2009-05-16 42 -84

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Sat 16 May 2009 in Lansing:
42.3770048, -84.7785416

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The day's hash point fell on a walkway between two sewage oxidation ponds.


excellentdude: With the semester over and a little time to relax before some travels and my summer job, I was definitely in the mood for some good opportunities to geohash. This Saturday presented one such opportunity. When I saw the coordinates, I knew they were not far from a hash I'd been to about a month before. When I looked more closely at the map, I saw they were right along a road I had taken to get back home from that hash. The satellite view showed the point to be between a few darker circles. From previous experience flying and geohashing, I figured these circles were there because of a circular irrigation system in some farmer's field.

When I arrived near the hash site, I was pleased to find the Clarence Township building very close by. For a short time, I thought the hash might be on public land associated with that building. The GPS said otherwise, though. It was on the next lot to the west. Even with that being the case, it was a Saturday afternoon so the township building provided an excellent place to park.

As I walked to the next lot, construction equipment came into view and made me think I would be thwarted. When I arrived, I saw a sign describing the construction that indicated this was still public land, though Duck Lake was a little ways west of this actual site. Furthermore, the construction was minor and only happening at the entrance, so I could continue with no problem. This hash might be a success yet. Not much later, though, as I approached the coordinates I saw a fence with a padlocked gate. This might not be a success after all. Right beside the gate, I saw a sign proclaiming this site to be Calhoun County's sewage oxidation ponds. In case anybody ever actually wanted to get close to the ponds, the sign made it clear that trespassing was not allowed. At this point, I still wasn't sure if the hash point would be off limits to me or not. So I proceeded west along the fence. Along the way, I got a couple pictures of something bubbling up from one of the ponds. Lovely. For a short time, I thought the point was a little way behind the whole sewage treatment complex. Because of that, I started following a path through the woods that I thought would take me back there. That ended up failing because 1) the path didn't go in that direction at all, and 2) the hash point was right in the middle of the sewage treatment facility after all. Figuring that out, I went back to the facility, got as close as I could to the actual hash point, and took a few pictures and GPS readings. The GPS says I got within 150 feet, but from eyeballing the location and the satellite map, I think it was more like within 50 - 100 feet.

On the way out, I walked around to the other side of the facility to possibly get some more photos if there was anything else interesting. While I was over there, I saw a gap between the fence and a building big enough to squeeze through. I could have technically reached the hash point without crossing through or over a fence. That said, the place was clearly marked "no trespassing", I was clearly not wanted there, and proceeding would completely violate the spirit of our sport. Remembering an expedition I'd read not so long ago where someone proceeded to a hash anyway despite being denied access just because they found a back way in, I smiled because I was doing the right thing and left. So, in the end, the coordinates were not reached, but I enjoyed myself and got some interesting pictures.  :-)


excellentdude earned the No trespassing consolation prize
by almost reaching the (42, -84) geohash on 2009-05-16.