2012-08-09 45 -108
Lake Elmo State Park north of Billings, MT. The actual hash point is in the north part of the park right along the road to the entrance of the park.
To leave the house just after 7pm and reach the hash point rather quickly since it was right in town (or right outside the city limits technically).
The little planning that happened started just before 5 at work. The day was winding down and I had been checking the graticule page most days for the past month to find an easy point to get to for my first geohashing attempt. I saw this one was about a 10 minute drive from my house so I went for it.
I prepared by first going to a local brewery right across the street from work when I got off. I enjoyed a couple of malted beverages there and returned home. I stopped there for a bit and watched the start of the Denver Broncos first preseason game so I could see Payton Manning in live action for the first time in over a year. After I was satisfied with that, I left my house equipped with my smartphone with the Geohash Droid app.
I left my house at about 7:15 pm and headed for the state park. The drive was rather uneventful, but it was good to get up to the north part of town as I don't make it up there much these days. I pulled into the parking lot of the park and was surprised to see how many people were there. I'd only been a couple times before so I wasn't sure what to expect. There was a decent sized beach volleyball game going on, a large picnic area with quite a few people having some sort of get together, and a few people swimming and floating out on the small lake.
The hash point was on the side of the road to get into the park, but the parking lot I parked in is about 20 feet below the road. The road doesn't have much of a shoulder so I couldn't stop there and get out. I decided to walk up to the slope on the north side of the parking lot and see if I could get up there to the road. The lake and all the recreational areas are to the south of the lot so I tried not to be too odd looking walking the other direction staring at my cell phone.
The stench of the lake was pretty horrible, but as I walked away, it got alright. I got to the base of the embankment to go up to the road to see there was a decent sized creek running along the bottom of it with some thick grass and quite a few grasshoppers The GPS on my phone was quite spotty and kept jumping around even though I had a clear view of the sky all around. I gave up rather easily as I didn't feel like going through the creek and battling with the grasshoppers and who knows what else was in the thick grass while trying to climb up the embankment to the road. I also didn't want to be "that guy" wandering around in the areas with no paths and taking pictures of whatever was around where numerous small children were playing.
I did get within about 50 feet of the actual point, but only have documented proof of getting within 100 feet again due to fear of flashing my phone around in odd places of a heavily recreated area. Hopefully I will be able to make more attempts soon with a little more success.