2009-10-18 45 -122

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Sun 18 Oct 2009 in 45,-122:
45.4945374, -122.2894258

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[edit] Location

Oxbow Regional Park in Troutdale, Oregon. It is in the woods adjacent to the overnight campsite section of the park.

[edit] Participants

[edit] Plans

This hashpoint had looked plausible when it came up on Friday, but I was concerned about the distance. But, I programmed the GPS and printed out a couple of pages of Google maps.

[edit] Expedition

I had hoped to make it to the Portland hashpoint on Saturday, however, when my couple hours at work helping with a project turned into fourteen hours, that clearly wasn't going to happen. I decided I wanted a break today, so I figured I would head to this hashpoint after running an errand that was in that direction.

Portland, Oregon has, in addition to city, county, and state goverments, a regional goverment that covers (parts of) several local counties. The goal is to coordinate development, existing uses such as agriculture, and infrastructure so that we don't get a lot of sprawl and are able to provide services like water, sewer, green space, and public transportation to the areas were people are living. "Metro" has a couple of parks, and the hashpoint landed in one of them.

I headed to the hashpoint, needing to cross over Portland in the process. This can be a real problem during the day (as it was about a week ago for me getting to the living room hashpoint), but on a Sunday it was pretty easy. As I got closer, the road started to have lots of hairpin turns. The park is nestled up against the Sandy River, which clearly wasn't in a rush to get anywhere fast as it curled back and forth.

When I got to the park, I mentioned I was going to a geohash point, and they said "Oh yes, we have one of those." I explained that this was actually Geohashing, not Geocaching, and that the point randomly moves from day to day. We compared maps and she indicated I could park in the campground, which seemed like the right place to me as well.

I started down the road into the park, and similar to the Hagg Lake hash, the winding of the roads made it pretty hard to use the GPS for much navigation. I knew that I'd go around a loop or two of the river, so I wasn't quite sure if the half mile it was showing at one point was a path that I could actually travel in my non-amphibious car. Eventually, the GPS got down to 0.2 miles, and I decided to start bushwacking.

I had remembered the hashpoint seemed to be about 200 feet from the roadway, so I thought it should be close. However, I started in, and I kept having to divert as I tried to go around downed trees and sections of brush that seemed to have a path around them. I felt like I was looping around but I finally got to 20 feet. Then the direction arrow shifted, but not the distance without my needing to move.

I looked up and realized I'd forgotten about the forest canopy, which was making my GPS reception far below stellar. I circled the stump and shrubs that I was standing in front of, and the readings were pretty erratic. I decided to declare myself there, subject, as always, to GPS error ranges.

Now the challenge was to get out. The stupidity distance had taken over when I plunged into the brush, so I couldn't see the road, or a good landmark from where I ended up. I had also spun around a few too many times to have a good idea of which direction. I worked with the GPS some and managed to backtrack some, but ended up coming out near a different section of road. It took a little walking but I found my way back to my car and headed for home.

It was a very pretty park and it was a nice afternoon adventure.

[edit] Achievements

Jim earned the Land geohash achievement
by reaching the (45, -122) geohash on 2009-10-18.
Jim earned the Admit One Achievement
by paying US$5 to access the (45, -122) geohash at Oxbow Regional Park on 2009-10-18.
2009-10-18 45 -122-admit-one.jpg

[edit] Photos