2013-05-04 39 -77

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Sat 4 May 2013 in 39,-77:
39.0831226, -77.5235966

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In a mowed track under some power lines in Leesburg, VA. Some faint dirt tracks for cars are visible as well as a small river.



We are planning on going at around 4pm Eastern US time, and may try to live stream the expedition via TinyChat again, if there are any interested viewers.


This was by far the best geohash expedition I've been on, due to a combination of factors:

  • The weather was perfect. Very sunny and about 68 degrees.
  • The location was easy to get to by car (45 minutes away, mostly highway)
  • There were dirt tracks that led right there that I could drive my 4WD car on
  • The terrain was very lush and green and hilly and enjoyable to experience
  • We got to stream the expedition live to a few friends/strangers on the internet
  • The smells. There were flowers blooming as well as the smell of just fresh vegetation, wild onions, and water. Running over the vegetation in the car also released all kinds of intense smells.

So I mapped out the area the morning of, and talked about it a little bit in the IRC channel. We had live streamed an expedition the previous day and when it came time to try it, a few geohashers of European domicile decided to tag along and I am very flattered that they wanted to join. I tried to be a good host, explaining things about the culture and unique aspects of my town and the route, which took us on some of the major highways near Washington, DC. When we neared the spot that Google Maps took us to, even though we knew there was a river between us and the hash, we got out to explore. It was fun reading and responding to users' comments on tinychat while exploring.

When we got out of the car, we heard a crazy buzzing noise, it was some kind of interference from the power lines. Even the watchers of the stream could hear it. We walked down to the river, or "moat" as we were calling it also. We saw a couple of ducks which waddled away from us, uninterested. We went down to the other end of the mowed area and saw some rocks that maybe would have allowed us to cross, but only with signifcant risk of getting wet, so we went with our original plan which was to circle around to the other side by driving back on normal roads.

We trekked back to the car and I heard a sound that was almost stereotypical from a movie--the shriek of a hawk. I heard it again and looked and the hawk was on the highest pylon of a power line. When I focused the camera on the hawk it took off and swooped around, riding the thermals from the blacktop we were parked on, soaring and gliding majestically.

We drove around a quarry/stone plant, a FedEx truck repair plant, a golf course, and other related stuff. relet (talk) was actually able to follow along from a map and direct us properly. Thanks, relet!

Since the weather is warmer and it has been raining, the tracks weren't nearly as obvious at ground level as they were on the map, but , under the guidance of relet, started down a promising track. We ran over bushes and reeds and grass and plants tickled the underside of my car as we barrelled down the track. You couldn't even call it a dirt track, it was just an area of vegetation that had two parallel tracks of lower level of vegetation that were spaced at approximately the width of tyres on a car.

Anyway the hash point was within a few feet of a track so we backed up and gunned it and went through the hash at 35MPH. In our area when not otherwise marked, the speed limit is 25MPH so we made a Speed Racer achievement. We got out of the car and took a couple of more sedate pics. We then got back in and drive down to the river/moat, and got out and tried to throw bread to the ducks. The ducks were not interested. We drove back up to the asphalt via a different track, and signed off the broadcast there.

However we decided to explore some other dirt tracks we saw, so we drove through more wilderness and found a radome of some kind, perhaps for weather measurements for the nearby airport. We also found an abandoned house that had clearly burned down many decades ago. Drove on all kinds of great terrain and walked around the ruined house.

When we were a few hundred feet away from the ruined house, Allison found a big tick on her. We pulled it off and threw it out of the car. We then found another teeny one so we stopped, got out, and checked each other for ticks. No more found.

Then we started to head back and the Google Nav took us in a slightly different direction. We saw some cows grazing under the same power lines, then drove up some gravel roads and found some really deep puddles to drive though. Allison kind of wanted to get home so she didn't want to video it but we almost got stuck at a couple of points.

We finally headed back out to the more main roads, after getting on rt 267 the wrong way, and headed back home. Then in the car like 15 minutes later, on the highway, Allison found another tick on her! I threw it out of the car at 55 MPH to be sure.

We had leftover Red, Hot, and Blue and a plate of sliced cucumber and tomato drizzled with flax seed oil and balsamic vinegar, and sprinkled with salt.

Then, sitting watching the NASCAR race about an hour later, I felt a tickle on my leg. ARRRGH! A teeny little tick like the second one we got off Allison. Threw it in the garbage disposer.

Here's a YouTube video with no sound of much of the expedition, from the point of view of relet's computer. You can see the TinyChat video as well as him switching to his map to direct us. Video




  • Land Geohash