2009-05-28 49 9
Today's location is in the forest near Zellingen.
Country: Germany; state: Bayern (Bavaria, EU:DE:BY); administrative region: Unterfranken; district: Main-Spessart
Weather: During a large part of the day it was raining, but it stopped at 19:00. Later it was DARK.
My original plan was to cycle to the hashpoint in the afternoon, using the cycle path along the Main. Thepiguy and Srs0 planned to be at the hashpoint at about 18:00 and because of the weather I changed that plan to taking the train for part of the way, but when I left the house shortly after 17:00 the rain turned me back. At about 7pm the rain stopped, and I could not restrain myself. My plan was: Train to Retzbach-Zellingen at 19:35, cycle to the hashpoint and back (~8 km), return train at 20:43.
The train arrived at Retzbach-Zellingen at 19:44. I could not get on the bridge that crossed the Main next to the train station because there was no ramp nearby, instead I had to set out away from the hashpoint to the pedestrian bridge upriver. I had the directions written down and the map in my head (+ a screenshot for the area near the hashpoint), and in the beginning everything went as planned. For the "turn north for 150m with 25m uphill" part I had to get off and push the bike, but that was to be expected.
Then I arrived at "intersection with 5 tracks, go NNE and take right one of 2 parallel tracks, between religious things". I found the parallel tracks and a Via crucis (20:05) and took the right track, which went to the north as planned. After a short time the path was difficult to distinguish and then I didn't see it anymore. I continued north, because my instructions were "after 650m track arriving from the left, almost there" (at the "250" on the map). With no track available I pushed my bike along between the trees, sometimes carrying it over obstacles, until I arrived at a fence. He, was soll das? By then I guessed that I was too far to the east and when I followed the fence to the west it soon ended and I found a track that was running in the correct direction. When a track arrived from the left and the track started to slowly curve to the right I knew that I was almost at the hashpoint (20:20). From compairing the Google Maps satellite image (without tracks) with the Bavarian land survey's hybrid image (with tracks) I knew that the hashpoint was about halfway to the next intersection (~60m) and maybe a little bit to the north-west. So I measured the distance to the next intersection and after half that distance left the track to walk around between the trees. As usual I chose a tree with smooth bark to be the hashpoint and marked it with "xkcd" (20:30). I then explored the nearer area, even finding the next track in north-western direction, which assured me that I was at the correct location.
On the way back I stayed on the track and soon found myself at the Via crucis again, but on the left/westerly of the tracks I had seen before. As it turned out there were three things that looked like tracks, and the most easterly one which I had taken before was not a real one. I had a look at the Stations (numbers XII to XIV in that place, 20:50), then continued back towards home, using a slightly different route to pass the other Stations. When I arrived back at the Main, numbers I and II were still missing. A glance at my watch told me that I wouldn't be in time for the 21:13 RE train, so I decided to cycle to the next train station instead of waiting. I tried the eastern bank of the Main and found a cycle track that went to Veitshöchheim. By the time I arrived at Veitshöchheim train station (~21:40), it was getting dark. I found out that the RB train that I wanted to take, which goes hourly during the day, is discontinued after 20:45. Oops. And the RE train doesn't stop at Veitshöchheim. And the next bus will only be there one hour later. And as far as I know there is no cycle track along this side of the Main to Würzburg, and even if there is one I don't know where it is. But I want to go home...
I consulted the low-resolution maps (google, zoom=13) which I always carry with me on bike expeditions. The best available route would include many slopes, but I had no choice. Well, I had a choice, but waiting for one hour didn't really inspire me. I set out towards Oberdürrbach, uphill. It was dark and I had never been on that road, but I continued until I arrived at an intersection which I remembered from one of my first expeditions. From there it was just downhill, uphill, more uphill, downhill. I arrived at home at 22:30.
Wildlife encounters: 3 ticks
Total distance by bike: 5.9 km + 22.8 km = 28.7 km; Uphill: 340 m
Hoping to be at the hashpoint by 18:00, we actually ended up leaving our place at 18:00 due to other commitments. It was raining as we left on our bikes, and we fully expected to earn the Drowned Rat achievement, but the rain stopped within a minute or two. The bike ride to Zellingen went well, and by around 18:50 we had reached the road below the geohash. Not knowing that there was a road up the hill, which Danatar apparently found, we locked up our bikes beside the highway and started climbing.
It was an extremely steep climb too, and we both slipped and fell several times on the wet grass, leaves, and the like. Thepiguy took many pictures of the terrible terrain, but around 50m to the geohash the hill stopped, and they ran into a path. This must have been the path that Danatar found and took. We then crossed the path, went up the last bit in a relatively level forest area, and celebrated reaching the geohash! We then slowly made their way back down to the bikes, ate some nibs, took a picture of thepiguy's hashcot (since by the time he realized that Murray was forgotten, we were partway up the hill, and decided that it was way too hard to go back down and come up again).
For an idea of how steep that hill was, and how jealous we are of Danatar once again finding a better way, here are some times.
- Locked up bikes: 18:50
- Reached the geohash: 19:10
- Reached our bikes again: 19:35
Note that the distance we travelled, each way, was under 200m.
We then biked home, and got back at around 20:20 or so. I'd write more, but Danatar already put up a better writeup.
Distance: 39km by bike (20km there, 19km back). The climbing by foot was the hard part though, not the biking there and back. (tracklog)
| Srs0 and Thepiguy earned the Consecutive geohash achievement
See 2009-05-27 for the first.