2012-02-11 47 -122
In Green Lake, a mile from OtherJack's house, just offshore of Aurora & 70th
Update Friday 11:25am (PST): their website http://www.greenlakeboatrentals.net/ says no boats til April. So hoping for either another geohasher with a boat, or wade it!
I'm going to see if the park rents boats... I know they do in summer at least. Might even be wade-able, it's only a few hundred feet offshore. 4pm will be the appointed time, unless I get a better idea. --OtherJack
Well, no boats materialized, so I resolved to try and wade/swim it. The hashpoint was in something of a back-water bay formed by Duck Island and the nearby peninsula, only 100m offshore, and Green Lake is rather tame as major Seattle water-bodies go... so I thought it might be possible. Google searches for the bathymetry yielded nothing but conflicting and less-than-promising maps from 1938 and 1969. I'd never swum in water nearly this cold (5-10C) before, but thought I'd give it a try... I mean, it was a mile (well, 2km) from my house!!
Seeking to maximize the number of achievements I would bag, I set off running at about twenty minutes to four from my home on the hill northeast of the lake, trusty towel in my backpack, GPS turned on, taking the long way there (south on 5th Ave NE and clockwise round the lake) so as to be eligible for a Tron. It was a bracing, drizzly afternoon, 48F (9C) at the weather station near my house - typical Northwest winter. As I ran, I somewhat nervously considered what I was about to do, and lamented that the effort was not making me much warmer. Soon enough, I had arrived at my launch point by Aurora and 70th. Now it was time for the interesting part.
 Step one
Ask a bystander what time it is. Middle-aged lady says it's 4pm. Excellent.
 Step two
Ask someone who looks unhurried if they wouldn't mind taking my camera and snapping a couple pictures of me, uh, trying to make it 100m out toward that island in my boxers carrying a double-ziploc-bagged GPS because of, uh, the Internet.
Amazingly, my very first mark is game for this. (It must be understood that in Green Lake park everyone is actively walking or running round the lake: no one is just sitting on a bench enjoying the view or anything.) He is a 30ish man, taking a leisurely stroll accompanied by a woman his age who, being smarter than him, realizes that I'm not in my right mind, and declines to speak.
 Step three
After briefly ascertaining that I can swim well, the guy watches in amusement as I strip down and run, shouting, enduring numerous raptor bites on my ankles (unnoticed at the time), into the frigid lake. Within 3m the bottom is gone - so much for wading. 5m or so of head-above-water breaststroke and I am dangerously, incredibly cold.
This was a very dumb idea. Half-shrieking like a girl, I turn around, curse, swim to shore with what feels like my last remaining energy, and scramble out as the friendly stranger photographs my defeat.
He seemed impressed that I tried, though, and wanted to know about this Internet thing. As I dried myself, I told him to Google geohashing (and spelled it for him), and he said he would! Forgot to get his name, though.
The run back north and east felt blissfully warm and easy. Out of some sort of pride, I insisted on completing the Tron route back (via Stroud Ave and N/NE 80th St), even though it no longer mattered.
| OtherJack earned the "Mother Nature's Bitch" Consolation Prize
| Is it true that OtherJack earned the drownedraptorTron