2011-01-27 53 -1
Skelmanthorpe, near Huddersfield. Just under 7 metres from an unmarked road off Shelley Woodhouse Lane, near Shelley High School & College.
I'll be on the 10:40am Transpennine Express train from Leeds if anyone wants to join me there instead.
- Meet at Huddersfield rail station at 11:00am (plus or minus Train Delay Modifier), on the outside of the ticket gates. Wear something xkcd or Geohashing-related if you want to be recognised - if you want to recognise me, look for tgr. And don't be embarrassed: it's my first expedition too...
- Head out to the hash by public transport, probably the 11:28 number 81 from K3 Lord Street; even if someone with a car wants to come, it seems a shame to drive when there are buses so nearby! That gets us to Shelley High School for 12:00. Get off one stop
afterbefore. Bus stop's location is 53.5949, -1.6710 - so we won't miss it!
- Walk to the hashpoint.
- Even if entering the field is a problem, we should be able to get within the requisite 10m radius of the hashpoint without leaving the road.
- Create a non-permanent marker and put up a sign if possible.
- Head back to Huddersfield rail station for coffee with anyone who wants it :)
The algorithm is on our side so far. The train from Leeds was not just on time, but managed to arrive early! in the UK!
We also managed to find our bus pulling up as we arrived at the stop in Huddersfield. --mykaDragonBlue [- i have no sig -] 06:21, 27 January 2011 (EST) (manualy posting on route since the hashdroid is being sad at me)
This morning started out rather dully. While waiting for the bus to Leeds this morning, the topic of conversation in the bus shelter was "Ooh, it looks like the bus is going to be early, can we still use our concession passes if it arrives before 9:30?" That gives you some idea of the level of mind-numbing tedium.
On arriving at Leeds station, the bandage on my toe had slipped, so I had to sit in the middle of the station hall and repair it using what few tools I had with me. I managed to fashion a padded bandage out of half an antiseptic dressing, the wadding from some cotton buds, and half a roll of adhesive tape. Whether this qualifies for any MacGyveresque street cred, I'll let everyone else decide.
Last time out, I had two preventable problems along the way. The first was that I'd mistranscribed the coordinates, no less than twice; to resolve that, I input them into my GPS twice so I had a redundant duplicate, and printed out the wiki page to take with me. The second problem was one of food: I ended up buying a sausage roll from Leeds railway station. To resolve that one I bought food before I left. Well, what passes for food when all you have at your disposal is a Burger King, anyway.
I returned to the station hall to find Myka sitting around, so we started chatting. It was then that we realised the probability of anyone else turning up was so small it may as well be ignored, so we pulled out our hashscots and headed for the platform. The train journey was dull and uneventful, so I'll skip that part.
When we got to Huddersfield we followed my GPS to our first waypoint: the bus stop, to catch the bus towards the hashpoint. It pulled in almost immediately, while I was still trying to remember which bus we needed to catch in fact! My memory freshly jogged, we were on our way to Shelley. A town, not a person.
Myka began taking photographs of the lovely views we got on our way over the tops towards Shelley; however, his camera began to make shutter noises every time he snapped a shot. This managed to infuriate him rather quickly, as no matter how he tried to turn that sound off, he couldn't do it. Finally however, after taking a few photos of the floor of the bus, he managed it. And he was immensely relieved. I gave him a round of applause then, and I give him a gratuitous ribbon now. ;)
We got to the place and performed a GPS Dancetm. We discovered that the hashpoint was not in the field at all! It was, in fact, on the road outside the farm. Smelling victory, we started snapping photographs. But all was not well.
Suddenly, Myka's two GPS devices told us we were in fact 30 metres away. The hashpoint was in fact in the field. My GPS then started becoming unsure of itself, and finally it too agreed with Myka's. We noticed that down the road, near the farm buildings, the farm owner was curious as to what we were up to. He didn't seem at all put out by our presence, just curious. So we decided we'd wander down and have a quick chat, let him know what we were up to.
At that point, a third Geohasher and another first-timer, Monty, came along in his car. This was rather a surprise, seeing as I hadn't publicised a final ETA. He brought doughnuts too! So he went to park up somewhere and I led the expedition down the road to greet the farmer, who'd hopped in his tractor and came to have a nosey.
I quickly explained to him the basics of Geohashing, and asked permission to gain access to his field. He readily agreed and the three of us set out to the actual hashpoint. The field was more than a little muddy which made it interesting for me to navigate, but we made it! We set up for photographs once again, and after a minute or two, we were on our way, feeling "deservedly smug". Monty headed off to work in his car, and after leaving the farmer with an information sheet, we were on our way home.
When a bus finally decided to serve the tiny little bus stop (which didn't even have a footpath to stand on!) we went back to Huddersfield to find a cafe for some "well-earned hot drinks". Yes, we were feeling rather proud of ourselves at that point! And we found something ten times better than any old cafe... we found a Wimpy! A burger joint with waitresses, real tea, and plated meals. I won't say it felt like the sky was falling, but it may as well have been. I thought Wimpy places died out two decades ago! All in all, a great way to round off a really fun trip out. :)
- Archmage Cat 11:21, 27 January 2011 (EST)
Let's go back awhile, first. I will have seen the original Geohashing publication upon xkcd on or shortly after the original publication date, but I didn't (and still don't) have a GPS of my very own, so thought it mostly academic. Until earlier this week when the principles of the geohashing phenomenon was randomly (which would be apt) posted on a forum of my acquaintance, and found that some kind souls had kindly organised that there be this wiki and all the related tools at my disposal to make it merely a matter of map-reading and basic navigation, which I flatter myself to be good at.
So now my tale inhabits the recent past. With a few random dates tried out, I spotted a couple of recent Sheffield-vicinity geohashes that I had only just manage to miss (albeit not necessarily with great access opportunities), and I was quite curious to see what (if anything) might occur this coming Saturday. The reticule is extensive (obviously, as all are, at least in 'height') but I live fairly centrally upon it and my usual workplace is even more so (actually within 0.025° of the exact mid-point in both axes; without any attempt at calculating any great-circle influence, at least).
So imagine my surprise when I chanced upon this weekday meet. Not mind-blowingly far off my normal route, given my circumstances. In the morning I was destined to be in Sheffield city centre and the afternoon would normally find me at the aforesaid workplace. The latter was roughly 15 miles away from the landing zone if I just kept on going past. "Have car (will be in car, have fuel in car, have spare time to be in car), will travel." As only the most verbosely pithy people might say.
Without being sure of my schedule, the only thing I knew is that there was a mention of an estimated 12:00 arrival in the vicinity (see? that's how I knew when I might find you there!), which might have not worked so well for me had my morning dragged on. Having left the house at shortly after 9AM, I arrived at my appointment at approximately the right time. While it did indeed take longer than strictly necessary, the morning's business was indeed sufficiently shone upon by The Lady (she of of Discworld fame, that is) and I had time to first stop off at a supermarket to obtain victuals (for immediate and future personal consumption, plus a perhaps slightly unwise purchase of some pink-iced, sprinkled-upon doughnut 'things' as a present for anyone I happened upon) and then found myself at the point of go-or-no-go having half an hour to travel the estimated half an hour journey to the LZ. So it was "go".
The majority of the journey being on a road composed by a combination of long "National Speed Limit Applies" smoothly curving stretches and the occasional settlement surrounded by signs with a more restrained attitude towards velocity, I knew it would neither be a boring drag race nor the smoothest ride. Indeed, a Z-bend dog-leg in one place I knew to be recklessly impossible to wind around at more than 20mph. On top of that, there would be several traffic lights and the occasional 'pinch' due to parked cars. This had all been quietly factored in, however. Lacking a GPS, and having all my maps in the rear of the car, my reassuring glimpses of map were from the screen of my camera. That morning I had hastily composed photos of several differently-zoomed GoogleMaps™ screens, upon my monitor, having had at that point no unused USB sockets in my machine to actually transfer a cleaner screenshot grab to the camera. The native 5MPixel resolution and on-camera zoom and pan functions were sufficient to provide the fleeting details I craved upon the 1" screen, however, whenever the nearly mid-day traffic caused a cessation of all practical motion or it was otherwise safe to refer to.
Navigating my last couple of miles was simpler than I had imagined, after having memorised the relevant road-names. All praise to the local council for their attention to detail. And while I had cheekily considered attempting a rapid first pass of the point (except that the road cornered and rolled more than would be safe for the 60mph allowed), opposite the house that I knew marked the rough point, from my purely electronic expeditions to the locale, were two purposefully present figures.
Contact was thenceforth made, although thankfully not between vehicle and the ambulatory duo. Although I can only wonder what thoughts screamed through their heads as an anonymous car previously running at typical road speed made a half-hearted attempt to enter the farm-track, pulled up short and disgorged a possibly manic-looking individual whose precise words have faded from his own memory within even this short time, but might have started with "You won't know who I am, but...". And while I had seriously considered that my impromptu "I'm provisionally Monty, perhaps even Provisionally Monty" quip could indeed have led towards such a longer moniker once I was able to set my account upon this wiki, you'll note that I did eventually decide upon the former. (But I still pass on my regards to the hashcot Possibly Fergus whose existence had put the thought into my babbling mind.)
While credited with the ambassadorial credit, the next few minutes mostly consisted, as far as your present interlocutor's activities, in moving the car to a marginally more safe parking location on the opposing side of the road. The heroic precursors to the expedition had already chatted to the Nice Man In A Tractor and negotiated their access. Which (and you may well end up reading this, NMIAT) meant that the recently announced package of doughnuts, brought down the lane as a possible bribe and/or thank-you present, never did get offered. (But, as it was pink-iced doughnuts with sprinkles, that might have been all for the best. The digestive systems of tractor-drivers might be hardened to all kinds of agricultural hazards in its intake of food, but could easily have been overcome by such sickly-sweetness.)
After figuring out the gate's lock (I've seen a few, while Rough Stuffing and hillwalking, but my compatriots were armed with the information that opening was possible and appropriately parted the chain with but a moments examination while I was still wondering if we were allowed to climb the barrier), the trudge up the field occurred as already reported. The more natural formation seeming to be in the nature of a skein of walkers, I took on the port wing-tip of our group. As the only one without GPS I could concentrate more on the walking, so did not feel the terrain so badly and could keep positional parity with my opposite number.
What more can be added about the rendezvous? One field, a decreasing distance measurement being intoned, and then a certain sense of occasion arising. Oh, and photos, although my scant few do not add to the existing record.
Retreat from our agricultural locale, back up the track and up to the junction was punctuated by far too much inane banter by yours truly, I feel. My intentions to attempt further (but as yet unspecifiable) expeditions were formally announced and an invitation to join IRC conversations made (something I haven't used since 1995, you know... /me hardly remembers how to get there and what to do there!), the parting of the ways occurred once the original offer of doughnuts had been finally transacted (to the limit of each persons dietary ability, at least, myself having guiltily scoffed the remainder before the next half hour was up, I am ashamed to report).
My return to Reality was back down the same road of my arrival. (Having recently reviewed the requirements of the Tron achievement, I had already realised that my abode's location in my cul-de-sac home road would give me more same-track travel than would legitimately justify the award, even with foot or bicycle travel along a footpath accessible part way up the road.) And hi ho, hi ho, off to work I... went. Slightly late, I passed on brief and rather explanation-sparse apologies to a bemused colleague before rushing up to the training room where, thankfully, just one of my 'clients' had arrived ahead of me.
Thenceforth, a long afternoon lay ahead of me. Talkative clients forestalled my departure until almost 7PM, two hours beyond the usual end of a Thursday's scheduled activities. After finally shutting the latched doors to the now darkened building behind me, I drove the last five or so miles to complete my day's circuit and arrive home almost ten full hours after my original departure. Yet happy for it, you'll be pleased to hear. My thanks to the 2011-01-27_53_-1 pioneers who certainly provided a lunchtime to remember. And if I am yet to suffer any form of self-inflicted pink icing overdose, the blame can only be laid upon myself.
- Monty 17:48, 27 January 2011 (EST)
| amc, myka and Monty earned the Land geohash achievement
| amc and myka earned the Public transport geohash achievement
| amc, myka and Monty earned the Ambassador achievement
| amc and myka earned the Earliest geohasher achievement
| myka earned the Phone wrangler award
| amc earned the Why are you all following me? award
| amc, myka and Monty earned the (feels like the) "longest report eva" achievement ;)