AM01-CHARLIE covers most of Northern California, from Susanville to Visalia in the mountains, to Fort Bragg in the northwest, anchoring a chain of more and less “Ingress-famous” lighthouses down the Pacific coast. The most southerly lighthouse in AM01-CHARLIE is Piedras Blancas Light Station. Accessible only by guided tours, this location had never been used to field the Bay Area… until now. Novelty has its attractions for the dedicated fielder.
We also wanted to reap the rewards of much hard work done by west coast Enlightened agents, hiking and rehiking mountain and desert locations through the fall in anticipation of winter closure. Using keys that have been breeding for weeks or months also has its attractions for the dedicated fielder. We chose Sunset Lake and Clouds Rest in Yosemite (of which more later) and Downieville in the northern Sierras.
Point Arena Lighthouse on the Mendocino coast is more restored and accessible than Piedras Blancas. Visitors can even rent apartments that were formerly the living quarters of the lighthouse keepers. Familiar, well-loved portals, accessible at unusual times, also have their attractions for the dedicated fielder.
So. Wanna go to a place and do a thing? Some fifty agents said they did. Challenges have their attractions for the dedicated fielder, and this operation had its share. Longest travel one way was a 6 hour drive. Shortest? Probably sprinting back and forth from one end of Point Arena to the other. A set of frequently-thrown Res fields in Napa provided a lane-holder that we staffed at both ends, not knowing if recent storms had left the road passable (check the boulder being cleared in the photo album!) The lane from PAL to Yosemite was the most demanding; if our clear dragged out for any reason, we would be actively opposed. So fifty agents went to a place, waited to be told to do a thing. Everyone collectively biting nails, holding breath, or playing Pokemon Go, waiting…
… for the agent on the Piedras Blanca tour to be approaching the first of two portals of interest.
“Everyone with multiple clears, go.”
“All lanes up. Thank you, clear teams, you are the bomb.”
Throw teams, having held the lanes, carefully pieced together five layers over the northern field and six over the southern field for a total of 32.7 million MU at the noon checkpoint.
A bit before 3pm, Resistance agents showed up at Point Arena for a successful takedown. As day visitors, they duly left at close. Reusing a lane you have just used is a challenge -- the other faction has started blocking it up and is super sensitized to further clearing. But this team likes challenges, and another five southern layers and single northern layer made the 5pm checkpoint.
“Only a single northern layer?” The northern rethrow was actively opposed even after the links from PAL to Yosemite had been re-established. Clear and throw teams were scrambled, creating even more northern layers for the 10p checkpoint.
Throwing fields is enough fun that we could have gone on for longer, but at this point, Operation Green Sunrise received the ultimate Ingress compliment: a spoofer took down Sunrise Lake. At 1am. This portal is at roughly 9200+ ft of elevation; requires a demanding hike even when not snowed in; and the shortest route goes past Clouds Rest, which was left standing (one theory: because CR was not used by the northern layers). Check the photo album for a daylight look at the (intimidating) scramble between Sunset Lake and Clouds Rest in snow, and another shot of Clouds Rest, as hiked earlier in the year.
Finally, while rethrows were being discussed Sunday morning, another honorless, factionless twerp spoofed the closed site at Piedras Blancas.
Spoofers succeeded in destroying resonators and denying guardian candidates. They were duly reported to Niantic (http://tinyurl.com/fuckspoofers will get you there), and Niantic duly closed the reports. What spoofers miss out on, and cannot steal:
* The exaltation of completing a tough hike.
* Meeting up with friends for your birthday, and getting to throw a 4+ million MU layer. (Happy birthday, !)
* Falling asleep to the sound of the waves and the wind.
* The sensation of being part of a 50-person smoothly working machine.
* The gift of being the person directing the aforesaid machine.
* Crushing the cell score for your faction in eight cells at once.
* The sensory assault that is California in late fall. It’s time to move!
My personal thanks to each and every agent who contributed.