2010-04-17 49 -122

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Sat 17 Apr 2010 in 49,-122:
49.2456688, -122.7655404

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In a warehouse parking lot in Port Coquitlam. Is accessible.



plypkie and yangman, along with a couple other people, are going on an overnight cycling camping trip to Golden Ears on Saturday, and hash point is near the route. ETA is late-morning or just around noon.

I'll be running errands Saturday morning, so I may be able to go 1/2 hour out of my way to get there shortly before noon. If you have a good guess as to when you'll be there, I will try to be there at the same time. --Wade
We're currently aiming for 10:45 to 11:15. I think the group will be OK with hanging around for a bit if you can manage something close to that. --Yangman
I'll aim for 10:45. I won't be offended if you don't wait very long. --Wade



I had a meeting at 9:00 in kitsalano, so my plan was to:

  • Put geohash marking chalk and GPS in my backpack.
  • Install the GPS mounting hardware on the motorcycle.
  • Ride to the 9:00 meeting.
  • Finish the meeting around 9:50.
  • Drive to the hashpoint (which should take about 45 minutes), following the on-screen instructions of the GPS.

The reality was a bit different. At about 8:40, I realized it will take me 20 minutes to get to my appointment, so I grabbed the GPS and left. After the meeting ended (at 10:15), I quickly programmed the hash coordinates into the GPS and pressed the "Go!" button. That's when I realized I neglected to put the mounting hardware on the bike. Fortunately the GPS does turn-by-turn instructions through bluetooth, so I could put the GPS in my jacket pocket, and still hear its instructions. It is a bit unnerving to not be able to look at the screen and see the route ahead, and just trust that the disembodied female voice will appear in my left ear whenever I need to turn. The trust was even more difficult since I knew the battery on my headset was really low, and might quit any minute.

Happily, the headset did manage to do the job and the voices in my head did not stop. I remembered Google maps showing the hashpoint being in an industrial mall, so I was a bit confused when the GPS brought me to a quiet residential street and said "go offroad 100m now". Yikes! I thought that maybe I had an old hashpoint in the GPS, and I had programmed it to go there instead. I knew I was late and getting later, so I pulled the GPS out of my pocket, and very quickly found the correct waypoint (by date) and said "go there". The voice in my head started to give me driving instructions. Without taking time to check them, I quickly followed them around the block, and stopped in the same place.

At this point, I realized I did enter the correct coordinates the first time, and I was going to have to think a bit about this problem. Why was I in suburbia being told to "go offroad" through a thick stand of trees, not in the industrial park Google showed? I was only 100m away, which isn't a very far stupidity distance, but dammit I knew that the point was road accessible. If Google said there was forest and I saw buildings and parking lot, I would have believed that. But I was sure that the buildings and parking lot had not been replaced by forest in the past few years. I turned on the GPS's map view, and saw that the hash point was between Broadway Street and Connaught Drive, slightly closer to Connaught drive. I was stopped on Connaught drive, looking at trees in the direction of the waypoint. I theorized that on the other side of the trees was the large parking lot I saw on Google maps. I picked the closest point on Broadway street, and told the GPS to direct me there. Immediately the voices in my head began giving me directions, and this time the directions weren't just around the block. I drove about 1.5 km just to go that remaining 100m.

When the voice announced that I had arrived, it was the right place. I got there a little after 11, and hung around taking photos and getting rained on until around 11:30. I forgot to bring chalk, so I didn't leave any mark. I assume plypkie and yangman had come and gone by the time I arrived.

plypkie and yangman[edit]

We were set to meet up with each other and one other member of our group in Burnaby at 9:30. Yangman and plypkie were there approximately on time, but did not discover until 20 minutes later that the third person was actually waiting 1 block away. Next was the extensively twisty maze of passages that was Coquitlam. We eventually made it to the new overpass at Lougheed and Coast Meridian, where we picked up the fourth member of our group. This was her first time riding a loaded road bike, with a pile of camping gear strapped to the back of it, so it took a little bit of time to give her some instruction and to pick her up off the ground after a mild fall. Eventually we found our way over to the hashpoint, probably only about 15 minutes after Wade left. We waited around for a little while, teaching our friend how to shift gears on her loaner bike, and then continued on our merry way towards Golden Ears for our camping trip.