2013-02-28 34 -92
In Camp Robinson, an Arkansas National Guard base in North Little Rock.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to attempt this hash. On the one hand, we could get some cool achievements (Ambassador, Virgin Graticule) for successfully doing it, and I didn't have the excuse that I did in London of being a foreign national. On the other hand, it was half an hour away in a military base, and getting turned away would mean an hour of my life was wasted. What made up my mind for me was AshtaraSilunar's interest in the hash even after I explained the risks. She did some research, and it looked like the base was relatively low-security and that there was a decent chance we could get in as civilians with a silly purpose, so after a bit of preparation, off we went.
Getting to Camp Robinson's entrance wasn't difficult, as there were signs clearly marking every step of the way after we turned off the highway. The entrance itself was 1.2 miles from the hashpoint, so if we were allowed in, it would be easily walkable. We prepared the paperwork which the visitor center said was needed for entry, with some difficulty due to disorganization (mostly on AshtaraSilunar's part), then entered the visitor center.
We soon discovered a bureaucratic problem with our prepared paperwork- AshtaraSilunar didn't have the most recent version of a necessary form, since she hadn't received it yet. We suggested calling to confirm that it contained up-to-date info, but the official manning the visitor's center seemed unsatisfied with this option. After a bit of back-and-forth about the issue, he finally asked what we wanted to go in Camp Robinson for in the first place.
AshtaraSilunar and I glanced at each other. I reached into my purse to get my map of the area around the hashpoint and the Ambassador sheet, while she began talking: "It's this thing called geohashing, and today's coordinates are-"
The official cut her off right there with a brusque "No. No. Absolutely not." before I could finish retrieving my papers. We left the visitor's center, and the official wished us a good day, which seemed to ring a bit false after such an abrupt denial. In hindsight, the official probably had confused geohashing with geocaching and thus thought we were going to place/exchange things on the property, which is understandably objectionable but not at all our intention. Still, even if we had realized this misunderstanding at the time, even we know better than to argue with a military official about property access.
This hash left both AshtaraSilunar and I somewhat frustrated. It wasn't that we had been denied access to hashes on private property for the third time. It wasn't that we had driven half an hour to be rejected. It wasn't even the bureaucratic paperwork mix-up, and that AshtaraSilunar legitimately didn't have the opportunity to present the proper forms, since she hadn't been given them. No, it was because the two of us had been so abruptly and brusquely denied the opportunity over what now appears to be a simple misunderstanding. At least we now know what NOT to say to officials when hashing in the future.
| Haberdasher and AshtaraSilunar earned the No trespassing consolation prize