2009-12-26 48 11

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Sat 26 Dec 2009 in 48,11:
48.3387626, 11.7905928

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Just South of runway 8R/26L of München's airport. Very close to the little hill that is used by spotters to look at traffic on the runway and on some of the taxiways and parts of the terminal area.

[edit] Participants

zb. Anyone else?

Omega. It'll be my first geohash since I've read the comic yesterday evening. =P

[edit] Plans

zb will wear warm socks and will try to get there by bike from his home in München. ETA likely between 2:00 or 2:30 pm, but this is a rough guess. (Esitimated, likely, guess: how vague can it get?) --Zb 10:39, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Omega will go by car, no unneeded risks on my first try. I was planning on being there by 4 p.m. but I'll pack my things and go within the next two hours (by 2 p.m.) and help Zb find the spot with some GPS. ^^

[edit] Expedition

No GPS, so I need to memorize this: On a field, W of the 13th tree along the street from the airport; 1/3 into the field. And off I go. --Zb 10:39, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

The no-batteries-just-landmarks approach would have worked, as was confirmed by Omega's GPS. He had put a marker into the spot just some minutes before I got there. -> Success! And even a meet-up! Yay.

[edit] Omega's way towards the location

Since I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to do when I'm there, I packed quite a lot of stuff - a lot more than I needed. Electronically, I was heavily equipped. A camera that was going to annoy the hell out of during the entire expedition, an iPod touch with all the information I needed, including the exact coordinates of the hash and some Google Earth images to help me find the way, a GPS mouse and an old PDA that would navigate me to the exact spot and some miscellaneous stuff I needed like my cell phone, pager, car keys, etc. I also brought along a coke I wouldn't drink from, some Christmas cookies I wouldn't eat, a board game I wouldn't play and the new Dan Brown I wouldn't read there.

I chose to go by car since I'm not the kind of guy who loves riding dozens of kilometers by bike and because going by train was a tad boring in my opinion. Also, going by car is faster and more flexible, so I could have gone home whenever I wanted in case I would have gotten bored at the hash location. Plus it's good exercise for me since I made my driver's license only one and a half months ago.

Originally, I was planning on leaving at around 3 p.m. so I could make it by 4 p.m. to see if anyone visits the Saturday meetings. But at noon when I checked the Munich graticule, I noticed Zb had created an expedition page, planned his own trip and had already departed to the hash location by bike! So I quickly packed all my stuff, took a quick shower and jumped into the car and rode off to my first geohash adventure!

The ride wasn't very exciting, it was a bit faster than I had expected (half an hour from my home slightly to the east of Munich), so I arrived at the correct street at half past one.

Now to find the spot, hopefully before Zb arrives! I activate the GPS program of my PDA that allows me to view my exact coordinates. Annoyed at how the program displays the coordinates in minutes and seconds of angles instead of in decimals, I quickly convert the decimals into minutes and seconds with my iPod. I already knew the spot was going to be in that muddy field - after all, I had images of the hash and I read Zb's comments of this page earlier. According to Zb, I should run one third into the field after the thirteenth tree. I park my car (I'm still not sure if parking there was allowed...) and run off into the field after the thirteenth tree, hoping to get as little mud on my shoes before finding the spot. Well, turns out I had to wander around for five minutes or something, one step at a time, wondering why the spot was so far off of Zb's estimation. The explanation was simple: Zb counted trees from the other direction so I entered the field way off the hash. Eventually I find the hash and put a stick I picked up earlier into the spot to mark it. I quickly leave the field with UNBELIEVABLY muddy shoes (the mud on my shoes weighs more than my shoes do... ^^), take a deep breath, stare at the stick from a distance for less than a minute when a bicycle arrives at the scene whose rider keeps staring in the same direction I'm staring...

GOTO Omega's and zb's meet-up

[edit] zb's way towards the location

I charged the camera batteries, made sure I really had put on warm socks, made two liters of tea and some sandwiches. I can't tell you how great it felt to finally take out my good bike again for a longer trip after having fixed it two weekends ago instead of going geohashing with dawidi, thepiguy and srs0. Seriously, it had been broken for almost a year now and after my other bike had failed as well recently, I had finally taken the effort to take apart the hub gear of my good bike that had suffered catastrophic failure, as wreckage investigators would probably say.

I left the City of Munich through its Eastern suburbs, crossed the Ismaning Reservoir and went further North through the Finsing Bog, past the large radio towers near Ismaning and on towards München's airport.

[edit] Omega's and zb's meet-up

Cont'd from Omega's way towards the location

... and wonders if this other person at the side of the street might actually be a fellow geohasher? The person on the bike still needed 0.5 s to allow his mind to de-select the get-there-mode and switch over to look-closer mode (similar to the process of zooming in on an online satellite image on a slow dial-up line). He made a U-turn 20 m down the road and approached the fellow geohasher again, wondering if they had already met before. They hadn't, so the nice suprise was even bigger.

Both geohashers went onto the semi-frozen and semi-muddy field to celebrate the success. Then, they tried to put the dirt away from their shoes and onto the street and went up the hill that was created for plane spotters. They did like everyone else on the hill, i.e. they spotted planes and took pictures of planes for a while -- but they felt just slightly under-equipped when they saw the huge cameras the real plane spotters were aiming at the traffic arriving and departing runway 8R. You could tell that the two geohashers clearly were not the pros among the plane-spotting crowd. However, they aced in achieving a meet-up.

In between spotting planes, they re-checked every couple of minutes if other geohashers had arrived at the field that was easily visible from the hill, too. None were found, though.

[edit] zb's Photos

Still at home, just before getting on the bike:


The route to the coordinates at München's new airport took me through Riem, where the old airport used to be until 1992.


... and on through Feldkirchen.


Modern achievements near Feldkirchen and Heimstetten.


And on to the big reservoir near Ismaning and Neufinsing.


North of the Ismaning Reservoir, there is quite some water in the ground. Therefore the name: Finsingermoos (Finsing Bog). A lot of water in the ground means good electrical conductivity -- the ideal spot for radio transmitters. The route also took me along parts of the pipeline for jet fuel and brought me close to the location of my second ever geohash.


The Meetup, yay!


Spotting planes.


Back home.


Revisited: After sunset, some things on the way back looked a lot more interesting than during the day. Like, Las Vegas looks better at night, too, right?