What is Geodashing? It is an 11 and a half hour hike by Jack Frickey up to 11,637 feet in the California Sierras, "one of those 'beautiful beyond description' places that 99% of the population can't come close to comprehending."
Game 15 of Geodashing was won by team Sundashers, their second victory in a row. Team GPS finished in second place just behind Sundashers, helped by a mad dash by BOB!! of over 1000 miles and 14 dashpoints on the last day of the month. The Rabid Badgers finished third. Individual honors went to Gordon Livingston and BOB!!, in a tie. Third place honors went to Dashing Dog Mac and Dashing Dog's Mum, again in a tie.
Game 15 saw hunts in six countries (US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, and Peru), including the game's first ever dashpoint hunt in Peru and the first ever visits to the US states of Minnesota and North Dakota. A sampling of spots where Geodashing players found dashpoints:
in a churchyard in England
on a horse farm in Virginia
in the rolling green hills of the Yarra Glen and Lilydale Hunt Club in Australia
in New South Wales' Lake Cowal, now bone dry, the earth parched and brown
in the Virginia woods made famous by U.S. Grant's 1864 Wilderness Campaign
near a nuclear, biological and chemical decontamination training area in Virginia
in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina
down a snowmobile trail in the woods of Nova Scotia
in the magnificent forest scenery of southern Germany
in a powder and sand desert in Pampa de Coyungo, Peru
in Minnesota, right on drainage divide for the Mississippi River and Great Lakes
at 11,637 feet on a remote ridge in the California Sierras
at 9,427 feet in Colorado's Pike National Forest in "stunningly beautiful fall colors"
on the tram route through the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland
a baked-dry cornfield on Maryland's Eastern Shore, victim of drought
just outside the ring of Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois
and across the street from the 7th tee of the Chuck Corica Golf Course in California.
Many dashpoints are just a half mile from heavily traveled routes, but what a difference a half mile can make. GD15-AKIT is just a half mile east of Interstate Highway 5 in Solana Beach, California. But it led AquaDyne to witness a mass hot air balloon ascension for a sunset flight, then on past "polo grounds, equestrian fields, golf courses and, of course, the obligatory community of million-plus-dollar homes." In his wife's judgment, "Wow! I never knew this stuff was out here! Funny how you can drive by so close to this and never know it exists." Unless you happen to hunt dashpoints, that is.
Done right, the Zen of Geodashing can lead to subtle truths, as hinted at in the conversation Gordon Livingston had with one landowner:
Player: "I just needed to get to a geographical point in your cornfield."
Farmer: "What do you get for going there?" Player: "Three points. It's a game." Farmer: "Sounds meaningless." Player: "Don't you find that most human activity is utter folly?" Farmer: (Pause) "You're right about that." Player: "There you go. Thanks for letting me walk in your cornfield." Farmer: "Don't mention it."
About Geodashing: Geodashing is a game in which players use GPS receivers on a playing field that covers the entire planet. The waypoints, or dashpoints, to be reached are randomly selected. The win goes to who can get to the most dashpoints; that is, if you can get to them at all! Each game has a new set of dashpoints making each game different and unpredictable. For more information and to play, visit http://Geodashing.org .