2014-10-16 49 8

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Thu 16 Oct 2014 in 49,8:
49.0060978, 8.0332128

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In the little French part (northern Alsace) of the Mannheim graticule.

The hashpoint is located in the forest near the D3 road leading from Lauterboug to Wissembourg, about 6.8 km east of the center (railway station) of Wissembourg.



DODO: The whole graticule is waiting for this for more than five years: HP in the french 0,1 % of it. And before I could even look out for the tomorrows HP I already got a message from Q-Owl about it and he has also already created this page, because he knew, someone will go. Well, it's pretty far from home and I have to go to work tomorrow of course, but I guess I can leave pretty early. So here are my plans:

  • I can offer a free ride from Speyer to the hashpoint for up to 7 persons (including me). So if anyone wants to join, I would be very appreciated, to pick you up (i.e. at the station) and have a real nice meetup. If this take place, I would start around 5 pm.
  • If nobody else wants to gain all those pretty ribbons (or at least, no one wants to go there with me), I have to go there on my own. In this case I wouldn't feel fine to use all the fuel and I would go there by bull direct from work (what makes it a nearly 90 KM-ride one way). I hope to arrive before 7 pm (and catch the train home from Kapsweyer at 19:41).

As nobody (except me) wants to travel to the hashpoint via Speyer, I'll take the second option. I will leave work around 15:45 and hope to reach the HP between 18:30 and 19:00, so I hope to meet RC and DL (and feel really sorry for Q-Owl).

Q-Owl: I waited about one year for this occurrence but can't join (cough, fever). :-((

RecentlyChanged: I would like to meet-up! I can take the train for parts of it and then make the rest with my bike, but I have to wait 'til after 6pm because my ticket will be usable at this moment. I think it is possible for me to arrive shortly before 7pm with train and bike.

DLichti will probably take the train to Kapsweyer or Schweighofen and walk from there. ETA around 18:30.

Possible activities nearby:
Confluencing by visiting N 49° 0.000 E 8° 0.000 (2.5 km west, near the D244)
Nearest Geocaches: GC24NAR (2.3 km east) and GC52QB3
Safari Cache: OCF495 (0.0 km^^)


DODO: I really got out of the office at 15:35, only 5 minutes later than I wanted to, saddled the well feed bull (alright, he already made the 16 KM to work) and started southwards. Most things worked as expected except the quite strong headwind. OK, that does not really matter for the speed of the bull, but in this case it matters for the cruising range, and so I was shocked, when the bull said 46 KM more to go, but I still had 70 KM in front of me. So I had to reduce speed a little bit. Except a short stop at a bakery to buy some cake and at a fuel station to buy some beer to celebrate our success the ride processed uneventful and at 18:30 I reached the french border. I took some pictures, but borders have become a little bit boring and unimpressive in western europe nowadays (no, I don't complain abut that), especially when you are on a small and muddy forest path.

A few kilometers and minutes later I was near the hashpoint, and while I was looking for place to chain the bull, DLichti broke out of the forest and welcomed me. We went back into the forest to the hashpoint and after we have waited a while on RC, we celebrated our success with some pastry and some cookies. We continued waiting until 19:15, but then we decided to leave, as I had to catch my train and I wanted to ride the unpaved parts with at least a little light. As DLichti and I went of in different directions of the only path that lead to the hash, I still hope, RC and DLichti met (as obviously I did not).

The way to Kapsweyer turned out to be a forest path and so I decided, not to ride there but to go back to Steinfeld. We should have waited 6 minutes more, because that was the time I had to wait at the station. All the trains were in time and I reached home at 9 (with power for 5 more kilometers in the bull).

The story of RecentlyChanged: He was excited the whole day to finally meet other geohashers. He prepared himself with cookies and a fine tea, which he had imported from china and wanted to share. He left his room at about 5.15 pm to be at the station an hour later, he was way to early. At least he thought that, until he arrived in the basement, where his bike should be. But it wasn't! Someone took it, very likely it will never come back. He ran back up and asked his flatmates for there bikes. He got a 3 walks bycicle with slightly bent handlebars. With this he reached the train even with ten minutes left.

The next station he already left the train and wanted to change to another on. According to the plan he got at home, this one should depart from track 1. He went there, but the doors of the train waiting there were locked. Seeing RC in his struggle, two really, really nice men told him, that the train is leaving at track 5 due to some construction sites. RC instantly hurried to the other track, just in time to see the train closing his doors and depart.

So he had to take the bike, but he was still confident to be at the hashpoint in a reasonable time, you can see his very optimistic spirit in such messages:

But if you look at the points from which he sent them, you probably see, that he is just an idiot. He arrived in Lauterbourg shortly before 7pm, it started to become dark and his mobilphone already lost contact to the german mobile network, so he could not inform the other hashers. And he thought it would still be possible to meet them, he just had to be fast now.

Next obstacle he met: the french ideas of signs for bikers. He rode on a way for bicycles next to the street which he knew to be in the exact right direction. But suddenly there was a sign saying he have to (have to!!) go right. He thought nothing bad of it, that surely would be just a little parallel way to the street so he did not really care. He rode and rode and rode on this way, even though it was relly muddy. 'It is surely because of the highway, because I can not cross it like a car' he thought for himself. If the sun would have been on the sky, he probably would have realised earlier, that he was heading south for quite a while. For some reason he was not angry at all, the weather was fine and he could not alter it in hindsight, so he just have to find another way which would not lead to a really big time loss. This worked out really well, he got a really nice path from there on and he could use the streets without problems because nobody was on them (19 oncoming cars, 5 overtaking, 1 guy on a bike and to ladies between Lauterbourg and Wissembourg).

He finally found the Hashpoint at around 8.40, but no trace of the other Hashers (of course not, he was late as hell). He then left really fast for Germany, he wanted to take a train from Kapsweyer. Finally back in the range of german mobile network he looked up the next possible connection: 4am next morning. [NOOoOOOOOo].

He sat down, ate half of the cookies and quenched his thirst with his hot tea. Of course he burnt his tongue not only once, but three times. After his little meal his stomach signaled him to be fine, but when he started to take the bike again, his legs just signaled him to fuck himself. Still he forced them to work, so they did (artefacts from his years when he rode with his bike everyday, in the hills, not on flat ground). In Kandel he bought a soft drink to get even more sugar to get through the night, then asked a girl for directions to Karlsruhe. He pointed him the street he should take and so he did. Probably she thought he is so strong to take the highway... He used the last few percent of his battery which his smartphone had left to invent a new way home. Where was a way heading exactly the way he wanted, just 4 or 5 turns away. He tried it, and ended up at a big field, from where on he walked to the perfect way he had seen on his map. Finally there with really wet shoes he discovered the perfect straight wasn't a way, but a railway track ([NOOoOOOOOo]). But after crossing the way he found a parallel street. He used his last strength to hope for luck and a tram home from Wörth, and his prayers were answered. There was a tram. Which did not open her doors for him, so he went at the beginning of the tram and asked the conductor, when the train will leave. The man told him, that he will depart in 8 minutes, but RC can't enter, because this were not a station, he would have to go a few hundred meters to the next station. RC waited there, entered the train and wrote:

From then on he just thought about a hot shower and a bed. He would not have his dreams fully fulfilled... Back at home there was a big party by one of his flatmates, he got the shower, but not the sleep. One and a half hour later, he finally got that too.

What an expedittion! Sad that he did not meet the other hashers!

DLichti: My train arrived at the Schweighofen train stop at around 17:22. From there, it was a 5.5 km walk to reach the hash point.

I passed behind the soccer pitch and entered into the forest, following a local cross border hiking trail. After about 1 km, I came to a bridge over the Lauter. It actually is the border between Germany and France, but if you don't know it or you don't see the boundary stone, then you wouldn't notice that you just crossed an international border. But as DODO said, this is quite common here. A few hundred meters later, I came by the ruins of an old water mill (the Trimmichmühle). And a little later, I came by some more ruins, this time of what looked like the remnants of an old castle.

The remaining 4.5 km consisted of comparably unexciting forestry tracks. For the last 100 m, I had to walk through the forest. I reached the hash point at 18:22, exactly 1 hour after leaving the train. I was the first to arrive, so I took a picture of the environment and sat down to have a lunch while waiting for DODO and RecentlyChanged. After some time, I saw DODO's bycicle's head lamp, so I came back to the track to meet him.

When we left the hash point, it was getting dark, but it wasn't too dark to roughly see the way and all the water puddles on the ground. After some time, I heard something moving in the bushes along the track, probably a wild boar according to the apparent weight. After 1/2 hour, it eventually got too dark to reliably see all the puddles, so I decided to turn on my flash light. I arrived at the Schweighofen train stop at around 20:05, so I still had to wait some time until the train arrived. It was the last train of that day. That's why RecentlyChanged had to ride another 50 km on his way home, while I was the only passenger in the train.

I didn't meet RecetlyChanged either.


\ DODO: bull: 86 KM, train: 64 KM

RC: [1]


DODO: When I reached the hashpoint it was to dark to photograph anything that doesn't shine by itself. My mobile has a flash, so I can proof, that DLichti was there, but it's hard to identify him

RC: I used the light from my bike to take the pictures, everything else led to black screens.


Achievements / Honorable Mention[edit]

DODO, RecentlyChanged and DLichti earned the Land geohash achievement
by reaching the (49, 8) geohash on 2014-10-16.
DODO, RecentlyChanged and DLichti earned the Border geohash achievement
by crossing the Germany-France border on 2014-10-16 to reach the (49, 8) geohash.

DODO earned the Reverse regional achievement
by reaching hash points in all 4 regions of the Mannheim, Germany (49, 8) graticule on states level.
DODO, RecentlyChanged and DLichti earned the Reverse regional achievement
by reaching hash points in all 2 regions of the Mannheim, Germany (49, 8) graticule on countries level.

DLichti and DODO earned the Meet-up achievement
by meeting eachother at the (49, 8) geohash on 2014-10-16.