2015-08-22 51 0
In a field (of course) north of the river Crouch. Just off the road, though.
- Huinesoron (talk) will potentially attend if there's any chance of a meetup. If no-one else is around, though, it's a bit too far.
- Benjw always enjoys meeting other hashers.
Following the unexpected appearance of Benjw on my talk page, I made firm plans to hit this Saturday Meetup. That meant some negotiations with my wife - she decided not to come with me, so I had to make this as quick as possible.
I set off just after 3, following a set of printed directions from Google Maps. Which of course meant I got lost in a tangle of turnings, ended up doing a U-turn on a major road, and then had to come back up it when it turned out I'd been going the right way after all. Of course it did.
I counted the 1.7 miles from the last turning, and was pleased to find the hash-field exactly where it should be. Unfortunately the driveway opposite it turned out to be surrounded by giant hills, so I had to keep going to find a parking spot. I ended up a little way up the road, pulled up in a churchyard lay-by.
The hash was a ways back down the road, so I hopped out and started walking. Then a car passed me, moving slowly, and with what appeared to be a wildly-grinning lunatic at the wheel. "Ah," I thought. "That looks like a geohasher."
And it was! Benjw parked right behind my car, and I ambled back up the side of the road to meet him. Then I noticed that it might be possible to cut through the churchyard, rather than walking directly into 60mph traffic. I'm smart, me. ^_^
It was actually a pleasant walk to the hash. There was a gate from the churchyard into a field of grass and stubble, which we could amble across in the direction of the opposite hedge. Then... okay, then I admit we had to scramble through brambles to get any further. But apart from that it was a pleasant walk.
Beyond the hedge was a field of... uh, something. It wasn't a grain, or oilseed, or hemp, or grass, or any other crop I recognised. It had lovely little purple flowers that reminded me of orchids, only much tinier. Much conversation passed in trying to work out what it was.
I searched for it when I got home. Apparently it was alfalfa. So I learnt something today!
Benjw had brought a mysterious device with him: it was like a map, except that it magically updated to tell you exactly where you were! I dunno, guys, I think this might revolutionise the whole concept of geohashing. ^_^ Anyway, the presence of a GPS made it much easier to find the hashpoint - I usually have to pace the distances out in fields like this.
I'd noticed before leaving home that there was a fair amount of wind, even if it was a bit fitful. And I seem to recall there's an achievement that would be perfect for that... and I just happened to have a micro-kite sitting around at home... (let's not go into the fact that I actually lost mine and had to abscond with my sibling's in order to 'just happen' to have it on hand). So it was kite-time!
And then... well, it's geohashing, you know what happened then: we wandered back to our cars and left. On the way, I snapped a photo of a nearby wind turbine (I have my reasons), and we poked around the churchyard a bit. I keep saying churchyard because the actual church... doesn't exist any more. Or rather, it does - as a private house, which seems to have been completely re-roofed. No idea what that's about.
The most unusual grave was a 1919 military headstone. I've never seen one of those outside a military cemetary; precisely what a guy from a Yorkshire regiment is doing buried in a parish churchyard in Essex is entirely beyond me.
And that's all there was to it. I managed not to get lost on the way home, and arrived about two hours after I'd left. A successful trip!
I'm not sure there's anything I can really add to the magnificently-written report above. I don't even object to being likened to a wildly-grinning lunatic.
This hashpoint was a bit further than I'd normally go to, and I had been thinking about going to the one in my own graticule, but it's always good to take the opportunity of actually meeting someone when I can. In the end I decided to go to the Cambridge hashpoint as well; it made for rather a long day, but hey.
I didn't have to negotiate permission from MrsBenjw as she was visiting family for the weekend, so I spent the morning at work, then drove down to Essex via the Hatfield Forest nature reserve. I, too, had a little trouble getting to the hashpoint -- it seems the local towns aren't too keen on signposting any other destinations, resulting in a small amount of driving round in circles looking for the correct road out of wherever I was. Still, I made it pretty much bang on time, slowing down as I approached the field containing the hashpoint, and looking for somewhere I could park. Before finding that, though, I came across someone looking like he might be a geohasher picking his way along the road verge.
After our entertaining geohash, I decided that since I'd come this far I might as well look for some of the local geocaches, so I spent a pleasant couple of hours engaged in that, before deciding that if I was going to head to another geohash in the next graticule then I'd better get on with it. I finally left at about 6:30pm. A most excellent day out; thank you Huinesoron.
| Huinesoron (talk) earned the Fly a kite achievement
|Huinesoron (talk) earned the Meet-up achievement|