2010-05-21 35 -81
King's Mountain, North Carolina
Drive to the nearby park, walk the short distance to the hashpoint. I'll leave after work. I'm not planning on any specific time unless someone else expresses interest in meeting. Ramblingwreck 20:18, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Art had to work late and contemplated skipping the geohash in favor of a nice movie. But no, it was Geohashing Day! As long as the sun was still up, he would try. So after eating a wonderful dinner thoughtfully prepared by his lovely wife, Art double checked the driving directions, gathered his "gear" and set off.
The drive was uneventful but traveled through several quaint towns. (Art avoids freeways if possible when hashing.) According to Google maps, there would be a park near the hashpoint which would allow easy public parking and an excuse to stomping around in the fields. Art arrived to discover that it was not a public park, but a trailer park. So much for being inconspicuous. After slowly exploring the area, Art couldn't find anywhere to park that wasn't someone's driveway or yard. Time for plan B.
Plan B involved going to Reep road and looking for an unoccupied, unposted field through which Art could traverse. Such a field was nowhere to be found, so it was time for plan C: take a picture of the No Trespassing signs and go home. While leaving Art noticed a small gravel road that lead in the general direction of the hashpoint and made a quick mental note "Plan D: ??" and turned down the road. At the end of the road, it split into two driveways. One driveway led to what looked like a small machine shop and the other was a private residence. Art turned into the machine shop hoping that nobody would be there because it was so late. No Trespassing signs quickly turned him around.
Back at the fork in the road, the house owner was now out in his yard so Art decided that he could at least try talking to someone to gain access to the hashpoint. After a receiving a Cliff Notes explanation of geohashing, the homeowner said that the property between his and the hashpoint was owned by a hunting club, so trespassing there would be not only illegal but also really really stupid. Art thanked the homeowner and turned around to leave.
Back at the fork in the road, the shop owner had walked up his long driveway and was watching Art's car curiously. Figuring that he should at least apologize for any inadvertent trespassing, Art stopped and explained what he was doing again.
"Well where are you trying to get?" queried the shop owner.
Art pulled out his Blackberry which still had Google Maps running and showed the shop owner the location of the hashpoint while explaining geohashing a little further.
"That's CM's field. You should go talk to him."
"I wouldn't want to intrude on his dinner or anything, we try not to cause trouble while playing the game."
"Naw, CM's a nice guy. This is his house right here." he said, pointing to a spot on the map. "Tell him that MS sent you and explain what you're doing. He'll probably let you back there."
CM happened to live right next to the trailer park, so Art was pretty much back to plan A. When pulling into the driveway, CM was out getting the mail. As MS had promised, CM was agreeable to Art tromping around his field looking for a random spot. He did, however, warn Art to be wary of the cows that roamed the fields. Art drove the full length of CM's driveway to be close to the point. That's when he realized that he had given his marker (and the exact coordinates) to the homeowner because at the time he thought he was going home. Art used his phone to look up the coordinates again and had to turn the light on in his car to write them down on a new business card. Having to turn the light on should have been his first clue that it was getting too late.
Actually, Art was fully aware of the implications of the light and hurried into the field, copying the coordinates from the card to the Black Star GPS app on his phone as he went. There were 3 fields to cross, each separated by a thin row of trees. The first field was the one with the cows, but their leavings on the ground were the only visible sign of them. Art didn't have time to hunt cows now as the light was fading. At the far edge of the field, Art found a creek and crossed it at a point where prints in the mud told him that the cows typically did.
A barbed wire fence separated the first and second fields. Figuring that the fence was for the cows, and having permission from the owner, Art slipped between the wires of the fence and entered the second field, which appeared to be growing hay. At the far end of the field, fireflies danced, telling Art that he was out too late in unfamiliar territory. It didn't matter though, Art was already well within his Stupidity Distance.
Art scaled another fence to enter the third and final field and quickly marched toward the hashpoint until his GPS proclaimed him to be less than 1 meter away. Art tried to take some pictures of the field, but it was far too dark. Art settled for a picture of the obligatory stupid grin and a screen capture of the GPS app.
Art returned the way he had come, but now it was full on dark and he did not have a flashlight. Somehow Art made it across the creek without getting wet and only narrowly avoided bringing home cow souvenirs on his boot. Art climbed into his car and drove home, pondering the kindness of strangers that allowed him to reach his goal on Geohashing Day.
| Art earned the 2010 Geohashing Day achievement
This expedition also qualifies for a noteable ambassador achievement but all participants already had a ribbon.