Saturday, August 8, 2009

Geohashing Adventure

A few days ago me and a good friend decided we should go exploring with xkcd Geohashing and
said and done we went of to our adventure.

Todays Generated Location was
Lat: 55.564584
Long: 13.452741
At least according to the geohash app on Iphone =)
all pictures can be found here.

We basically had no idea what we were in for so for my self i just packed a video camera documentation is important =)
while my friend actually had a backpack with some gear like 1l water. Both were clad in shorts and t shirt

Starting out
Once i picked up my good friend we headed out. Wen we got closer to the location we started to look for a
place to park and get set so we picked a random parking spot along the way. Park checking the local area
map posted on a sign. to see if we could get our heading and see if it was worth driving a bit more or just
stay put. After some trixing as well as finding out that my iphone dosent support Lattitude Longitude coordinates
as destination ( kinda disappointing ) we got around to using a normal car gps as well as a hand held gps
my friend was carrying with him. we also saw that we would not drive any further so we took our stuff and
and started walking.

Road end
There was a really nice road a "wood workers" road we followed because it lead somewhat close to our destination.
My friend A had taken the opportunity of waiting for me to check out the finish location and during our
walk along the road and said there would be a swamp kinda close by the finish location and the road also ended at the swamp.
Anyway after maby 20 -30 min we arrived at the end of the road. Since the forest roof had been kinda dense we
had some trouble getting the gps working but at the roads end we were at a clearing. And check our coordinates.
And jackpot we had just 180 meters left to the hash spot. But unfortunately it was on the other side of the grassland swamp.

#Note Along this road we also saw our first Deer. A spotted it a good while before i did. never got the camera up
i moved to pick up the camera and apparently it saw that we had spotted it and rand off.

The streams
So we looking out from the clearing we saw that approximately 180 meters was just on the other side of the swamp and
began looking for a way around and saw that it would be quite possible to reach it by taking the path along the swamp.
So we we began venturing off the road into the "wild".
Once we began walking off the beaten track we started noticing tons and tons of woodland ants making highways through
the grass buzzeling about. kinda cool how such a small creature can create such an highway for their work.
And just a few hundred meters in we met our first obstacle a medium sized stream. to deep and wide for us to
cross with our current gear. But lucky enough there was a really old bridge someone built probably 10 year ago or something
for hitchhikers it was still overgrown with nettles and other stuff. And here we also got our first "injury" i got burnt
on a nettle and it still hurts a quite a few hours ago heh =). Passed the bridge we were into a dense pine forest
were most of the lower branches as dried up and died so it was easy to traverse. we followed the shore of the swamp
and got into some denser lower vegetation but there was a strange path through it. Following the small path becouse it lead
the same way we were going it ended up in an other stream. And tons of pig tracks in the mud by the water.
This stream was smaller then the last and not as deep so a bit of wood and two rocks made a nice crossing. No injuries here

#Note Wild pigs or boar is quite common in our grid and they can be dangerous. But it was early afternoon still and they are
usually night active and such we didnt see any danger just took it a bit easier moving about. We also saw a second deer
at the early part of the "streams chapter" =)

On the other side we continued our journey. We ran into some denser lower vegetation and decided to walk around those too.
At this point we had only about 47 meters to the hash location but still out in the swamp. so we walked up a bit to higher
ground to see if there was a better path. And we found a bit better path not much we also found good sticks to use as walking
sticks. It kinda helped us quite alot on the later parts of the journey.
once we got past the lower vegetation patch and found a nice way over the swampy part we landed one an island in the swamp
And finnely found the hash location after som messing with the hand gps module. Success. We took some pictures and a
small video while discussing about our journey there. Looking around a bit and sharing some water.
Once done we realized we needed to go back too. And being who we are we didn't choose to walk the same way back heh.

The marsh
Our only way was forward. Heading out for a "shorter" way back we decided to cross the marsh. There was a nice line of trees
leading straight trough the marsh and we though by the trees need to be some solid dry ground so we went there. Though we had
wrong heh. By the tree roots it was wet around the trench there was dry ground though and chest high grass heh
so we started heading long the trees in the grass. Arrived safely at what we though the other side were we came from. But just
a few min exploring we realized this as yet an other island in the swamp/marsh/grass land thingy we were in.
During our small exploration we ended up seeing a pen and some cows maybe 500 or 600 meters across the grassland thingy.
and on the other side it was maybe 300 meters to the woodland we though we came from. But decided to aim for the pen rather then
what-could-be-another-marsh-island. Almost at the pen ther was a small stream/trench with mud. it wasnt wide so we decided
to jump over it. My friend went first and made it safely. When i did it i missed the spot were he landed by maby 5 inches
and bam sank like half a meter down the mud in the trench heh got a bit panicked and tried to get my foot back but it was stuck
but taking it a bit more easy made it much easier to get free from the mud.

The pens
surrounded by electric fence we rolled under we arrived at low cut grass and solid ground. Really nice after maybe 40 min in the
grassland thingy. no nettles or other stingy plants to harress our bare legs heh. We also ran into the habitants of the pen.
A small heard of cows but headed out of the pen before we got to them. Using our nice walking sticks to keep us from getting
electrified on the fence heh. At this time we also got the gps on my iphone working again and headed along the fence of the
pen to head for the road close by. Some nettles, mud, flies, another pen with horses we were back at the road.
THough this time it was the main road were cars drive and not the woodworkers road we followed before. But it was easy
walking and had about 1.5km back to the car. Laughing talking about our first hasing adventure we arrived at the car safely
and headed home. A short stop at a local store to rehydrate and we headed home.

As the geohashing noob i am i didn't really prepare anything i just packed my camera and drove
away to fetch my buddy. In retrospect and as a trekker and boyscout i should have prepared a bit more
expecting the unexpected. I should also have brought a better map with terrain info and maybe even a compass. More water and maybe a snack or two would have been nice. But still geohashing is a great way to get a mini
adventure completable in a few hours. at least were i live. today it just happened to be in one of hour wood reserve here locally witch made it a bit more interesting. Will i keep geohashing? Yea it was fun. I really hope to meet some other xkcd geohashers someday. this Saturdays hash though might have been medium to high difficulty for people without experience walking through woods and such. Could potentiality be dangerous because of the pigs and the many mud holes and the possibility to get stuck. We spent a good solid 2.5 hours walking around. And had a really good time. Dont forget to watch the pictures. Also i found it to be a good and interesting way to burn some extra calories during the weekend heh =)

The End
This is the end of this adventure. Hope you had a nice read. Feedback on the writing would be appriciated. ( That is if someoen ever reads about this here heh )

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