2009-09-08 44 -92
Just north of Welch.
As Geo Hashing was becoming habit forming, Mark found himself busy fetching coordinates as he walked to lunch. Sure there was a job to go to and work to do but only the hash really mattered. 8:30 comes, the coordinates go up. Approximately 100 feet off the road, up a wooded hillside only 45 minutes away. Well, once a run of consecutive hashes starts, it's hard to argue that a little driving is too much for an easy continuation.
With a little checking around for interest, Mark talked TheYouper into joining. At the end of the work day, the sun descending in the West, they set out for Welch, a little town (if even that) nested in a picturesque river valley. Up the highway and across the country they zoomed, through a tiny town and descending the winding path into the valley. After a brief stop at the lone odd "intersection" of sorts in Welch to ready the GPS, they drove up the winding road back out of the valley, scouting for parking near the hash.
As luck would have it, a small parking spot existed right next to the hash point on a road that was otherwise to narrow to turn around. After driving the rest of the way out of the valley, having drove past the parking spot too fast, they turned around and returned to their destination finding it perfectly pleasant. Much as the map had predicted, they found themselves at the foot of a naturally vegetated hillside, unfortunately a little denser than one might hope.
Protected by boots, long pants, and long sleeves, they added a little mild bug spray and set off into the chest-high vegetation. Twenty to thirty feet in, TheYouper decided to value life-and-limb over glory and bragging rights and wandered back to watch from the road, rather than climb over a pile of fallen trees. Mark, much less sensibly, continued on, occasionally finding a foot snagged in the vegetation that grew together into a tangled web. Thankfully, Mark thought to himself, these plants only formed snares by chance and by nature, not with malice and intent like those that Harry Potter would have encountered. How good it is to live in the non-fiction world.
Stepping down on the plants to make his way through their web, Mark encountered a new challenge as his GPS pointed right up the hill he had come to. It had been easy to step on the plants when they were below where you stood, but now having to step on ones that are higher up, while staying upright and trying to avoid touching all of the sharp points on the vegetation? Mark began to move forward onto the hill, but his progress was immediately resisted. Looking down he realized there was a barbed wire fence right in front of him. Look left. Look right. Usually a barbed wire fence is worn out enough to find an easy way over, but this one stood tall. Then Mark glanced again at his GPS. Wypt Dist (mi): 0.00. Sweet! No need to cross the fence. Just shoot a few pictures and head out.
The drive back to Rochester yielded much beautiful countryside and some wonderful views of the sunset.