2009-05-30 49 -118
Drive to Edgewood. Pull over just before town. Hike the steep incline. Success!
 The Hike
I drove to Edgewood without stopping. The road paralleled the ridge I would have to climb, so I pulled over and parked at the closest point. In shorts and short-sleeves it was uncomfortably hot and humid, but I packed up my gear and jumped into the dense forest. There was no way around the steepness. The first half was a mere 200m distance, but with 140m in elevation (which pathagorous tells me is about 250m on foot). There was no trail, not even a game trail, but there were thorns of many sizes, and mosquitoes... lots of mosquitoes. I wished I had worn pants and long sleeves and sweated it out instead. It was undoubtedly the most unpleasant geohashing I had experienced, even surpassing my ugly first expedition.
I arrived at the top bleeding, bruised, bitten, and slick with dirt and sweat. I stumbled through the relatively flat summit more quickly than I should, partially to avoid mosquitoes, partially to get the whole thing over with. When I arrived near the coordinates I saw something I hadn't seen yet: wet, marshy ground. In fact, the GPS was telling me I should walk down into it. As I stepped through the muck and the mosquitoes grew thicker by the second. I normally take my time to get the GPS to read the coordinates exactly, but not this time. I'm not sure how common of an expression it is, but when talking about being stung by mosquitoes, people here will say you're "being eaten alive". It didn't feel like an expression this time.
Edgewood is one of those quaint communities that isn't on a highway. There are no larger communities nearby, leaving the general store to fulfill all the citizens needs. I parked at a small, vacant campground between the lake and a large creek. A man and his dog were hosting a fishing derby with no prizes. The cool breeze off the lake felt like heaven.
Years ago I had read a brief history of the former community of Needles. It was unclear why the settlement had disbanded, however all the remains were now at the bottom of the lake after the building of a dam. The only thing that survived was its cemetery, which had been curiously built high above everything else. Over the decades it has been occasionally maintained by anonymous individuals. Even though I had never been there before, this story never left me.
Needles today is known only as a dock for a small ferry. There is an unmarked road off the highway that leads to the cemetery. I was surprised to see internments as recent as 2008. I have been to many cemeteries, but none as peaceful as this one.
 Highway 6
As I've mentioned in other expeditions, Highway 6 is a wonderful drive. During the summer motorcycles will outnumber cars for this very reason. I rarely drive out this far, so I took the opportunity to stop and enjoy some of the sights.
 Lessons Learned
- Get some tough, light pants.
- DEET is a necessary evil.
|Juventas earned the Virgin Graticule Achievement|
| Juventas earned the Velociraptor Geohash Achievement