2009-08-18 40 -74
In the woods behind #1 Norz Lane, South Branch, Somerset County.
Google walking direction identify that the geohash is 7.5 miles from my office, and the return trip is 7.5 miles home by a more northerly route. I figured that's within my range, so I took a shot at it.
Taking 206 South to Valley Rd. was a requirement, since an earlier geohash determined that Dukes Parkway West is not bicycle friendly. There was an accident on Dukes Pkwy that closed the road, so it was fortuitous that I had planned on another route anyway.
Leaving the office at 6:00PM meant I encountered heavy rush-hour traffic on 206 South. This was actually a good thing, since slower traffic is safer for me to share the road with.
Directions to the hash were somewhat repetative. Go west until the road comes to a tee, then turn right and make the next left, repeat until you reach River Rd. Unfortunately, I made the wrong turn on River Rd., and went nearly 2 miles in the wrong direction before it sank in that I went the wrong way. With the extra distance, I cycled 11.1 miles to the corner of River Rd. and Norz Ln.
At the corner, there was a Neighborhood Watch sign, so I knew to be extra careful about trespassing. The open field next to the first house, however, had a sign that read "Hillsborough Township Open Space -- Hunting allowed (written permit only)". I wasn't hunting, so I didn't need a permit; I tracked my way into the trees.
The copse was not very large, and individual trees were countably few, in the satellite photo and in person. I tracked my way to the tree under which the geohash lay and yelled "touchdown!" Ok, I didn't really yell, I was close to someone's backyard. But I took a few minutes to enjoy the view of the darkening sky to the west, and estimate whether I could get to more urtbanized territory before full darkness.
A five-mile haul brought me to Somerset St. in Raritan, in front of the Quick Chek. From this point, I'm practically home. Somerset St. eastbound intersects Main St. in Somerville, and I was soon on my regular bike route home. I reached home at 8:40PM, about 20 minutes before the heat-lightning began, triumphant from my longest bicycle trip in many years.
Google walking directions: 624 Courtyard to (River Rd. and Beekman Ln. via Orchard Dr. to ) 1 Norz Ln. to 419 Catherine St.
Total distance: 18.6 miles.
Did I mention my phone was dead from the beginning of the trip? Sorry, no photographic evidence. :-(