What is Geodashing? It's traveling down roads past the "largest sunflower crop in the world" and "through a cloud of yellow butterflies so thick I could barely see to avoid the potholes" only to find a guard station preventing access to the zero spot. Then it's remembering that getting there is all the fun.
Geodashing means having "an interesting gentleman living miles from nowhere" tell you "You can't get there from here." Or another landowner tell you, "if you're crazy enough to hike through that pasture on this hot day, go ahead."
Geodashing is finding yourself out in the desert with the temperature at 112 degrees, on a stretch of road of about 30 miles where "there is nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing, no sign of life, not a bird, nothing." No points that day. There's a limit after all to how far you should go for a game.
Game 14 was won by team Sundashers, their first victory. Second place went to Team GPS and third place went to Rabid Badgers. Individual honors went to Gordon Livingston, of Sundashers, his second title in a row. Second place went to BOB!! and third place went to Jack Frickey, both of whom returned to busy Geodashing duty this month.
Game 14 saw hunts in seven countries (US, Canada, UK, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and France), including the game's first ever dashpoint hunt in France. A sampling of spots where Geodashing players found dashpoints:
in a clearing by a lake in the UK's largest complex of man-made lakes
on an abandoned farm on the Gila River Indian Reservation
at the end of a 2.5 mile Dashcycle ride on a challenging dirt "road" in the Plumas National Forest
at an altitude of 9400 ft in a valley by a small stream near Leavitt Lake in the Toiyabe National Forest
in Wyoming's "rolling prairie grasslands, about 8000 to 8500 feet elevation, with lots of roads criss-crossing, going here and there, and with no road signs! Good thing the GPS was working!"
off a pipeline right-of-way in Pennsylvania, where over 50 deer were taking advantage of the cleared grass running along their forest cover
in a paddock in Australia where a "large mob of kangaroos bounded past" just as Dashing Dog Mac zeroed out the dashpoint
on a llama farm outside Broadway, Virginia
in a cemetery in Hampton Veterans Memorial Garden in Virginia
outside Blue Ball, Pennsylvania, where BOB!! bought some peaches from an Amish girl tending a fruit stand across from the dashpoint
and in a city setting, "smack dab in the epicenter of one Tulsa [Oklahoma]'s darkest hours," the 1921 race riot in which 36 square blocks of the historic Greenwood District were burnt to the ground.
Geodashing is just a game, but it always offers opportunities for learning something about our world and the people we share it with.
Sometimes the dashpoint names tell the story. This month Buxley hunted a dashpoint near "the legendary Dodge City, Kansas, home to Wyatt Earp, Boot Hill and famous for its shoot-outs. It once was called the Wickedest Town in the West. (See what can happen when your town's Chamber of Commerce has no marketing skills?)" The dashpoint's name? GD14-BANG.
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 .