Retrohashing expedition 2012 02 19 51 -1

This checkin to geohash 2012-02-19 51 -1 reflects a geohashing expedition. See more of Dan's hash logs.

Location

Field behind Hill Barn, near the Gom’s Hole public footpath, in the valley beneath the hamlet of Clapton-on-the-Hill. About 4km outside the village of Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire.

(Retro) Participants

  • Dan Q (as a retrohash on the same date but 19 years later, on 2021-02-19)

(Retro) Plans

On the second anniversary of the death of my father, a man who loved to get out into the world and get lost, I undertook my first geohashing expedition. As this seemed to be a good way to remember him I decided to repeat the experience on this, the ninth anniversary of his death, but the actual hashpoints for the day didn’t look interesting… so I opted to make my way to what would have been my nearest hashpoint on the day he died.

(Retro) Expedition

The weather looked horrible and the COVID lockdown (and working from home in general in recent years) has put me out of practice at cycling, so I thought a 40-50 mile round trip through the rolling hills of the Cotswolds was just the thing. This may have been a mistake, as my aching legs were able to testify for several days.

Cycling through Witney, over the hills behind Burford, and then across the Windrush valley and into Gloucestershire was a long, arduous, and damp journey, but what really got me was the wind picking up in the afternoon and giving me a headwind to fight against all the way back home.

Near the hashpoint I was able to lock my bike up at the junction between Sherbourne Street and Bourton Hill – a place shown on my map as “Gom’s Hole” which sounds exactly like what a D&D dungeon master would have a goblin would name his bar. From there I followed the footpath towards Farringdon. As the hashpoint drew closer I began to suspect that it would be unreachable: tall walls, fences, and hedges stood on both sides of the (flooded) footpath, but at the last minute they gave way to wide meadows. I turned off the path and crossed a dyke to the hashpoint, where I had a great view of hares and deer in the valley below. Minutes later, the owner of Hill Barn came over with her dog and asked what I was doing around the back of her land and why I was taking pictures, so I explained that I’d strayed from the footpath (true) because my GPS had told me too (technically true) but I was heading back down to what I could see was the path, now (true, if misleading).

She continued to watch me all the way back to my bike, so I changed my plans (which had been to eat a sandwich lunch and drink a pint of Guinness: my dad’s beer of choice) near the hashpoint and instead I cycled away to a nearby layby to have my lunch.

After a 48.3 mile round trip I got back home aching and exhausted, but pleased to have made it to this damp hashpoint.

(Retro) Tracklog

GPX tracklog: Track 2021-02-19 RETROHASH 2012.gpx

(Retro) Photos

Map of 51.8569418,-1.7795905

Dan Q performed maintenance for GC7QG1Z Oxford’s Wild Wolf Three

This checkin to GC7QG1Z Oxford’s Wild Wolf Three reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Checked up on this cache as it’s been a long time without a find. All stages and the final cache are intact and well! Final stage easier to reach than during the summer, but long trousers still pretty essential! Log book still 50% “me”.

Left travel bug – help it on its way!

Dan with Wild Wolf Three's logbook

Map of 51.81705,-1.274233

Dan Q couldn’t find GC6K31Q Thames Path – Picnic

This checkin to GC6K31Q Thames Path - Picnic reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Like the previous logger, I find evidence of the cache (see photo) but no cache. Unlike the previous logger, I’m not going to claim that as a “find”. Which it clearly isn’t, and claiming that it is makes it harder for volunteer community moderators to identify problem caches.

Nice spot, though. Hope you’re can be repaired!

Presumed former site of geocache GC6K31Q - rings on a tree

Map of 51.642367,-1.848767

Geohashing expedition 2020-09-09 51 -1

This checkin to geohash 2020-09-09 51 -1 reflects a geohashing expedition. See more of Dan's hash logs.

Location

Edge of a field bounded by Letcombe Brook, over the A338 from Landmead Solar Farm.

Participants

Plans

We’re discussing the possibility of a Subdivision geohash achievement for people who’ve reached every “X in a Y”, and Fippe pointed out that I’m only a hash in the Vale of White Horse from being able to claim such an achievement for Oxfordshire’s regions. And then this hashpoint appears right in the Vale of White Horse: it’s like it’s an omen!

Technically it’s a workday so this might have to be a lunchtime expedition, but I think that might be workable. I’ve got an electric vehicle with a hundred-and-something miles worth of batteries in the tank and it looks like there might be a lay-by nearby the hashpoint (with a geocache in it!): I can drive down there at lunchtime, walk carefully back up the main road, and try to get to the hashpoint!

Expedition

I worked hard to clear an hour of my day to take a trip, then jumped in my (new) electric car and set off towards the hashpoint. As I passed Newbridge I briefly considered stopping and checking up on my geocache there but feeling pressed for time I decided to push on. I parked in the lay-by where GC5XHJG is apparently hidden but couldn’t find it: I didn’t search for long because the farmer in the adjacent field was watching me with suspicion and I figured that anyway I could hunt for it on the way back.

Walking along the A338 was treacherous! There are no paths, only a verge covered in thick grass and spiky plants, and a significant number of the larger vehicles (and virtually all of the motorbikes) didn’t seem to be obeying the 60mph speed limit!

Reaching the gate, I crawled under (reckoning that it’s probably there to stop vehicles and not humans) and wandered along the lane. I saw a red kite and a heron doing their thing before I reached the bridge, crossed Letcombe Brook, and followed the edge of the field. Stuffing my face with blackberries as I went, it wasn’t long before I reached the hashpoint on one edge of the field.

I took a short-cut back before realising that this would put me in the wrong place to leave a The Internet Was Here sign, so I doubled-back to place it on the gate I’d crawled under. Then I returned to the lay-by, where another car had just pulled up (right over the GZ of the geocache I’d hoped to find!) and didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Sadly I couldn’t wait around all day – I had work to do! – so I went home, following the satnav in the car in a route that resulted in a figure-of-eight tracklog.

Tracklog

My GPS keeps a tracklog. Here you go:

Geohashing expedition 2020-09-09 51 -1 tracklog map

Video

You can also watch it at:

Photos

360° panoramic VR photo of the 2020-09-09 51 -1 geohashpoint

Map of 51.6460691,-1.3886555

Dan Q couldn’t find GC5XHJG Layby Dash A

This checkin to GC5XHJG Layby Dash A reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Parked my car in this lay-by while on my way to the 2020-09-09 51 -1 geohashpoint. Took a quick look for the cache but the farmer in the adjacent field parked his tractor right alongside me and was watching with suspicion, so I thought better of it and decided to come back after visiting the hashpoint and try again.

The geohashing expedition was a success, and I returned to the lay-by for another attempt… but somebody else had parked here (pretty much exactly where I’d measured the coordinates to be… boo!). I waited for a while but they didn’t seem like they were leaving so I abandoned my search: I’ll try again next time I’m in the vicinity.

Map of 51.6422,-1.387667

Dan Q found GC140G9 Thames Path: Newbridge (not)

This checkin to GC140G9 Thames Path: Newbridge (not) reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Came down to the river to launch my partner’s brother on a swimming expedition (pictured putting on his wetsuit) downstream and to triple-check access to my nearby new cache GC8YZKJ. Recent logs about the cache being submerged made me worry and I spent some time looking too-close to the water’s edge, but as soon as I expanded my search I caught sight of it immediately. TFTC!

Map of 51.709867,-1.41735