2012-08-10 41 -88
Today's location is in Fermilab, in between two lakes.
This expedition was not a success, in more ways than one. Technology hates me today.
It started by the expedition being somewhat unplanned. I left for lunch shortly after waking up, and had seen that the point was not too far- and, after some difficulty with getting the Internet to cooperate, that it was in Fermilab, which I had wanted to visit sometime this summer anyway. My mother had other ideas of what to do today, but I managed to convince her.
After lunch, before going home, I checked whether the hashpoint was publically accessible, a significant issue for any Fermilab geohash. It was. Right then and there, I decided to go, and since we were closer to the hash there than at home, we didn't stop at home. Therefore, I didn't have either my cell phone camera or my brand-new GPS, only my mother's phone and the outdated family GPS. I tried to print a map of the area from the computer, but it wouldn't print.
The traffic was bad, but the family GPS worked fine- until we entered Fermilab. Almost immediately upon entering, it turned itself off, then entered a loop of turning itself on and then off again. I'd seen this happen before, but my mother hadn't, so she was a bit more concerned than myself. Shortly afterward, it began to flicker the Garmin icon before finally and totally dying on us. This whole time it had been plugged into the car charger, though the battery had been low. In hindsight, and upon experimenting with other chargers, the car charger, not the GPS itself, seems to be at fault.
I got a map from the main public building and tried finding the hash based off my memory of its location at around 5 PM. I remembered it being behind where two lakes intersected, but at first I couldn't find that feature on the map, until I eventually found that it was present, but mostly covered by the label "Nature Area". I tried the path closest to my memory of the hashpoint's location once without the map, got frustrated, and tried again with it. I finally gave up upon reaching a fork in the map where neither fork led to the direction I wanted and neither appeared to lead to water like I remembered. The overall distance for both treks was around 1.5 miles, which wouldn't have been a problem, but it added to my annoyance at not finding the hashpoint. I would have sent pictures of the area, as I did take quite a few, but my mother's cell phone lacks a texting plan and thus there would be a fee for each picture sent.
The good news is we got to see Fermilab's resident bison up close. There were some baby bison too, which were quite cute.
Upon getting home, I looked up the location of the hashpoint again, and became even more frustrated. Not only was the connection of the lakes that both the map and my memory had agreed upon not there (there was a band of trees in a similar position though), but the hashpoint was not far from where I had been on the path. Upon retracing my steps upon the path, my closest approach was roughly 150 feet away from the hashpoint. It would've been an easy enough hash if the GPS had cooperated... at least I found a new and exciting way to not reach the hashpoint.
| Haberdasher earned the Blinded by Science Consolation Prize