2009-05-23 49 9
Today's hashpoint is located in the forest on the border between the German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.
While planning the geohash Friday evening, it became apparent that the map that Srs0 had printed out was almost exactly to scale with the bike map of the region surrounding Würzburg that Srs0 and thepiguy have. You may think this would be helpful and immediately apparent, but it ended up confusing both Srs0 and thepiguy due to expecting a different scale, and therefore looking for cities and roads in the wrong places. Once that was figured out, planning became much more simple, and they decided to head out at 12:00 or so on Saturday.
The day of the geohash dawned, and they headed to the local bike shop so thepiguy could order in some more bike gear. It ended up being busy, so they were delayed and actually started at around 13:00.
The first leg
Thepiguy and Srs0 started biking up a hill. Then that hill became another hill. Then another. Soon enough, they were at a much higher altitude than where they lived, and though undoubtedly thepiguy was fine, Srs0 was feeling it. However, this quickly changed when we reached an unpaved section of the "Romantic Road" (or Romantische Straße as the signs said), and thepiguy was dismayed, due to his road bike. He was even heard exclaiming "You know what's romantic? PAVEMENT!" before grumbling and taking his nice road bike down the gravel road.
Eventually forsaking the bike path, they got onto a small highway towards Eisingen, continued to Waldbrunn, and then went down an enormous hill. Then, at the bottom, they paused. Where were they?
So begins the tales of, as thepiguy puts it, "The Hapless Foreign Geohasher" (though Srs0 insists that the locals were just nice people). At first it was both of them, as both thepiguy and srs0 were approached by three other individual bikers while trying to figure out where they were and where they were going. All three were greeted with "Ich sprechen kein Deutsch" (I don't speak German), then "Sprechen Sie Englisch?" (do you speak English?). Surprisingly, they all knew enough, and helped the adventurers until they thought they knew where they were going. Then, they went around 100m, before deciding they really didn't know, and the next person would stop by.
As can be seen by the gps logs, both Srs0 and thepiguy went back and forth between three different places a few times before stopping for a good long time, breaking out both gps units, and a map. After a while of deliberation, they finally determined where they actually were (they had gone farther than they thought they had), and were finally back on the road. So passed at least half an hour!
Tales of the Hapless Foreign Geohasher, Parts 2 and 3
As the adventurers continued on, Srs0 noticed that his water supplies were getting low. Upon reaching the town of Helmstadt, he told thepiguy that he was going to find a place to buy some water before they left. Now Helmstadt isn't a very large town, but it was bigger than a couple other ones that they had passed, so he was hopeful. After cycling around for a bit while thepiguy waited, he had determined that all of the stores were either closed, or their patrons were invisible. Deciding that it was probably the former, he decided to stop by the local fire hall, where there were two or three fire fighters standing outside and talking. Thankfully, one of them spoke English, and Srs0 explained that he was looking for a store that sold water, and asked if they could direct him. He was then informed that all of the stores in the town closed at 14:00 on Saturdays, and it was currently around 15:00. However, the fireman asked Srs0 how much water he was hoping to buy, and Srs0 replied that he just wanted to fill his water bottle (which was currently at around 15% capacity). The nice man responded by sending one of the others to grab a bottle of water, which he was given! After much thanks (in both English and German), Srs0 left with a refilled water bottle, and a grin on his face. It was at this point that thepiguy started referring to Srs0 as the Hapless Foreign Geohasher.
Unfortunately for Srs0, this wasn't the end. Upon reaching the next town, Neubrunn, Srs0 noticed that a grocery store seemed to still be open. He told thepiguy to wait for a minute while he grabbed some Coke (so they could celebrate at the geohash) and more water (so he wouldn't run out on the way back). Upon walking into the store, he discovered that it was empty. No, wait, there were two people in the front of the store apparently cleaning up. Oh, the store had just closed. Uh oh. Srs0 looked down at the bottles of coke and water that he was holding, considered putting them back, but then threw caution to the wind and approached the two (as there was nobody at the cash registers). Unfortunately, they both replied negatively to him asking if they spoke English. Around now Srs0 was wondering why he still hadn't taken the German courses he was meaning to. After some laughing at his attempts to say (or mime) that he wanted to buy the coke and water, he pulled out his wallet, and they figured it out, or took pity on him as thepiguy says. Now, armed with Coke and water, the adventurers continued on.
The last leg
Leaving Neubrunn, Srs0 and thepiguy continued on and passed the border into Baden-Württemberg. They then took another highway, and followed the border for around 500m until the gps said to head straight into the forest. Leaving the road, they wandered into the forest for a while, possibly re-entering Bavaria, or at least coming close, until they found the geohash. Thepiguy took his normal pictures, and they celebrated with Coke, melted chocolate bars, nibs, wafers, and peanuts. After a bit of a rest, they took some pictures of the nearby wind turbines by the highway, and then headed back towards Würzburg.
The return trip
A lot less can be said about the return trip, excluding one point. As Srs0 was biking down an innocent looking stretch of the bike path, he was attacked by a raptor! Thankfully he was going fast enough that the raptor couldn't do any serious damage and didn't chase him, but it left one of its claws in his arm! The sneaky raptor was hiding in a protruding thorny bush. Thepiguy took a picture, and says that Srs0 must have the first evidence of an actual raptor claw. As such, Srs0 begrudgingly decided that he'd take the achievement, though he was hoping to save it for a larger assault. However, the actual presence of a raptor claw itself couldn't be ignored!
Upon finally arriving home, Srs0 and thepiguy collapsed, took showers, and then logged onto the wiki to tell the world about their adventures. Due to how a large portion of the events happened to Srs0, it was decided that he'd write the actual expedition report, and that's that.
On an interesting note, to show how the adventurers really had no idea where they were heading, it took them almost exactly 40km to get to the geohash, but their final odometer readings were only 68.5km.
| thepiguy and Srs0 earned the 2009 Mouse Over Day achievement