2010-10-09 45 -122
In a swampy area adjacent to Hwy 30 near St. Helens, Oregon.
Drive there and perhaps plunge into the blackberry. Jim's not very enthused about Poison Oak/Ivy, however....
APR has sent an note out to the Portland-Geohashers mailing list.
Ken (from Southern Oregon) might join us. (But ended up being unable to join us.)
redaragorn really should have checked this page first, but I went off half-cocked after not seeing any notes on the Portland graticule page. I did note, however, that they were planning meetups at 2p instead of 4p, so I adjusted my plans accordingly...hoping to actually meet someone instead of the usual in my lonely graticule. :-)
I left the family at my in-laws place in Hillsboro and skirted over the west hills on Cornelius Pass Rd. I did a drive by of the spot I wanted to park, then turned around and pulled off of Hwy 30 just where the guard rail ends a short distance from the hash point. I entirely missed the sign noted by the later expedition, or I would have called the deal off right there. Grr--I'm making a habit out of that! That's THREE missed "Posted" signs in a ROW now. This time I was probably just too excited to see that there weren't any fences around the train tracks. At any rate, I headed down the bank and along the train tracks for the tenth of a mile back to the hash point, then waded into the blackberries. Yee-haw. I was very glad of having worn my work boots, as they proved useful in beating down the bushes and (mostly) staying on top of them. I went up to the edge of the muck and saw that the GPS said I was still 15 ft from the hash. Normally I wouldn't call myself on the coordinates unless it said less than 5 ft, but considering it was 15 ft right into the swamp, I decided that 15 ft was still well within the margin of error on the GPS signal and called myself there. Scrambled back up and out and headed for home.
 Jim and APR
We started off at APR's place, and decided to take Cornelius Pass Road down towards the hashpoint. Cornelius Pass Road winds through, what I am assuming is called, Cornelius Pass, in the range of hills west of Portland, and south of the Columbia River. About halfway down from the road summit, we see a couple cars off the side of the road, and there are people waving us down. We stop, and ask what is wrong. They tell us that there is an accident just past the bend in the road. We make sure that emergency services has been called, and offer our assistance. They say that they've got everything under control (as much can be expected), but thank us for the offer.
As we slowly pass the accident, we see the car involved. It looked to be just a single car involved. They were likely driving a bit to fast for the wet and slick road conditions. It looked like the driver was still in the car (which was mostly off the side of the road, in the ditch and/or down the hill.)
We continue on our way, and find a side road to pull off onto (about 1/3 mile from the hashpoint (~1/2 km)), and as we pull off to the edge of the side road, APR notices there is a train trestle right next to us. Since APR is a big fan of large wooden train trestles, this made him very happy. As soon as he gets out of the car, and is preparing to take a picture of the trestle, they hear a train whistle blow. Oh lucky day: APR gets not only a picture of the trestle, but one where there is a train running over it!
We finish preparing for their short trek over to the hashpoint. While we were getting ready, we hear the emergency vehicles blaring their sirens, and racing off to help the accident we saw a short time ago. Then we set off walking along a somewhat busy US highway, and heading to the hashpoint. We cross when we see a gap large enough that we can cross without having to do more than jog(Except when we notice the police car bearing down on us at full tilt.) Then, as we are walking along the back side of the guardrail, we see a sign, and much to our dismay, it is a no trespassing sign. We continue along the guardrail for a bit (because that is still public property, we just can't go down the hill towards the hashpoint), to get to the closest part we can while still remaining legal, a little under 300ft to the hashpoint. We took pictures, and headed back to the car, our tails between our legs.
After back at the car, we pack up our stuff, and prepare to head back. Since Cornelius Pass Road (the most direct route back) is likely to be slowed down, or even stopped, by the emergency vehicles, we decide to take Germantown Road back, though it is a bit out of the way, more windy, and thus slower in general. We make our way across the summit of the hills, when we see ANOTHER car off in the ditch, with its rear windshield busted out. There is a truck off to the side of the road (not crashed), and we again offer our help. They politely refuse, and we continue on our way home, commenting on how our luck is at picking accident-free back roads for our trip.
As an addendum, APR would like to add, that when he was headed into the city a couple hours later, and on a 3rd road (this one a highway), he saw yet another accident still in the process of being cleaned up. It really was a bad day for car wrecks here in the Portland area.
Jim has pictures as well, but the download cable is traveling.
- No trespassing