'm going to meet some guys in the middle of the forest" - "...???... Well, you will find a raised hide, and there is a track going down into the valley" - "Yeah, thank you, bye...". Danatar continued along the path (there was no other possibility anyway, and it made the right kind of turns), passed the raised hide and finally reached the turn that best fit the map at 15:50.
From there, a small ravine went downhill into the direction where the hashpoint should be. Danatar followed it, staying on the southern side, and suddenly he heard voices. A few moments later he saw thepiguy and srs0 at the edge of the forest, on the other side of another ravine. All three of them went the last metres to the hashpoint, each one trying to find his own best route. The GPS zeroed on a spot only 5 metres from the path Danatar had just taken.
After a brief rest, picture-taking and marking the spot, Danatar went back to his bike and retraced his trail, almost taking a wrong turn that probably would have left him lost in the wilderness. At the 170° fork, not wanting to go to Retzstadt again, Danatar decided to take the path he had planned to have arrived on. He rolled along the leaf-covered path and finally emerged in a place he remembered, easily recognizable from the colorful decoration. Who would have thought there was a path next to this distracting thing (whatever it is)?
Now back to Retzbach and then along the Main to Würzburg: 10 km from home, exhaustion started to grow. Danatar would have very much liked to stop in a Biergarten and drink a cold, fresh, sparkling Radler, but there was none along the way. And there was no chocolate bar in the backpack to replenish his energy... 5 km from home Danatar had to make a short stop, but it didn't get better and he continued, suffering with every move. On the last tiny slope near his home, Danatar even had to get off the bike and push it, because he had no power left.
Once again brimming with ill-advised enthusiasm the two Canadian geohashers headed north out of Würzburg. Today they were able to find the correct bike path and make it all the way to Zellingen without so much as looking at a map. This is where their luck ended.
Thepiguy had looked up directions on google but got a little confused when some of the roads didn't have names. As he soon discovered, this was because they wern't so much roads as they were paths through the forest. Having already travelled 17km with only 1.5 to go, thepiguy got off of his very new and very road bike and walked along behind srs0 on his equally new but much less road bike.
They hiked/rode along increasingly narrower and more suspicious paths wondering how far back they had made a wrong turn. As it began to be apparent that they were no where near where they had planned, they began to talk about their respective stupidity distances. thepiguy stated his was 250m while srs0 quoted 500m. As it turns out, they were both wrong, because when their path came to a dead end 0.65km from the coordinates they locked their bikes to a tree and started walking straight in the direction of the coordinates.
Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads.
Their first obstacle was the rather large hill in front of them. They scrambled up the debris covered slope and easily wound their way between the large trees. At the top they were greeted by some very thick impassable bushes. Following srs0's guidance they walked around mass of foliage and emerged at the edge of a field. They shimmied around the crops, staying on the very edge as not to damage anything. Once on the other side of the field, the gps pointed them directly to their left through more bushes and down an even steeper hill that the one they had previously climbed. Once
safely down the hill they emerged onto yet another farmers field. They again walked around the edge of the crops and into yet another large set of bushes.
At a distance of 50m, this is where the real fun began! Before them was an incredibly steep drop into a small ditch/ravine followed by a final climb up one last slope. As srs0 found a safe way across, thepiguy decided to take the rotten log bridge (which he managed to get across fine!) and march directly up the hill.
It was around here that we once again met Danatar, who was coming from the exact opposite (and much more sane) direction. We all stood around on the side of the hill, had a few nibs, took a picture and marveled at Danatar's ability to write sideways on a tree with chalk.
The geohashers parted ways once again, each retracing their steps out of fear of being lost in the forest forever.
For hilarities sake, here's the tracklog from the adventure. Make sure you check out the part at the very end where when we leave the road and start walking at random.