2009-09-18 49 9

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Fri 18 Sep 2009 in Würzburg:
49.9523530, 9.9190686

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Today's location is in the forest near Arnstein's boroughs Müdesheim and Halsheim.

Country: Germany; state: Bayern (Bavaria, EU:DE:BY); administrative region: Unterfranken; district: Main-Spessart



Heading out right after work I had high hopes of getting back before dark. I took the usual bike rout to Zellingen and then took a right and headed up a gigantic hill towards the hash. The highway ended up being a bit scarier than I had expected and I really hoped I wouldn't have to bike along it in the dark. The roads got progressively smaller until I ended up on a small dirt road less than a kilometer from the coordinates.

I switched to my second GPS and started walking along a small path that lead up a hill next to a forest. A little while later, while still walking, I decided to check my other GPS to see where the nearest road was. It was then I noticed they were pointing me in two very different directions. Oops. I took out the coordinates and found that I was heading to a point one minute of longitude from the geohash. Oops.

Once back at the bottom of the hill, I headed of in the right direction. This time I ended up in the middle of a very creepy forest. It was 19:05 when I took my pictures at the Geohash. I was going to stay longer but the it was getting dark and the forest was starting to get to me. I even thought I heard someone else walking around!


After one and a half weary hours of overtime I started to drive towards home. At the motorway interchange Schweinfurt/Werneck I didn't turn onto A7 but continued straight ahead towards Arnstein. At the last intersection before Arnstein I saw a sign: "Route through Arnstein blocked". Uh. The shortest detour would be not very short. I continued to Arnstein. Along the main road I encountered more signs like "do not turn left here" "road blocked" or "no entry", so I turned into a side street. Navigating by my GPS's overview map I reached, after many turns and crossing a residential area, the borough Heugrumbach where I found another "no entry" sign. Again I took the nearest side street, one not blocked but under reconstruction and not tarmaced. It led me to the road I was aiming for and I could continue to Halsheim.

At the last houses of Halsheim I parked my car and started to climb the Winterberg on foot at 18:25. After following a dirt track through the forest for 15 minutes I reached some fields. While walking along a better track coming from Müdesheim I found a place where a pear tree had covered the track in rotting fruit and heard a familiar buzzing. And indeed, feeding on a pear was another hornet. I tried to take a picture but whenever I got near enough it flew away. Then I picked a few pears that weren't gnawed at. Next to the pear tree were apple trees, so I picked some apples, too. It was easier to find good apples because pears rot easily while apples are more solid. I was happy to have a plastic bag with me.

Onward I went. The fields ended and I followed a forest track that went into the correct direction. Suddenly I heard movement sounds and saw two deer run away into the deeper forest, a female with a fawn. A bag of apples and the GPS in one hand, my other hand gripping the camera and a half-eaten apple at the same time, I was not fast enough to take a picture. When I had finished the apple I continued, camera ready, this time trying to walk a little more silently, stopping now and again to listen for sounds. A few minutes later I saw something blue off the track that turned out to be half a hearing protector when I went nearer. In that moment another deer started to run away and I was able to film it. The rest of the way to the hashpoint was uneventful, though I had to zig-zag through the forest to find an easy to use route on the last bit.

At 19:20 I was at the hashpoint and started to take pictures. I wanted to call thepiguy and ask where he was, but my mobile phone had no reception. For a while I stayed at the hashpoint, watching the GPS's display wander to and fro within 10 metres with the GPS's hardware lying in the same place. At sunset the GPS turned into night mode and I decided to leave. Between the trees it was already quite dim but I found the way back to the pear tree easily. There I listened for a while and finally was able to locate the hornet. By then it was dark. On the downhill slope I had problems seeing where I was walking and felt raptors lurk behind every tree. I knew that I had to go straight ahead all the time and I recognized parts of the track (the two falled trees across it, the raised stand, the yellow pole) so at least I wasn't lost. Back at the car at 20:15 I decided not to take the shorter but partially blocked road back through Arnstein and used the route via Thüngen and Zellingen to get home.