2010-05-29 47 -122
Someone's backyard on the east side of Puyallup (Failure)
This was going to be a public transport geohash... the location, though too far for me to bike from north Seattle, was conveniently only about a mile from a Pierce Transit bus line. So I took a King County Metro bus downtown, then Sound Transit to Federal Way where I just missed the Pierce bus (which only ran once an hour) by a couple minutes. I should have taken this misfortune as a sign that the geohash was going to end in failure. But, alas, I pressed on, passing the 50-odd minute wait in a nearby record shop, riding the rickety Pierce bus to downtown Puyallup, and walking the mile east over 512 to the block of the hash, in a neighborhood of simple single-story homes on generous lots. It was a little after 4pm at this point. Taking out my GPS, I quickly located the house. Unfortunately, it looked like no one was home, and the backyard lay behind a tall fence with a closed and latched gate (through which I could almost see the hashpoint!) Failure seemed likely. But I thought, hey, just in case someone's actually here, I'll try for an ambassador achievement as well.
So I walked up to the front door and rang the bell, and waited. The lights inside were off. After something like two minutes passed, I was just about to give up and leave when I heard footsteps and the door opened. In the darkness I couldn't see the features of the middle-aged? woman standing in the entry very well. "Hello, who is this?" she asked, sounding annoyed and suspicious. This was not going well. "Oh, hi, my name is Jack, I was just wondering if I could go into your backyard to take a picture of it as part of an Internet art project..." I nervously rambled on like this for several more seconds. At some point, I must have paused to take a breath or something, because she immediately said, "My parents aren't home right now" and closed the door! Oh, crap... this was a teenager, not a middle-aged woman! I just acted like a total creep!!
(Has this ever happened to anyone else? Do we need a "Suspected Pedophile" consolation prize? ... )
Anyhow, beet-red, (or so I imagine), I left the scene quickly, but still managed to miss a northbound Pierce bus by a few minutes AGAIN... and thus was treated to an hour in downtown Puyallup. I was getting pretty hungry at this point. Finally, the next bus arrived, and a couple of hours and two transfers later, I was back home with my roast chicken leftovers.
Epic failure. But I got to see Puyallup!