Talk:2008-06-14 37 -122

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Apparently, Darcy is bigoted against Arkansas.

Apparently, Mr. is afraid to sign his name to his inflammatory comments. --Tapin 18:20, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Darcy has no problem with Arkansas. The property owner, whom we politely offered to apologize to in person, is apparently currently in Arkansas. (It was his neighbor who was so angry with us.) --Darcy 20:19, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

(From someone who has Lisp Cycles pinned to his wall and was born and raised in and has retired to SW Missouri, pretty close to the Arkansas border): I don't understand what the fuss is here.

Was a weapon brandished at any of you? Where is the "anger", it's not at all clear.

Or did you just see some long guns in a gun rack in a pickup truck? If so, I assure you this is a very common sight all over the USA including here, and if you're going to be dropping in on random locations be prepared to see them. They don't mean much, they're a tool, much like a policeman's service weapon.

And all the points (for the moment removed due to a bad editing job) about groups of strangers attracting attention are spot on. Valuable stuff is easily stolen in rural low population density areas, so people keep their eyes open. And I've heard some insane stories of what people will do to get their hands on anhydrous ammonia for meth production, nasty stuff that needs better sealing than consumer grade tape provides (!!!). Hga 19:06, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

It seems like a bunch of city folk were surprised by the customs of people who live in rural areas. Some of these city folks are acting all self-righteous and blaming the property owners for their caution in dealing with a group of strangers. Other geohashing folks realize this incident was entirely their doing and they are attempting to moderate the excitable "guns - OM MY!" crowd. Moral: don't geohash where you are not welcome. (Unsigned Slashdot-inspired comment by

Aside from the comments on the Slashdot article, how do you read any of that off of this page? As you can see below -- hopefully you read the discussion here, rather than the third- and fourth-party (and beyond) from the overblown Slashdot article -- the warning was posted to let later geohashers know that they weren't welcome, and to stay on the nearby public lands (the road). because -- despite not being posted -- the area was confirmed private property. But thanks for the unwelcome moralizing! --Tapin 17:09, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, I can see why you might be defensive about this issue, but I *did* read this page and others after hearing about this on /. It seems like geohashing is perceived as granting a right to enter private property without permission in advance. I know if someone came on to my property without asking, especially in an area near a park where people are often either confused or looking to exploit the proximity of the private property, there would be a brief and firm discussion regarding the need for the trespassers to leave instantly. I do like hunting and hiking in various areas myself, but I find that going to the nearest farm/ranch house and asking permission often lets you meet some nice people and you get permission more often than not to use their property. I suppose it helps if you don't act like a bunch of irresponsible city kids who could not close a gate behind them if their life depended on it. My message still stands: don't geohash where you are not [cetain you are] welcome (Unsigned comment from
You're right, I was overly defensive; sorry -- we're still getting Slashdot vandalism, and anon IP addresses on this page over the last couple days have immediately raised my hackles. Why don't you register for account? We'd love to have you on board! I'm not entirely sure why you seem to discount {{disclaimer}} (among others) -- "Please Don't Tresspass" is plastered over nearly every popular page on this wiki. Additionally, there are many available examples (sorry, at work, don't have time to pull them all up now) of "Saw a 'No Tresspassing' sign, left" or "Talked to a friendly rancher, got permission, took pictures, left". I even recall seeing "Talked to a friendly rancher, was offered yummy cookies" a few weeks ago. Please remember that you're dealing with SF Bay Area people here, too -- just being active and outdoors around here means you've seen a gate or two and typically know how to comport yourself away from concrete. --Tapin 16:55, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Discussion moved from meetup page[edit]

  • Wow - looks like I just barely missed out on all the excitement! Yeesh. Hope it all turned out all right. Apologies again for having to heartlessly abandon y'all early for prior dinner plans. Helluvalotta fun meeting everybody - lookin' forward to the next one o' these shindigs! Ideally involving fewer shotgun-related anecdotes! --Youhas 07:36, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
  • why does the guy have to be "Arkansas-visiting"? arkansas has a higher "smart" rating than california and has less guns and less anti-US citizens than texas. -- Anon
  • See the talk page -- the homeowner was, in fact, in Arkansas. --Tapin 22:09, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I live in Arkansas but travel to California on business once per quarter for a week. When I get back home to Arkansas I kiss the ground and thank God I do not live in California. (Unsigned comment from
  • Anon, Russia has less guns than citizens of texas. (Unsigned comment from

So.. is this what happened?[edit]

For those of us who are trying to piece together what happened -- is this a reasonable summary? For anyone who was involved, please feel free to edit this in-place to make it more accurate.

  • Discussion prior to the attempt: It was easily accessible from the road, although potentially private property. Street View showed it as being outside of a chain link fence on one side, and nowhere near the house on the other side. It also happened to be near (on the border of?) the Little Hills Picnic Ranch park, providing an alternate mechanism for approaching, if not accessing, the point.
  • zigdon went to the road near the point at 4pm, hung around a bit, and then took off. Speculation: At this point, the neighbor noticed the unusual traffic and started fretting about the car that hung out near his absent friend's house.
  • Shortly thereafter, a number of other cars showed up. Neighbor now starts to worry in earnest.
    • Did the post-zigdon group park? Leave their cars? Approach the point from the road?
    • Did the neighbor communicate in any way with the hashers at this point?
    • How long were the hashers there?
      • Darcy and I traveled separately and arrived at the same time, around 4:30pm. We parked along the side of the road next to another couple of empty cars, presumably belonging to fellow hashers, and made a bee-line for the hash point. There was no neighbor obviously present at that point. (Can't vouch for anyone who might've arrived later on, of course.) I didn't personally catch wind of any concerned neighbor until I was leaving - saw someone in a vehicle addressing the group as I headed out. --Youhas 23:14, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
      • My brother and I arrived around 5, parked next to the other cars and followed the sounds of voices. Everyone left around 5:30ish and the neighbor stopped and told us off from his truck, after having photographed our license plates.. When he moved on, five of us went up to the station. Everyone else was gone when we came back, so we cleared out too. I don't think anyone was actually scared of the neighbors' friends, but since they seemed to want us to leave, we figured it was a good idea. How strange of us to do that. Lunch Meat 23:37, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
  • At some point, the neighbor begins photographing license plates
  • At some point, the neighbor calls a few friends over. One friend has a pickup with a gun rack.
  • The hashers notice the gun rack, and decide to leave. At least one hasher heads north to the entrance of Little Hills and talks with a ranger there. Ranger suggests neighbor might be a bit edgy.
    • In fact, the group who had gone up to the ranger station (myself included) entirely missed the shotguns. The group of NASA interns (and perhaps some others) had waited around down by the road while we went up to sort things out; during this interval the neighbor drove back down from the ranger station (we passed his truck going in the opposite direction as we went up) and, apparently, showed up with a shotgun or two. So the shotguns were not what prompted us to leave the property -- realizing that we were definitely trespassing and that someone was pissed off with us prompted us to leave the property. (Also, for clarity's sake, the ranger we talked to wasn't north at Little Hills; he was literally right across the street from the hashpoint, as that is where the park service station was.) --Darcy 05:20, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

So, among other things I'm not clear on -- did anyone head to the point through Little Hills? Did anyone actually talk to the neighbor, or was communication limited to shouting across some distance? Did anyone actually reach the actual point?

  • And to answer this: We did reach the hash point and stayed there for quite a while. I spoke to the neighbor and his wife at length through the window of their pickup truck after we left the property, in an attempt to apologize for our trespassing, although it had no noticeable effect in appeasing him. --Darcy 05:20, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Of course, none of this is all that important, or really matters, except for later events:

  • The page is edited to warn latecomers that they're not welcome
  • Slashdot gets ahold of it, and frontpages it with an emphasis on "shotgun"
  • The obligatory second-amendment flamefest follows, with a heaping helping of "silly geohashers" thrown in for good measure

Corrections? --Tapin 20:56, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I was there[edit]

We went to the location, which was across the road from a park ranger station, walked about 500 feet into the nearby woods, and on the way out met the neighbors in their pickup truck (An about 70 year old retired fire chief and his wife). We explained the innocent reason for our presence, apologized profusely for the confusion, and asked if there was any way that we could contact the owners and ask for their forgiveness. Any attempt we made at reconciliation was only rejected with anger.

We later talked with the park ranger about the situation who explained that this couple is very protective about the nearby properties, and frequently gets angry about little things like this. The park ranger directed us to the park entrance that was just up the road, and we went on our way.

One of the hashers later posted on the wiki about the situation in order to warn later hashers to stay away from now confirmed private property. Maybe posting about the gun was unnecessary, but then again maybe it was useful knowledge for later hashers to know about the potential dangers. Either way the gun was a minor feature of the event and certainly does not merit such a hyperbolic discussion about culture clashes.

We were not trying to harm anything or anyone. We did not intend to trespass on private property. We were not afraid of the guns, nor the people, nor the culture. We left simply because we realized that the neighbors didn't want us there, and we had made a mistake.



Why are you guys bothered that this was picked up by slahdot? (Unsigned comment from

  • I assume the "you guys" would be me, in this case; I'm certainly not bothered so much as amused. I wasn't particularly interested in the details ("We went, a shotgun showed up, we left" was detailed enough for me) until all sorts of assumptions -- including ones I know to be false -- were made in the comments to the Slashdot article. Which is why I posted the previous comment, to have more details with which to respond. --Tapin 22:12, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I do not think any number of facts will dissuade the vast hordes of people who wish to become upset and angry on /. --bluehat

  • (I can't resist drawing a comparison between them and the rancher-neighbor, although doing such is probably asking for trouble.) --Darcy
  • I came here from the /. feed. I wouldn't have even known people did this otherwise. Awesome hobby and great story for the grandkids :-) -- Neil

Was a weapon actually brandished or pointed at anyone?[edit]

Was anyone attending actually threatened with a firearm? Or were the simply firearms in a gun rack on the vehicle?

Gun racks and long guns (rifles and shotguns) in plain view on a vehicle is perfectly legal and common in Arkansas, and most of the country for that matter.

Unless the incident actually involved a firearm being pointed at someone, it was completely unnecessary to even mention the firearms in the first place.

Anyone who has this type of fear of firearms should take a basic firearms safety course so they understand what guns are about. Of course people fear what they don't understand, so I suggest that you take the steps to understand firearms. They are not evil objects, and the mere presence of a firearm should not be seen as a threat to your safety. Take the time and attend a firearms safety class, which will explain how they work, and will explain how by following very simple handling rules "accidental" discharges are not even possible. You will also get some time and instruction actually shooting a gun at a range.

Who knows? Maybe you'll find that shooting is a hobby and sport that you actually enjoy. I grew up in a very anti-gun climate and it wasn't until fairly recently before I even touched or fired an actual gun. It turned out to be a very rewarding hobby -- I've put in a lot of work improving my marksmanship, and I had a lot of fun doing so.