2011-03-16 49 -122
A ballpark in Coquitlam
Robyn planned her expedition early in the day, without checking if anyone else was going. She was disappointed in herself and her graticule for missing an accessible Vancouver point the week before, and determined to make up for it.
During breakfast Robyn noticed the accessibility of the point copied down its coordinates and some rough bus directions. She then grabbed her long neglected GPS and some general geohashing supplies and hurried out to the back of Wade's motorcycle, in order to hitchhike downtown for a dentist and an optometrist appointment. Her teeth were certified clean and cavity-free and her new glasses fit well so she decided that it was the right day to break her long no-geohashing streak.
Finding the Right Coquitlam
The transit website bus directions said to take the Skytrain two stops to Waterfront, then walk two blocks to Hastings and Granville. While waiting for the Skytrain she decided that didn't make much sense, because Hastings was only a couple of blocks north of where she was at that moment, so she left the Skytrain station without getting on any train, to the apparent confusion of the woman who had checked her ticket and walked to the bus stop, just in time to not catch the 10:39 bus. It was actually four or five blocks, so the suggested way would have been shorter, but would it have been quicker? The ticket expiry time, based on entering the Skytrain station was 12:06, which meant that it was 10:36 when Robyn walked into the Skytrain station, and the train was not due immediately, so no, Robyn would have missed that bus either way. And there was a man who needed help with the ticket machine at the Skytrain station. He said he had asked several people and they had ignored him, thinking he was begging for change. Shame on them. He was to me obviously a frustrated tourist.
The right bus came at 12:09 and Robyn got on it, and tried to turn on the GPS to enter the coordinates. The GPS didn't turn on. No great surprise, as it hadn't been used in months, so Robyn got out the spare batteries and put them in. The GPS still didn't turn on. Hmm. They are rechargeables. I guess they had sat long enough to discharge. Never mind, Robyn was equipped with spare non-rechargeable batteries too. Geohashing supplies are important. The GPS still didn't turn on. Time for plan B. Remembering the view of the hashpoint from Google Maps, Robyn was reasonably confident that she could stomp back and forth sufficiently to guarantee reaching it, so she continued on, forlornly pressing the on button. At which point she realized she was pressing the wrong button. How long is a non-geohashing winter if you can't remember how to turn on your GPS? With the GPS on, Robyn rode the bus to the Coquitlam Central Station bus loop. Wait, was that supposed to be Coquitlam Central Station or Port Coquitlam Central Station. The same bus goes to both. Not quite fair, is it? I think it's worse than Germany. The connecting bus was supposed to be a 701, leaving from Bay 2. Robyn asked the driver if this what where she got the 701, and he said yes, over there at Bay 2. Confirmed, right? It was still 2.6 km to the geohash, and the directions were to ride the 701 for four stops. Given that this was along the Lougheed Highway, an 850 m separation between stops seemed ok. Robyn got off the bus.
Two other people were waiting for the 701, and they announced that we had just missed it, in fact you could see it pulling out. There was another one in fifteen minutes, but because of the Skytrain changing mind thing, Robyn's ticket would expire before it arrived, so she walked the rest of the way. Across the bridge into Port Coquitlam, past the bus stop where she should have got off, and then up to the hashpoint, which was right where it was supposed to be.
At the Geohash and Back
As Robyn was arriving, a man pulled into a nearby spot in a truck, but he didn't seem to be geohashing, or doing much of anything. Maybe he was eating his lunch. Robyn didn't ask him.
Poised to zero in on the spot for a photo, the GPS died again. Juggling of batteries and using the correct on-button turned up a set that worked, and Robyn and T-Rex did an extended GPS dance, trying to get a zero that lasted long enough to take a picture, at a spot that looked like the one in the Google Maps image. The GPS satellites are dancing extra hard today, apparently. Finally we picked a spot that seemed to work, and marked it for curious bystanders. Maybe the man in the truck would be curious and get out to see what Robyn had been doing.
Robyn considered playing in the park, but two point six kilometres is a fair ways in motorcycle boots, and the nice sunny day was a little warmer than Robyn would have liked in a motorcycle jacket, so she wandered back in the direction of transit, this time getting a "Community Shuttle" minibus whose driver knew the difference among all the different sorts of Coquitlams and Central Stations, and got Robyn to a bus that got her to the Skytrain that got her to another bus that got her home.
And then she logged on here and discovered that she was not alone in her expeditionary pursuits today.
AlsidPrime, Sammy and user:thepiguy
Later in the day, three more goehashers (with a total of 8 legs) met at the coordinates and had a great time in the park.
- AlsidPrime had to steal batteries from his girlfriends lightsaber to feed his GPS for this GeoHash. (If any crowd were to appreciate this dedication, it'd be this one)