Signs on the Way to San Antonio Hot Springs (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Thu, 31 Aug 2023

Signs on the Way to San Antonio Hot Springs

[Rock wall on the way to San Antonio Hot Springs] This week's group hike was to San Antonio Hot Springs, in the Jemez above La Cueva. It was nice and cool up there, especially since the trail is mostly shady, winding through ponderosa forest with views of San Antonio Creek below and towering rock walls above.

[Sign: Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again.] The beginning of the hike is on a USFS road that passes through private property. Most of the owners are friendly to through-hikers, but at least one is less so, judging by the sign they're displaying. I hope they don't consider using the (public) forest road to be trespassing. We kept strictly to the road (which we would have done anyway, unfriendly sign or no).

[Old truck on the way to San Antonio Hot Springs] There are some interesting old relics along the way. This truck is in the private property section and so is definitely still owned by someone. But later on, on what is now USFS land, there's an empty metal shack, an abandoned log cabin (that even has a power line going to it!) and a few other smaller buildings.

A Mystery

[Sign: LEAVING 46-44 BEGINNING 45-84]

I'll leave you with a mystery. I've wondered about this sign for years:


The sign is on NM 4 westbound as you descend from the Cerro Grande area to Los Alamos, in the straighter section going past Apache Springs (you can see more context in the full image you get if you click on the thumbnail). I'd love to provide exact coordinates, but it's on a part of the highway where it isn't safe to stop, and it's hard to save an instantaneous waypoint while moving.

Even as a mapping and data geek, I have no idea what these numbers mean. If you do, or even have a good guess, please let me know in the comments or by email.

Actually Two Mysteries

[Map showing big difference in GPS EXIF from photo vs. actual position] The photo has coordinates in the EXIF metadata, but the coordinates my Pixel 6a saves with photos are way off. The coordinates embedded in this photo are near the Valles Caldera visitor center, roughly six miles away from where the photo was actually taken.

And yes, the phone's GPS was turned on. I usually leave GPS off in everyday use, for privacy and battery saving, but I turn it on for hikes so I can record track logs in OsmAnd. The GPS in OsmAnd's saved track logs is quite accurate, so there's nothing wrong with the phone's GPS hardware; it's something about Google's built-in photo app that messes up the saved GPS.

I haven't been able to find anything about this on the web; most likely I'm just not finding the right search terms. I should probably install a non-Google photo app and see if I get correct GPS coordinates. I've been meaning to do that anyway; the Pixel 6a has excellent camera hardware, but Google's photo app severely over-enhances images, something for which I did find lots of complaints on the web, with the only solution being to install a different photo app. So I'll try that and see if it fixes GPS. Any recommendations for best Android photo app?

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[ 12:06 Aug 31, 2023    More hikes | permalink to this entry | ]

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