2010-08-29 45 -123
In the woods north of Vernonia.
Michael5000: I will probably make a stab at this hashpoint tomorrow afternoon. I will be travelling and coming off other adventures, though, so it's hard to say when I will be coming through. Plan A is to approach from the north via the "Enterprise 272" Road; I'll be on a white pickup and/or a red bicycle.
There were two possible side roads off of Oregon 47 approaching this point, and I chose the northern of the two. It was gated, but I was expecting this and saddled up the bike. "Enterprise 272" was an funny little road, a one-lane track with a really good gravel surface that has however clearly been abandoned for a season or two, so tall grass is sprouting up in its center. It was a lovely route into the very thick forest, but was also hella steep -- so steep that I had to get off and push the bike a few times, something I'm not usually willing to do.
At about 1/3 mile from the hashpoint, there was a branch road leading obligingly to the south. It has been abandoned even longer than its parent road, and was a surreal, linear meadow of knee-high grasses and scrub. The Ghost Road, as I started calling it in my head, made for easy and rather beautiful riding, but I also had the sense that, despite the occasional groan of trucks passing on 47, I was getting pretty remote from civilization.
When I reached a point 300 feet from the hashpoint, I dismounted and dashed into the forest to find... a cliff. A total cliff. And although it wasn't the first time this weekend that I'd found a cliff, this one was clearly going to be too unsafe to attempt. Which was a bummer -- after 5 successful hashes in a weekend, I felt stupidly disappointed to be stuck with "220 feet" still reading on the GPS.
But, I've been doing this long enough now to not give up after the first approach fails. I continued a little ways further down The Ghost Road, and sure enough, when I reached a point 400 feet from the hashpoint, the approach was considerably more gentle. This led to the usual finale: leaping into the undergrowth, flailing through the forest, and cutting my legs to ribbons on the way to point zero.
On the off chance that others would hack their way in here, I left a business card impaled on a branch. Then I scrambled my way back upslope to the bike, and noticed that the little spur off of the gated, abandoned logging road, which had felt so remote a few minutes earlier, suddenly seemed like the epitome of civilization. Pathless woods are kind of scary.
- Land Geohash
| Michael5000 earned the Multihash Achievement