2010-12-02 44 -91
Right on a hiking / mountain biking trail in Bluffside Park near Winona. You can see the trail on the satellite map.
Desiring to explore the future in a kayak a few more times before the ice sets in, Mark got his gear ready, loaded the boat, called in absent to the office, and set off to enjoy a nice sunny day a few degrees before freezing. Checking the hashpoints for the day, he found a hashpoint in a wooded park just half an hour downriver from his paddling plans, and another one in the middle of a residential street just ten minutes from home. Plenty of options for fun!
A three-quarter-hour's drive up to the Mississippi river went swiftly, and the boat rode smooth on the roof. Searching for a boat ramp, Mark stopped at the local marina, walked down to the shore, threw a rock in the air.... and it bounced, right off the hard layer of ice that had just recently set in on the last hope for open water within hundreds of miles for the next four months. Shoot. Not one to give up easily, Mark drove south along the river, toward the first hashpoint, looking for accessible open water. Near the end of the bulge in the river, some open water appeared, but alas there was no access to get to it. Further down, there was open water with a nice ice flow but, alas, a current of 1-2 m/s and an ice "curb" about a meter wide along the bank. Not a good access point for someone with limited experience. So Mark continued down the river, past bluff and bluff, enjoying a beautiful day.
Down in Winona, the Sun setting, and water-access becoming out of the question, Mark reached Bluffside Park, after searching around for fifteen minutes found out how to access the trails, and took a short walk to the hashpoint. Nicely right on the trail, pictures were taken and the car was returned to. After driving the hour back home, singing and ringing the Christmas donations bell outside a local store for a couple hours, it was time to head to Byron for part two of the doublehash. A short detour on the way home, and a few wrong turns, took Mark to the residential geohash in Byron. Another easy coordinate that could be reached without venturing out from the car and into the cold, Mark stopped and took some pictures at the hashpoint. Right at that point people arrived home to the house he was parked in front of, and the two across the street. Trying to avoid looking creepy, like a strange car with a kayak on it's roof in the night on a below-freezing day, Mark quickly left the scene and headed home.
|Mark earned the Virgin Graticule Achievement|
|Mark earned the Multihash Achievement|
| Mark achieved level 4 of the Minesweeper Geohash achievement