2010-05-05 40 -74

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Wed 5 May 2010 in 40,-74:
40.4729926, -74.5194728

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[edit] Location

A field on Skillmans Ln. in Franklin Township. About 10 miles from my office.

[edit] Participants

Jevanyn

[edit] Plans

About 10 miles from my office, and I have my bike.

[edit] Expedition

[edit] Getting there

Nearly half of the ride down was along the Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath, which today is a gravel trail along the side of the canal. Thankfully, esp. for a cyclist, it's almost completely level. The road crossings don't identify the roads, but the turnoff was somewhere I'd been before when floodspotting, so I knew where I was.

I'd also decided, in place of a tracklog, to keep track of how long it took for me to travel. I left the office in Hillsborough at 5:30, and reached the site of the geohash at 7:15.

[edit] While I was there

Google Maps had given me mixed signals about whether the geohash was part of a park, as the map said, or a farm, as the satellite photo implied. When I reached the second turn on Skillmans Ln., rather than going right, I turned left up a long driveway to get my bearings and try to identify landmarks. I found that to the north was a tree farm (one of several in the area), and I was worried that the geohash was in there. But the towers of the transmission lines were off to the east.

Back on Skillmans Lane, I came to a wire fence around a wide grassy field, and locked gate. Road markings implied that the lot was owned or maintained by Sunoco. (I didn't know they did power transmission.) As there were no "Private Property" or "No Trespassing" signs to be seen (very unusual!) I parked the bike, ducked under the fence, and walked out under the power lines.

The geohash was close enough to the tower that I could hear the buzz/hum of the high voltage lines. The grass itself was an unusual variety as well: the lot turned out to be part of a grassland preserve, which explains why it was labeled as green on the map.

[edit] Getting back

I was about half a mile short of Amwell Rd. when my legs started to cramp. I hadn't brought any food along, and only water to drive, so at that point, after 15 miles, I was hitting empty on lots of things. I got off the bike to massage my legs and try to gauge how much further I had to go. The ride back was slower, too, somewhat because the sun was getting lower, and the woods through which I was traveling began to cast a gloom in the twilight.

After a few minutes rest, I managed to pedal the last half mile or so to Amwell Rd., where passing cars all had their headlights turned on as evening approached. I considered my options, and two more hours in the dark on cramped legs didn't appeal to me. I was out of water and sunlight. I put a call through to a friend of mine in the area, a fellow cyclist who had offered me a ride if I ever got stuck anywhere and needed a lift. She happened to be around the corner at the blacksmith shop where she worked (no, that's not a typo). She arrived in her station wagon, giving me plenty of room to stow the bike, and after dropping off some tools at the smithy, drove me home the rest of the way. She and Gwynnath had a chance to shoot the breeze while I ate and re-hydrated.

[edit] Final tally

  • Distance cycled: 15.8 mi.
  • Water consumed: 2.5 L.
  • Time elapsed: 3h 15m

[edit] Photos

Will post