2011-05-14 45 5
Near Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse in the Chartreuse massif, in a small forest up the ski slopes.
Hitch a ride up in Grenoble, walk to Saint-Pierre and then to the hash and hitch a ride down before the thunderstorm hits.
The weather for the day was "rain with local thunderstorms". Ideal weather for a drowned rat ribbon and for my first geohash. I left on my neat bright yellow bike to first buy some batteries for my old GPS (kinda necessary) and then for a little village just across the Isère river from Grenoble called "La Tronche", or, if translated into English "your face". As Grenoble is built in a very flat sedimentary basin but is surrounded by steep 2500m high mountains, I had to leave my heavy behind near the townhall of "La Tronche" where I started walking up the road, hoping to hitch a ride.
As a arrived near a wide intersection where I usually catch a ride to go up into the mountains, a guy whistled at me telling me angrily to go further up the road if I wanted to hitch-hike as he was himself trying to catch a ride (ahhh those friendly Frenchmen, always ready to help...) Instead of trying to get a ride together (as we were going to the same town), he insisted I went away, telling me it's never possible to get a ride for two (a total lie, as hitch-hiking is almost traditional in Chartreuse). OK, no problem, take it easy mate. As I was walking away up the road, I notice a car stopping to pick this guy up. Trying my luck, I stuck my thumb out and, geohasher's luck, the driver stops and picks me up as well! Too bad, angry Frenchman, your attempt at excluding me failed miserably!
The friendly driver dropped me out near Saint-Hughes-de-Chartreuse, about 1.5km away from Saint-Pierre. I walked the remaining portion of the road where I saw three beautiful horses, gorgeous alpine fields filled with spring flowers and a dark and dreary thunderstorm cloud coming over the mountains on the horizon. Once at Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, I headed for the flower-covered ski slopes and walked up to the second small forest I encountered, at the bottom of which is a small cottage. The geohash is in a clear forest, near a tree stomp.
As I was starting to feel the wind intensifying and the weather getting colder, I quickly took a few pictures of the GPS and of the trees surrounding the hash. As I finished carving "xckd" in a piece of wood I stuck in the ground at the location, thunder hit and the noise, amplified by bouncing on all the surrounding mountains, made me realize how "darwinawardesque" it was to be in the mountains with two steel walking sticks attached to the side of my bag, a thunderstorm rapidly moving towards me. But I had a huge grin on my face, having completed my first geohash! No drowned rat ribbon though, as I reached the geohash before rain started.
I then proceeded to get the hell out by running downhill, rain pouring all over and soaking me to the bones. Once in the village, I hitch-hiked a ride down to "La Tronche", thanks to a friendly Grenoble citizen who happened to be passing by (and probably took pity). In "La Tronche", I got back on my bike and got back home, just in time for lunch.
| Mtl Alex earned the Land geohash achievement
| Mtl Alex earned the Thumbs Up Geohash Honorable Mention