Geohashing expedition 2018-08-23 50 -1

This checkin to geohash 2018-08-23 50 -1 reflects a geohashing expedition. See more of Dan's hash logs.

Location

Hyden Wood, near Chidden. The woods look to be criss-crossed with footpaths, so this might be pretty achievable.

Participants

Plans

I’d originally planned on heading to 2018-08-23 51 -1 because I anticipated that it’d be on or near my route travelling South along almost the entire length of the 51 -1 graticule, but I didn’t bargain on such a Northerly hashpoint so I’ve changed plans and am now aiming to get to this one some time in the morning (I’m hoping to be in Winchester by lunch).

Expedition

The full story’s in vlog format, but here’s the summary:

  • Wasn’t originally planning to come to this graticule but instead was going to go to the 51 -1 graticule where I live ([2018-08-23 51 -1 see here]): I was going to be driving almost the entire length of 51 -1 on a journey from Oxford to Winchester anyway, so I figured it’d be easy to divert to any hashpoint. But when the Dow numbers came out, it turned out that the hashpoints in this quadrant of the Earth are all in the North-East corner, and so my journey would be in the opposite direction. Oh no! So instead I decided to “overshoot” and go for this graticule instead, and thus (if successful) expand my Minesweeper Achievement level.
  • Hashpoint deep in woodland in the beautiful South Downs National Park. Parked at The Sustainability Centre (and later made a donation via their website in thanks for the use of their car park despite not using their other facilities) and walked initially through woodland they manage and use for natural burials: this was really cool – I’ve always been a fan of body disposal in a low-environmental-impact, no-permanent-markers kind-of way, so I’m going to look more into what they offer. I was really interested to see that many families had left “named” bird nesting boxes in memory of their loved ones, which is awesome too.
  • Found geocache GC2X5BJ just outside the burial area and close to a point that gave me a great view across a valley towards the woods in which I believed I’d find the hashpoint.
  • Had to go some way off track to get to the hashpoint, but discovered a network of old, overgrown, long-abandoned (and not on any map I can find) trails in-between the thicket. In fact, the hashpoint eventually turned out to be on the edge of such a track, which I was able to follow to help me find my way back to a road.
  • Found a sign pointing to “Droxford”. Oxford is so-named because its location coincides with the most-downstream point on the Thames at which it’s possible to ford the river while driving cattle (i.e. “ox ford”) – incidentally, I’m told, the ford was at the point that Folly Bridge now stands. But what’s the etymology of Droxford, I wonder. What the hell is a drox???
  • On the way back, diverted by geocache GC5P5KN and found it: this was a great cache with the best-made variant of the particular kind of container it used that I’ve ever seen.

Update: A little research later, it seems that the “ox” in each of Oxford and Droxford have completely different etymological roots! Droxford is derived from an ancient name for the area from some time prior to the Middle Ages: Drocenesforda. “Drocen” means “dry”: the name means “dry ford”. The River Meon, which flows through the area, flows shallow over a chalky bed and is easily forded in many places, as these motorcyclists show. The things you learn!

Tracklog

Video

Photos

Map of 50.9582412,-1.0376621

Dan Q found GC5P5KN SDGT South Downs Way Mile 20

This checkin to GC5P5KN SDGT South Downs Way Mile 20 reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a geocache hidden this way: FP for that alone! A lovely spot to drop in on in my way back from a successful hike to the (not too far away) 2018-08-23 50 -1 geohashing hashpoint this morning.

( finding this geocache featured in my geohashing expedition described at http://wiki.xkcd.com/geohashing/2018-08-23_50_-1 and in my vlog of the expedition, found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3pvFOkaHnc [minor spoilers in the video])

Map of 50.968033,-1.0337

Dan Q found GC2X5BJ Small Down Boogie 3

This checkin to GC2X5BJ Small Down Boogie 3 reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

An easy find while taking a shortcut through the woods on my way to the 2018-08-23 50 -1 geohashing hashpoint (an expedition that was eventually successful, though not without its challenges)! Container was exposed so I placed nearby stick on top of it to better conceal it. TFTC!

( finding this geocache featured in my geohashing expedition described at http://wiki.xkcd.com/geohashing/2018-08-23_50_-1 and in my vlog of the expedition, found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3pvFOkaHnc [minor spoilers in the video])

Map of 50.96375,-1.036983

Dan Q found GCTNZ6 V’s own @ M4 – J13

This checkin to GCTNZ6 V’s own @ M4 - J13 reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Better than your usual services cache-and-dash, I really appreciated that this cache took me away from the service station and along up a delightful little bridleway, this morning, not to mention the decent-sized container!

I’m on my way down the A34 from Oxford in an expedition to the 2018-08-23 50 – 1 geohashpoint, before doubling back to my actual destination of Winchester. With this cache, you not only gave me a welcome break, but also an excuse to stop and eat breakfast. TFTC!

Map of 51.446383,-1.31275

Geohashing expedition 2018-08-22 52 -1

This checkin to geohash 2018-08-22 52 -1 reflects a geohashing expedition. See more of Dan's hash logs.

Location

Field with public footpath, East Adderbury.

Participants

Plans

I’m keen to get to level 2 of the Minesweeper Geohash achievement, and this far-South-of-graticule hashpoint represents an opportunity to achieve that. I’ll be at work during the day, but – energy levels permitting after what’ll have been a long day! – I’ll find a way to get up here and see if I can get to the hashpoint, aiming to arrive probably around 18:30.

Expedition

It had been a long day at work, but it looked to be a beautiful evening and I promised myself a pub dinner if I made it to the hashpoint, so I set out by car and by foot to East Adderbury, the village nearest to the hashpoint. The village itself is stunning: lots of old stone buildings, a very traditional bridge, and beautiful green spaces. I spotted not one but two candidate pubs (The Red Lion and The Coach & Horses) as I passed through the village, which was a reassuring start, and then pressed on down a lane which quickly became a narrow trail, waving to some cows along the way (why do I always seem to meet cattle on my hashing adventures?).

The trail was full of blackberries so I wasn’t short of a snack, but it soon became clear that it wouldn’t get me any closer than 35m to the hashpoint. I returned to the entrance to the cows’ field and, hopping a stile, crossed it. The cows looked puzzled as I paced around, getting to ground zero, but didn’t object. After shooting the traditional silly grin, I turned tail and headed back into the village and to the Coach & Horses, which proved to be the very essence of a British village pub: a husband and wife couple running it, dogs everywhere, a jar of pickled onions behind the bar, and more beers than you can shake a stick at.

I did enjoy a rather unusual conversation at the bar, though –

 Me: Can I get a ham, egg, and chips please. And a pint of bitter shandy.
 Barman: One egg or two?
 Me: Oh! Two, please.
 Barman: (Pause) We haven't got any eggs.
 Me: Uhh. Okay; no eggs then.
 Barman's wife: We've got one egg.
 Barman: We've got one egg.
 Me: I'll have one egg, then.
 
 (I go and sit outside; after a while, my meal arrives. There are two eggs.)
 
 Barman's wife: I found another egg.
 Me: ...

A fuller description of the entire adventure can found in the vlog I made along the way.

Tracklog

Video

I filmed my adventure in a vloggy format, complete with doubling-back, talking to cows, and anecdotes about pub food. Watch it on YouTube.

Photos

Achievements

Minesweeper geohash empty.png Minesweeper geohash flag.png Minesweeper geohash empty.png
Minesweeper geohash empty.png Minesweeper geohash 2.png Minesweeper geohash flag.png
Minesweeper geohash empty.png Minesweeper geohash empty.png Minesweeper geohash empty.png
Dan Q achieved level 2 of the Minesweeper Geohash achievement

by visiting coordinates in Swindon, United Kingdom and 2 of the surrounding graticules.
Map of 52.0189842,-1.3124316

Geohashing expedition 2018-08-07 51 -1

This checkin to geohash 2018-08-07 51 -1 reflects a geohashing expedition. See more of Dan's hash logs.

Location

A field South of Oxford

Participants

Plans

My meeting this afternoon got cancelled and my nearest hashpoint is only 6.5km (4 miles) away from my office. I can get this!

Expedition

After a productive morning’s work, I was genuinely slightly disappointed that a meeting I was scheduled to have this afternoon had to be rescheduled. But on the other hand… that meant that I could get away with extending my lunch break slightly and getting out to the hashpoint! I’d initially worried that it’d be inaccessibly buried on private land when Google Maps and satellite photography showed it to be deep in a block of cornfields, but OpenStreetMap came to the rescue and showed a public footpath somewhere in the very close vicinity of the target coordinates. And so, jumping aboard my bike, I set out!

600m from the coordinates I ran out of road and switched to the footpath, which I was pleased to discover was in reasonably-good condition: many underused local footpaths are not being very well-maintained at the moment and are often overgrown, but I was even able to bring my bike along this one and into the first field, although I had to push it rather than ride and I soon learned the error of my ways when the terrain got even rougher and I reached a narrow bridge – too narrow for my bike – spanning a dyke and entering the second field. Both fields had recently been cleared of corn, and whatever route the official footpath was supposed to take became rapidly unclear, but that’s probably for the best because I’m pretty sure I wasn’t on it by the time I reached the edge of the next field.

The hashpoint seemed to be along the fence somewhere so I followed it along – waving to some nearby cows – until my phone told me that I was under 3m from the spot. Hurrah! I snapped a panorama photo and started heading back, pausing a few times when I realised that I really, really couldn’t find where I’d left my bike. On the cycle home I passed a Gasometer which, because I’m told they’re super-rare in the USA, I thought I’d snap a picture of for those of you who ‘hash on the other side of the pond to oggle at.

Video

I actually remembered to shoot video of this expedition (well, all within a kilometre of the hashpoint and mostly within the last 350 metres!). It’s mostly just me rambling as I ramble, although there’s (brief) explanation of the Surprise Gasometer for those of you who live in countries where you don’t routinely see these interesting structures:

Photos

Map of 51.7210189,-1.1785690

Geohashing expedition 2018-08-04 51 -1

This checkin to geohash 2018-08-04 51 -1 reflects a geohashing expedition. See more of Dan's hash logs.

Location

Looks to be deep in the bushes alongside the unnamed road that connects Kidlington Road (to Islip), the sliproad exiting the A34 Southbound, and Bicester Road (in Kidlington).

Participants

Plans

The nearest road is about 10 minutes cycle from my (Dan Q) house, so I plan to zip out there either overnight (perhaps aiming for a Midnight Geohash?) or early in the morning. If you happen to plan to hit this hashpoint too, though, let me know and I can try to synchronise plans (but I ought to be spending the day studying, so I might not be able to!).

Expedition

At 2018-08-03 23:02 (BST – local time) I started packing a bag and set out to the hashpoint. Suddenly it didn’t seem like such a good idea as it had in the warm sunlight, earlier: a dark and moonless night isn’t the best time to be cycling along unlit roads. But fully-equipped with lights and supplies, I set out nonetheless. I’d left longer than I needed and had about a quarter of an hour sitting by the side of the road before midnight came and I was able to visit the hashpoint (thereby gaining my Midnight Achievement).

Photos

Map of 51.8249560,-1.2609510

Dan Q found GLWG7T19 Blind-House Lacock Revisited

This checkin to GLWG7T19 Blind-House Lacock Revisited reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

In Lacock on an “away day” with colleagues from the Bodleian Libraries to visit the Abbey, I found a spare few minutes to seek this cache. Spent some time puzzling over the first stage because somebody seems to have physically removed one of the studs! Worked out what must have been meant after a while and soon reached the GZ. SL, TFTC.

Map of 51.4153,-2.12155

Dan Q performed maintenance for GC7R0HB The Fairy Elevator

This checkin to GC7R0HB The Fairy Elevator reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Came by to check up on this cache following the previous log entry. Everything is fine here; tucked the paracord away a little more-tidily and did a little litter picking, and my preschooler took a pink flower with which to decorate a nearby fairy door.

Carry on ‘caching!

Map of 51.822867,-1.301367

Dan Q posted a note for GC54KVD Oxford Medical History #2: Grey matter

This checkin to GC54KVD Oxford Medical History #2: Grey matter reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

(With owner’s permission) moved cache container about 30cm closer to the road in order to put it under better cover, as the bush that used to provide for its concealment has been severely cut back. Cache still intact and happy (but thanks to wynner71 for the shout).

Map of 51.756067,-1.247417

Dan Q performed maintenance for GC7Q9FF Oxford’s Wild Wolf Two

This checkin to GC7Q9FF Oxford's Wild Wolf Two reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

You think when you chain a container to an abandoned concrete block that’s been “just standing there” fire years that it’ll be safe, don’t you? Turns out: not necessarily! Looks like a super-heavy vehicle managed to push this one over, damaging the cache!

I’ve replaced the container but for the time being it’s missing a pencil. Hint isn’t quite accurate any more either but it’s slightly-more visible anyway. Going to see what I can do about all of the above, soon, but for now at least this cache is back in functional health. Happy wolf-hunting!

Map of 51.810767,-1.275517