2018-03-29 35 -80
Behind the Carmel Christian School in Matthews.
I was already going to meet some friends for pub & karaoke in near-south Charlotte later, so figured I might as well drive a little farther south first, grab this hash, and explore some areas that I don't usually visit.
On the satellite picture the point looked like it was in a grove of trees behind some sort of outbuilding (a shed?) in back of the huge Carmel Christian School in what I thought was southeast Charlotte, turned out to be just over the city line into Matthews. It showed a small dead-end back parking lot (accessible from the main lot via a long driveway) that was fairly close to the point, but full of cars. However I figured at 7pm on the night before Good Friday (certainly a holiday for a Christian School) it would probably be emptier, and no one would be around.
The drive down was beautiful, the sun was just starting to get low but not really dusk yet. South Charlotte is a very wealthy, rolling and pretty area, trees were in full spring bloom. I saw a lot of political campaign signs, later found out that the Congressional races in this district are much more competitive than in my district. The google maps nav started me on big, familiar Providence Road but then took me down an unexpected, winding lane which then spat me out right onto Route 51 by the giant school. From there the main parking lot was just a couple of minutes.
The driveway to the back parking lot behind the school turned out to be easy and empty - no gates or ominous signs. And the little lot itself was nearly empty, as I'd hoped. No one around. I parked and got out. Dusk was just falling.
I could see the outbuilding in question - this looked like it would be pretty easy. It was a shed. To the right of the shed was a bunch of equipment, huge wheelbarrows and lawnmowers and such - this is where the point was supposed to be. The Algorithm had led me to the school's maintenance area, apparently.
I carefully picked my way between the machines and vehicles to about where Google satellite had the point, but my yellow GPS told me to go even further right, into the grove of pine trees. Here in the crook of a tree it finally read 2.5 feet (less than a meter.) The proof picture is not clear, but I uploaded it anyway.
Behind the trees it seemed there was more open space - I ducked under a few more branches and found myself on a wide, grassy road/trail of some sort, beautifully shaded by pines on both sides! Was this also school property, or was it owned by the neighbors behind? I explored a little, it turned out to connect back up with the school grounds just to the east by an empty reservoir, and to the little parking lot just to the west. So I could have reached the point from the parking lot much more easily if I'd realized this.
I was just about to walk the 20 feet across the lot back to my car when I turned around to get a couple last pictures of the path. And that's when I saw the signs... it turned out this was an official hiking trail of the school, complete with religious instructions and context. (But the elevation on the sign was wrong, they had 200something feet, while this area is actually at 200something meters, which they would have had to convert to 700something feet.)
So I got my first 35,-80 hashpoint, but also discovered my first (and likely last) explicitly Christian hiking trail.
The drive back to Montford for the pub through the gathering dark was straightforward, and I also passed through SouthPark on the way, which I somehow had never seen before.
| OtherJack earned the Holy hash achievement
I think this qualifies, since the signs make it a Christian trail and a special place.