2012-03-16 35 -90
In front of a farm on the West bank of the river, but still in Tennessee.
This geohash looks pretty interesting. The farm looks to be abandoned, but I'm not too sure. Rusty cars or something all over the place, the land doesn't look very maintained. It's very close to the river, so I suspect it got destroyed with the bad flooding last year. If that's so, it should make for a really interesting adventure and some great photography. Assuming the weather permits...
During my lunch break on Friday, I went home and packed food and water and extra socks and a change of clothes into a backpack and put it in my car so I could head out straight from work. I (hoped to) get off work at 4, the drive was supposed to take an hour, and sunset was at a little after 7, so I figured I'd be okay. Well. When I got back to work, I realized I'd forgotten my boots at home. THEN, I had to stay late. I didn't hit the road until 5. Still, that didn't seem so bad.
So once I got off the main roads everything looked okay. Even the crummy dirt road wasn't that bad, despite it having rained very heavily in the morning (this would come back to bite me in the ass). I passed what Google said was a cemetery, snapped a photo, and planned to come back later. Later down the road, there was a muddy patch. It didn't look too muddy, so I tried to drive through the least muddy part.
Vrrrm! Squish. "Huh. That's muddier than it looks."
I was in it pretty deep. "Well, ok, I'll just back out and walk the rest of the way."
Vrrrm! Squish. "Huh. I'm stuck."
So I get out and scrape mud out from under my tires with a stick, then do the forward-backward thing a few times, all the while just digging myself deeper into a muddy pit. Some large rocks were also wedged under my car, and that wasn't helping any. At one point I even put the car in neutral and tried to push (I'll give you two guesses how well that worked). Well finally, after much rocking back and forth, I got the back tires on solid ground. Angry and muddy, I just said "f*ck it," and floored it in reverse. VRRRRRMMMM!!!! Mud flew everywhere, and then--! Freeeedoooo-- GRIND. "Oh balls, what was that?" I open the door to find a pretty large rock wedged under the driver side. With all the other rocks that were grinding around under there, I could only imagine what damage was done under the car. I backed it to the side of the road and looked underneath. The big plastic shielding under the engine block was bent back pretty bad, but there were no leaks... Well ok. Nothing to do but trudge on. So I grabbed my stuff and started walking.
About ten seconds after doing so, a big tractor rolls up the road. "keep going keep going keep going I'm nobody don't mind me..." We nodded at each other and he kept on going. And then a truck rolls up the road. "son of a-" He stops beside me.
"How ya doin'?" he says in a dense Arkansan accent.
"Oh I'm fine," I answer in my stupid yankee accent. "I'm just gonna be taking some pictures, (it wasn't a lie!) I hope that's ok, I don't know if this is private property...?"
"Well... it is..." All that for nothing! Damn!
"Aw, I'm sorry, I- I, uh, I didn't see any signs or anything, I'll head back, it's fine..."
"Well, now, if yer jes' takin' pitchers, it ain't a problem."
"Oh wow, you sure? I mean, it isn't a big deal."
"Naw, it's fahn. If anyone asks, you jes' tell 'em Barry sentcha." GASP! ... ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!!!
"Wow, thanks, very much, I appreciate it, thank you!"
So we shook hands and he drove off! Sweet! (Later down the road I realized I never actually gave him my name, which must have seemed pretty rude...)
After that things were pretty ok. There was a family fishing on the side of the road, but they didn't really pay any attention to me. It was a long straightaway before a turn off to the right. I was losing daylight pretty fast, and was kinda worried about getting back in the dark. As I got closer to the hash, the farm it was near started looking like it was inhabited, which was going to suck. There was a set of relatively fresh tractor tracks in the road, probably left by the tractor I saw earlier. Up ahead, the road forked; there was a farm or something off to the left a ways, and the geohash was at the farm to the right. I really hoped the tractor didn't lead to the right, as that would indicate people there. But I got there, and they led off to the left. Nice. There was some run-down buildings and trucks at the split in the road, but no sign of people. Here the road got really muddy. A lot of water had spilled inland from the direction of the river to the east. Most of what used to be crop was now just mud. Luckily the road was somewhat solid. I could tell vehicles took this road every once in a while, but not today, as they would have made tracks in the mud. I passed a collapsed building, and then got to the maybe-farm.
Well it wasn't a farm, that's for sure. It looked more like a truck repair depot than anything else. There were tractors and trucks and cranes and all manner of vehicles scattered about, all in various stages of decay and disrepair. There was junk all over the place. Vegetation was slowly claiming everything. Other than that, there wasn't much. I spent too much time taking pictures, deeply regretting that I hadn't brought my Minolta.
After a while of that, I zig-zagged around, nose to my phone's gps, looking for the exact hash point. The pond right next to it had grown significantly with the rain, and I had a moment of gut-wrenching fear when I thought the hash would be right in it, but it turned out not to be. So I snapped a photo of myself and the view from the hash point, as well as the new hashcot.
I walked the long walk back to my car. It was pretty dark when I got back, so I got out a flashlight and checked for any leaks that might have formed while I was away. Nope, nothing! So I drove back home.
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