2012-12-15 47 -122
In a pasture near Useless Bay, Whidbey Island
I'm thinking of making this an epic transit hash... I plan to arrive at the point at 4pm or a little earlier. Earlier in the day would work too, if that's more convenient for anyone. -- OtherJack 01:25, 15 December 2012 (EST)
Epic transit hash it was... I put on my hiking boots, left my apartment around 12:30 and proceeded to take five conveyances: regular bus to Aurora Village, Swift bus to Lynnwood, winding uber-local bus to Mukilteo, ferry to Clinton, and another winding uber-local bus which wound through beautiful Whidbey Island country up to Langley and then back down to my stop a mile north of the hashpoint. I got off at 3:25pm, right on schedule, and set out down the grassy shoulder of Bayview Road wondering what lay ahead. Fences? No trespassing signs? Shotguns? ... At least the countryside was nice, and the cold steady rain which had been falling all journey had largely stopped. It was still very overcast and gray though, and chilly by Northwest standards... 41F / 5C at the nearby weather station. My handdrawn map told me to pass roads called Sunshine and Sun Vista just before my turnoff, and sooner than expected they duly (and ironically) came into view.
The turnoff itself was unlabeled, but paved, straight and without any gates, signs, or other bad omens. It appeared to serve several different properties, which boded well since anyone who saw me would probably figure I was a neighbor's guest. So I started east... looking back over my shoulder I realized the namesake of Bayview Road was now visible from this angle, and quite spectacular! Even if this ended up as a No Trespassing Geohash, then, it would still be very successful as a sightseeing trip.
The hashlane proceeded to take me between pastures, overgrown brambles and the occasional house and driveway, but to my delight it continued straight and unobstructed. It eventually passed through an open gate by some farm machinery and changed to dirt - by now I was quite close. When I reached the longitude of the hash, brambles blocked my way to the right but they ended in a few dozen more yards, so I rounded them and made my way south-southwest through an apparently unused pasture. The hashpoint appeared to be just over a small-time electric fence in the next pasture west, which was also unoccupied and unsigned. I was going to make it! I found an opening in the fence, and within a minute the coordinates were mine. Photos ensued. And then...
...there was LIGHT from the southwest, just above the ridgetop. The setting sun! Knowing I might only see it for a minute or two in this weather, and then not for a week, I abandoned the site documentation and raced up the slope. The top turned out to be another electric fence behind someone's house, which I carefully stepped over at a low spot and then got off their property via their driveway. The resulting view of the sun setting behind the bay was gorgeous... it was appearing through a thin, horizontal break in the dark low clouds. Also visible through the break was part of the skyline of the distant Olympic Mountains (I think so, at least! It could have just been more clouds.)
With the generous time remaining before the last bus back to the ferry dock, I decided to follow this beacon down the hill towards the bay. I entered a subdivision of view houses, but the road didn't seem to go all the way down. I was about to give up, but noticed a sign right next to me, which sent me down a gravel footpath between homes. This eventually became a boardwalk through marsh, and then the beach. The sunset was pretty much over at this point, but it was still a nice beach/bay to wander up. An older man walking his dog asked me if I'd ever been there on a clear day - I had to tell him no, but he confirmed that the Olympics were indeed where I thought I saw them. We talked about light and mountains for a little bit and then he warned me of the impending island darkness. This sounded like a reasonable threat, so I asked him for directions to the road and headed back. It did grow very dark in the half hour I waited for the bus.
On the way back I just retraced the afternoon's transit steps, with an hour layover in Mukilteo at the Diamond Knot brewery for dinner and a pint of Industrial Red. By 9:15 or so I was back at the house, satisfied and successful. It was only on re-examining the google map in preparation for this writeup that I found out the rather unfortunate name of today's bay!
!! in Lynnwood waiting for the bus to Mukilteo
| OtherJack earned the Public transport geohash achievement