2013-06-23 54 -1
moorland/pasture north of Stanhope on the northern rim of Weardale, County Durham, UK
We're planning to head up there this evening, hoping to have enough light still at 11 pm or so to find the spot, and be there for the midnight hash.
Northern summer twilight held for us. We arrived at the parking lot of the nearby B&B (which seemed to have a good number of clients; nice to see) around 10:45. As we walked past its restaurant, a guy came out asking us "are you guests here?" We responded "No, we're just trying to get to a spot on the moor a little over that way." "Okay", he says, "you can walk along this road, but don't go through that gate to the other side of the fence." The gate had a house trailer and a big dog on the other side of it, so we were happy not to go through it, but there was some worry that the fence might extend a long way north and block our access to the moor. As it turned out, walking north just a little way brought us to a public cycleway, from which there was no impediment other than boggy moorland blocking our route. After some tussock-hopping (thank you summer solstice for just-adequate illumination) we arrived on firmer ground and had no trouble finding the narrow grassy path that showed up on the satellite image. The hashpoint was along that path a few feet away from a Y-intersection, and there was also a big barn for orientation, so we found the spot without problems.
Cellphone locator service was working better than usual out in the dales, but was still a little flaky; moving about three feet could change its distance-to-target estimate by ten yards or so, and there was no way to play "warmer/colder" to get a better marker than the highest-resolution satellite map had already given us. We took a picture of the cellphone screen anyway, giving a distance estimate of 6.16 yards.
The ladies went exploring around the heather a little while, encountering a family of grouse, to make the time to midnight pass faster. In fact they were surprised to find that when they got back to Jake and me it was only twelve minutes to midnight! We waited around the remaining time, huddling to keep the cool wind at bay, took a picture of my cellphone clock showing midnight (we liked that one because it was the most advanced), declared victory, and headed for home. There was a pub open in Stanhope but it was probably a little farther away from the hashpoint than the Pub Hash requirements, our party included two underage people, and anyway we were all ready to turn in, so we passed it up.
Big sculpture on the hill above the hashpoint. Photo taken ca. 11:15 pm. For a daytime shot (by someone else) see http://www.panoramio.com/photo/51885587
| George, Katja, Rebekah, Jake, and Jessica earned the Land geohash achievement
| George, Katja, Rebekah, Jake, and Jessica earned the Midnight Geohash achievement