2015-09-29 52 0
Six metres off a footpath between Newton and Foxton, south of Cambridge.
(at different times)
Not quite sure when I will make this, but it's mostly likely to be about 1:30 - 2pm. Will cycle over to the hashpoint after a lecture in central Cambridge.
Four of us will be driving to the hashpoint and approaching it from the other side - from Cambridge Road, Newton. We hope to be at the hashpoint just before 18:30. We'll try to leave some kind of decorated stone for PaintedJaguar.
Can't make lunchtime or early evening, but if time allows will aim for either the 20:55 or 21:55 train from Cambridge to Foxton. Will look out for any markers left by others (hint!), if they're easy to spot with just torchlight.
- Have a good look around. You should see two objects, approximately 10cm across, at the hashpoint. Tongs (talk) 14:49, 29 September 2015 (EDT)
I was planning to go to the hashpoint this afternoon, after a lecture on Pluto I was attending at noon, but it turned out that my morning commitment finished earlier than expected, leaving enough time to bike out to the hashpoint and back in between. So I did. It helped that I was already on the correct side of Cambridge, so I cycled out from Addenbrooke's hospital on the stripy cycle path, through the Shelfords and out towards Newton. It was a pleasant day for a cycle and there was a light breeze propelling me along, so I arrived at about 10:50. As expected, the hashpoint was easily accessible -- about six metres off a public footpath along the side of a field. The field was bare and the earth was quite solid. Photos were taken and I left the hashpoint at 10:56, nicely in time for a leisurely cycle back into Cambridge via Harston and Trumpington.
All four of us set out from the south side of Cambridge and, guided by Google Maps, went down ever smaller and smaller roads, then tracks, then, when the GPS receiver reported we were within 500m, we parked up alongside a footpath. We set off past what was probably someone's house and onto a public footpath leading to the field. Not long afterwards, F found an interesting path into the woods and, for maybe 300m, we followed a gap in the trees, with birds cawing and flying around above us.
After focusing our eyes on nearby things, the end of the path seemed liked an expanse, a huge field over which a beautiful sunset was in progress. We were close to the hashpoint and the familiar countdown of the GPS started as the metres ticked away. We reached the hashpoint, a metre or two from the side of the field and took the required evidence. T left PaintedJaguar some things and we slowly walked back, stopping to investigate some buried shotgun cartridges and a sign about shooting. By now it was dark, and we needed to get our torches out for a walk back through the woods. T played ranger and we stopped off to investigate a fork in the path, with a very real risk of getting lost. Coming back out, we heard an owl hooting!
We got back in the car and spent the twenty minutes going back to Cambridge scoffing the contents of the Emergency Fun Box.
Expedition Three (PaintedJaguar)
Evening commitments were completed in good time, allowing the 20:55 train to be taken. At Foxton, the footpath from the "wrong" end of the station was used, going across the middle of a field and into the village, instead of following the main road, causing much confusion to the one other person getting off at Foxton.
This first field was negotiated without incident, noting the perfectly clear sky and still almost full moon after the eclipse earlier in the week. Foxton village was then passed, and a rather long field running alongside a hedge was next. At the end of this field was an narrow bridge over a stream, with a handrail on only one side - it wouldn't have been given a second thought during the day, but in the moonlight it felt much narrower and more precarious than it probably was!
The hashpoint was then reached, in a field with trees along the near side next to the river, a nicely shaped hill at one end, and the silhouette of hedges visible stretching along the other edges into the distance. The moon was now hidden behind the nearby trees, causing them to cast enormous shadows across most of the field. The sky was perfectly clear, with stars visible all around. Sadly only a small compact camera had been brought along, which was completely incapable of doing justice to the scene.
The ground was scoured carefully in an attempt to find the objects left by the earlier expedition, a task not helped by the GPS randomly deciding it was anywhere between 1 and 30 metres away from the hashpoint even when not actually moving. Eventually the little box of toys and labelled stone were found, and photos were taken alongisde the GPS and my own hashscots as proof. There were nowhere convenient to leave a more permanent marker, and eventually a chalk message was left on a narrow-ish tree branch a short distance away, probably the only one in the vicinity that wasn't covered in ivy.
There was a bit of time to kill before having to leave to get the train home, during which time the stars were observed, bats were seen flying around, an unidentified creature was heard foraging in the nearby undergrowth, many owls were heard hooting, and a passing train in the distance was also heard hooting, presumably trying to imitate the owls. Eventually it was time to leave, and the path to the station was retraced without incident.
One particularly eerie thing about this expedition was that in the entire time from leaving Foxton station at the start, to arriving back at the station at the end, not a single other person was seen or heard - neither in the flesh, in a moving car, or from a house window. Perhaps not surprising for the part of the expedition that involved crossing fields, but really strange given that the route went through part of the village itself. 9 to 10pm isn't that late, is it? Overall though, this was a great expedition in a really nice spot, perfectly made for a night-time visit.
Shiny ribbons earned
| Benjw earned the Land geohash achievement
| Benjw earned the Bicycle geohash achievement
| PaintedJaguar earned the Two to the N achievement