2009-08-30 -38 144

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Sun 30 Aug 2009 in -38,144:
-38.0775160, 144.3233754

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Contents

[edit] The Place

Just outside Geelong, in the north west, on a semi-rural property

[edit] Who Is Going

[edit] Expedition

[edit] Felix Dance

This geohash was much easier than the one last week (in fact the more epic day was the day before when I had to ride all over inner eastern Melbourne in the pouring rain to three separate share-houses in search of my lent-out GPS so I could do today's hash), but it still had its charms and minor dramas which I'm happy to delve into.

Feeling pretty lazy but still determined to finally deflower the Geelong graticule, I got my shit together about 11:30, in time to take my bike on the 12 o'clock train from Spencer Street to Geelong. I was lambasted by Stevage for wussing out on riding the whole way, but I had a time constraint I was pretty eager to adhere to in the form of a wedding I was getting bussed to at 4:30, so I was keen to eliminate as many uncontrolled variables as I could.

Anyway, the train ride was short and sweet, during which time I continued my Robert Heinlein book from the previous week (note to self: too much extraneous information for impatient readers). Rather than getting off at Geelong station proper, I figured I'd get off at the earlier North Shore - this decision would have ramifications for later in the arfternoon.

I found myself riding into a massive head-wind, threatening to jeopardise my plan to get back in 40 minutes for the return trip. On top of this it started to piss down with rain as I crossed the Geelong Bypass. But soon I was climbing the hill to the hash, with my GPS telling me I only had a few hundred metres further to travel.

Stopping at the front gate to the property in which the geohash was situated I surveyed my surroundings. The point was just next to the house near the south fence-line of this semi-rural property and so I would be clearly visible from the house at the point. Knowing this, I decided to go for the 'ambassador' award and ask permission to reach the exact geohash location, but as I walked up the driveway and around the side of the house I could not see any sort of front door.

Since I was already in the property, and clearly making an attempt to contact the occupiers (who it was becoming clearer weren't home anyway) I decided I'd just sidle a couple of metres to my right and stand on the hash - whipping out my camera to take a couple of hasty shots of the GPS and surrounds. by now it was quite heavily raining so I abandoned my attempt to alert the owners and got out of there, hash completed (about 12:15pm).

On the ride back down the hill and towards the station I stopped to take a few interesting photos of the rain-obscured local sights such as the Shell oil refinery (as displayed below!).

As I rode towards the station I was suddenly gripped with the realisation that there was now a massive tailwind, and that tailwind was pointing straight at Melbourne - it would certainly be an awesome 70km ride back in to town (which I've done many times, but tend to find boring at low speeds). I was briefly excited by this possibility before inevitably doing the maths and realising that if everything went totally perfectly I would only just catch the bus to the wedding, and things never go totally perfectly so I would definitely miss it. I cursed myself for being so lazy - if I'd taken the 11am train to Geelong I would have plenty of time!

Getting to the North Shore station, with the only drama for that leg being swooped and hit by a magpie - always quite a shock, I boarded the platform and waited for the train.

Not having much to do for the ten minutes before the train was due to arrive I took to reading the timetable displayed on the inside of the shelter, and surprise surprise - the train was not going to stop at that station. If only I'd ridden straight to North Geelong station like I'd planned! Resigning to missing the train and having to take the next one - dangerously close to causing me to miss the wedding bus - I jumped back on my bike and hurtled towards the next station, which was in the direction of the oncoming train, leaving me with even less time.

Not having the time to stop and admire the scenery of the Land of the Freight Trains, I soon came to the North Geelong station - and the train was already there! As I raced towards it the doors were closing. By the time I got onto the platform the light on the door had switched off - I'd missed the train. But it hadn't started moving... And the light for the door suddenly switched back on! I pressed it and it opened! To my amazement, I had actually caught the train, with about 0.5 seconds to spare - I would be going to my friend's wedding after all. (Although later the conductor would tell me, "Closing the doors sure makes you get there quick.")

Feeling pretty relieved, I read my book as the train flew towards Melbourne. At Lara a girl got on and I noticed a rogaining sticker on her bike - I used to do a fair bit of rogaining a few years ago (a sport involving 24 hours of running around a large state park navigating towards checkpoints, similar to orienteering) so we struck up a conversation. After telling her about geohashing she said she'd Google it - so hello Marika if you're reading this.

Anyway, I managed to get home, and even had enough time to upload the photos before riding to Richmond to catch the wedding bus. Had a great night too - Jewish weddings rock.

Yeah - this description is probably unnecessarily long for the easiness and wussiness of the actual hash, but it's a slow day at work and hell, who reads these things anyway?

[Here's] the route of my expedition.

[edit] Photos

Virgin-graticule.png
Felix Dance earned the Virgin Graticule Achievement
by being the first to reach any hashpoint in the (-38, 144) graticule, here, on 2009-08-30.
2009 08 30 -38-144 Bike Near Geohash.jpg