2009-08-06 48 8
Between Bondorf and Hailfingen, at the edge of two fields. No way leading there, but one of the fields was already harvested.
15 km as the crow flies and mostly harmless terrain is something you can't really miss. Also, it seemed that my recent tries to fix some bike issues were mostly successful, so a longer test trip was obligatory.
I went along a fast and well-known trail via Wurmlingen to Wendelsheim, took a few detours for OSM and easily reached Hailfingen. Since there was no hurry, I took some more detours and finished mapping that village, which featured a lot of small dead end roads, each of them only leading to a few houses. I'm not sure whether someone really observed me, but if they did, I surely was highly suspicious turning from the main road into a narrow side road, turning around at the end (which generally was around 50 m from the intersection), going back to the main road, about 10 times in a row.
Anyway, after having finished mapping, I found my way out to the hash. There was a gravel track leading until about 250 m from the hash, but there also was a creek parting the fields from the track. With only a small detour, I found a bridge and an unpaved track behind that which I followed.
About 100 m from the hash, I had to leave the track and find a way between the fields. That was a bit more difficult than expected - what had looked like maybe another tractor track on the aerial photo, was a creek, and what had looked like a stripe of grass between the fields was a small but steep piece of slope. The whole thing probably would have failed if it hadn't been for harvest season. Luckily, some of the fields were already harvested, so you could walk on them without bad conscience.
I got as near as about 5 m, when I found myself in a corner of a large field. I could have proceeded - probably even along tractor tracks (as seen on one of the pictures below) but decided I wouldn't want to risk any damage to the crop. Since this case is generally accepted as "coordinates reached", I count it as such.
For the way back, I chose another route, which took me into a beautiful valley I didn't really know before - actually, I knew the lower end but I had no idea that, coming from the upper end, there actually was a way into that valley. I took that way until - deep down, just below a motorway bridge, the way seemingly ended. The map showed that there should be continuing ways almost on bridge level, and without the bike it would be totally possible to climb up there... but with the bike, that was just too steep. On the other hand, I didn't really want to go up the entire valley again to find a way out.
Then I saw that a very narrow and overgrown footpath seemed to continue further down the valley, and that one I took. It was passable, even by bike, at least on a hot and dry day as it was. It might have been totally different on a wet day, as even now, the ground was more mud than solid at some places. Some nice nature impressions and less nice stinging nettle contacts the path turned to the creek - and for crossing the creek there was an old ford, which by the looks of it, must have been built many decades ago. Probably the path had been a through track in ancient times.
The path left the valley at this place, although there probably also was a continuing path further down. When reaching the top, there was even an information sign, and now I knew: I just had been in a nature reserve area, where it is forbidden to leave any ways, but the path I had been coming actually is a public way. Which, given the average width of about 20 cm, and the apparent low usage, was rather surprising. And it wouldn't have been allowed to continue down the valley from the ford during summer anyway - it's a bird protection area.
Finally, I got back to paved ways, and went home along the Ammer valley trail which has already been part of a good number of previous hashes.