2010-08-21 47 -122
On a suburban streetside in Lacey, WA (near Olympia)
I hadn't geohashed in a while, but this one was in the Olympia area, which I'd been meaning to revisit for a while, and to boot it was just a short walk from their train station (or so it appeared) making this an easy Public Transport Geohash. I finally convinced myself to give in and spend the money on the tickets to and from, and the next morning (the day of the hash) I got up early and caught a bus downtown to King St. Station for the trip. I was going to make this an Olympia day, with the geohash as just an excuse to go visit. I had to catch the train back in the late afternoon, though, because of prior dinner plans in Seattle.
With this in mind, I sat down on the train to find a wonderful, crazy old Irish woman sitting next to me, bound for friends in Klamath Falls, who talked constantly but who was actually pretty interesting. She described herself as a tree lover and was convinced that area tree leaves were looking more unnaturally yellow and brown these last couple of summers... not having kept track myself, I believed her. She also dispensed a lot of unusual wisdom, such as that she was (in her own words) stark raving mad and proud of it, with no attempt at trying to look sane to others; and that there are a lot of real "genius" kids these days among the privileged because of the ubiquity of information from a young age. She made for a non-boring ride down, which was nice. The fine Puget Sound views going around the Tacoma peninsula also played a positive role.
Upon getting off at Olympia/Lacey in the suburbs I readily got a city bus downtown. After some hours of satisfied wandering around this fine-looking and interesting town, I got hungry for lunch in the early afternoon and decided to head for a locally beloved cafe/restaurant that the Internet had recommended. This was when things began to go awry.
The waiter led me to a table, but then asked, "Or would you like to eat outside?" I gladly said yes to that, since it was rather warm in there. I sat down outside and received a fantastic menu, with several unique dishes that I wanted to try. At some length I decided on one. Waiter still hadn't come back yet. 20 more minutes passed - no one had been outside except to pick up chairs and tables. Finally another waiter sat a group of people down at the table in front of mine. Within two or three minutes this other waiter was back to take their order, so in frustration I got his attention and got him to take mine as well. There'd been a sign saying that "yes, we will take your order, be patient", but this was a little much.
Within just five minutes or so of this, my food came. I found this ironically funny. The dish was as excellent and decadent as it had looked, but wow, there was a lot of food. And I wanted it all. I eat slowly, so take off another hour... and so it was then that I ended up catching a bus back to the neighborhood of the train station and hashpoint about 45 minutes after I had intended to, with maybe a 15-minute margin for catching the train. I crossed my fingers.
The bus was fast enough, but the route was longer than I'd anticipated, and by the time I got off near the hashpoint, the train was due in just 32 minutes, where I'd originally wanted an hour. It was about a mile and a half walk to the station, with the hashpoint en route... I'd have a five-minute margin if I was lucky. I set off power-walking, or something close to it. I decided I'd only run if it really looked bad... my knees weren't in the greatest condition at the time (to make things worse.)
The hashpoint arrived surprisingly soon... there was just time for a few quick shots and then I had to get going again. I think I was within GPS error at least - my GPS said the hashpoint was on someone's lawn that I stood at the edge of, but I didn't think I had time to ask permission to walk on it. Around a few long bends and corners, and it looks like I'm doing pretty well! I'm going faster than I thought, and look, there's the last street on my hand-drawn map sketch! Then I'm practically there!
But this street turned out to be much longer than I'd drawn it -- maybe half a mile on this sidewalk through suburbia, and I only had about fifteen minutes to go to get the train. I started really walking fast, and thinking about running and taking the knee pain. Luckily, I got to the end sooner than I'd feared, and started around the last couple of (too-long) corners and over the train tracks on the shoulder of a road bridge with a good eight-minute margin.
Only to find out that the entrance to the station was several hundred more yards down the road from the bridge -- there was a steep embankment and fence blocking the way before the entrance. Time to freak out again. After more crazed walking, I finally got there with five minutes to spare and no train in sight -- only to find out the train was, in fact, not even early, but running fifteen minutes late. All of that for nothing. Well, at least I got a workout.
| OtherJack earned the Public transport geohash achievement