2009-07-12 49 -122
A backyard in Langley, 7m from the nearest public lane (I checked the local GIS map).
I can make pretty much any time of day. Nominally 4pm if there are no other suggestions. --Fbfree 17:14, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Rhonda and Xore can probably be there by 5:30pm or 6:00pm --Rhonda 19:02, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
- I'll be there around 5pm then. We'll meet at the back lane then walk around front for the ambassedorship.--Fbfree 19:05, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
My original wiki entry didn't make it. Wierd.
As I last checked the wiki and weather before departing, I found Rhonda and Xore's ETA at the hash. I planned to arrive by 5pm (allowing for lots of extra time.) As I left home by bike, I discovered a flat front tire. It held after pumping, but I found that it was a slow leak requiring repumping every 20 min. I took my usual south of the river route along Townshipline and 56th avenues. I stopped by the Langley IGA to fetch dinner, drink, and chocolate to share. I reached the hash directly, (peeking at the map only one block from it) at around 4:15pm.
I passed the time repairing my blown and spare tire tubes, and checking the truness on my wheels. The flat was caused by a thorn I had removed the day before while retruing the front wheel. I also ate, explored the area and attempted to measure the distance to the hash from the nearest survey monument. As I had reversed my front tire to replace the tube, I had misadjusted the cyclecomputer's magnet, allowing it to skip some tire revolutions, and annulling my measurement.
The hash point was located 7m south and 7m west of the corner of a townhouse complex property. My closest approach was at 7m north of the point. The neighbour's dog had noticed me milling about. When the owner investigated, he seemed completely unfazed by a cyclist waiting for over an hour 70m up an unused alley in the middle of suburbia. It made me wonder what else happens in that neighbourhood.
I waited until 6:15pm for fellow geohashers, left a 'the internet was here' sign with a random xkcd comic. As rain was threatening, I left it in a plastic bag.
The weather forcast had given a 30% chance of showers for that afternoon. On my way home, dark clouds seemed to always be ahead, but never above me. At around the jog in Townshipline Ave, a shower passed overhead, but it did only polkadotted my shoulders. Nowhere near drowning me.
I arrived home around 9pm. It's always slower getting back home by bicycle. Especially when you live 300 vertical meters up a mountain.
 Rhonda & Xore
After playing tag with another group of people from the internet, Rhonda and Xore hopped on the skytrain and then the 502 to Langley. It was nearly 6, still within Xore's ETA of 5:30-6 when the bus came to the 196 Street stop. He insisted that this was the stop they wanted, even though Rhonda thought the next stop at 198 Street would be more appropriate.
Xore confidently led the way through a parking lot adjacent to 196 St until it became clear that this route was not the one they wanted, and then led the way back to the Fraser Highway and along it toward 198 St, attempting various other shortcuts along the way, with varying degrees of success and with comments about how much the area had changed.
Eventually we found the "alley" that ran behind the fenced backyard. It wasn't so much an alley as a pair of wheel ruts in a grassy trail about the width of an alley.
Rhonda counted down the meters to 9 and then back up again, right about where we expected it. She walked back and forth a couple of times to determine the closest spot along the fence, since her GPS gets very confused about directions when it isn't moving and doesn't have anything so fancy as the numeric heading that Robyn's GPS has.
One advantage (in situations like this) that Rhonda's GPS does have however is the relatively low accuracy and instability of readings. Due to the circle of uncertainty wandering between 7 and 11m and the distance to hash point wandering between 7 and 4m, we actually managed to satisfy the general consensus of "within the GPS' accuracy" for reaching the location, even though we knew very well it was a few metres on the other side of the fence. We debated whether or not we could claim "co-ordinates reached" with the Google maps image being more accurate than the GPS receiver.
Right at the spot on the fence Rhonda identified, a ziploc bag with a folded piece of paper inside caught her eye, from its position at eye height and between the boards of the fence. Some writing was visible, and said "quick! try it with 'Love'!" Curious, Rhonda pulled the bag from the fence and opened it, unfolding the paper to reveal the Elevator comic from xkcd on one side and the google maps printout on the other side. As there was nowhere suitable to chalk (and we figured the owners might not appreciate chalk marks on their fence) we returned the paper inside its bag to the fence, wondering if the owners inside might see it and wonder what it was all about.
There were very unripe raspberries and moderately unripe cherries hanging into the alley on the other side, and Rhonda ate part of one of the unripe cherries due to being very hungry. It was tart, and definitely unripe.
Then we walked back out to Fraser Highway to look for a place to get dinner, since it was now about 8PM and we hadn't eaten since before tag.