Pokétour

August 2016

Biking around the Bay, catching Pokémon

An animated map of the Bay Area in the style of the Pokémon games, with the writer of the blog biking around the Bay like Ash

Pokémon GO mesmerized me. I didn't know that this was coming. One day I returned to Stanford campus from a hiking trip, and I saw a lot of people walking around with their mobile phones. Probably a task for new students to get to know the campus, I thought. It took me two days to figure out that it wasn't.

This was something else. Something new.

It made people go out in small groups at night. They talked, they walked, and they had lots of fun!

I wanted to get to know more.

When I was younger, I had been playing the Pokémon games, so also nostalgia worked into this. But here were new and interactive elements, and an impressive cultural impact. I installed the game and, after playing a bit, I decided that I want to understand better. I wanted to get more out of this.

So I made this plan to go on an adventure - in good old Pokémon style...


Preparations

Before leaving on the trip, I have practiced throws with Rattatas (en masse), done evolutions with Pidgeys, and got lucky when hatching two 10k eggs!

I have a bike, and spacious side bags for all the balls and potions. I thought about my Route and how to keep my phone charged. Now I'm ready and excited to head out into the world :)

I'll try to note down all the Pokémon that I'll hatch from eggs. Regarding those mons I catch, I'll only note the ones that I consider interesting for that specific day. Those that were defining for a section of my path, or those that I caught for the very first time.

Prep-Hatches

Image Pokémon CP
Jynx 758
Lapras 1200

(Notable) Prep-Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where?
Lickitung Stanford's Y2E2 courtyard

Oak? Elm? Ahem... Willow?

Ready, set... GO! ; )


Day 1 - Palo Alto to Redwood City

I'm sitting next to wide salt marshes off Redwood City, behind oleander bushes that separate my nightstay from the harbor road. It's night - both in the game as well as outside. I'll get some notes started here.

First of all: It's been quite fun so far! :) I'm basically just on a bike ride, but there's an additional layer to it through involving Pokémon Go. The game adds a small task that can be constantly there. But if I rather just want to look at the passing landscape, it's easy to turn it off.

Other things turn off less easily. I found out why there are official people sitting all day and all night at the train crossings:

I enjoy being part of a Pokémon Go whatsapp group of some people from San Francisco. They all feel very nice and it's sweet to have some company, even if only remotley. Maybe the fact that it's remotely makes it even easier. Some wrote about interesting spawning grounds around the Bay, and I'll go ahead and sum up that information so I can adapt my route accordingly ->

  • Dolores Park (Aerodactyl)
  • Golden Gate Park = GGP
  • Land's End
  • Beach Chalet
  • Fort Mason (Presidio)
  • Stow Lake (inside GGP) (Evee, Bulbasaur, Psyduck, Snorlax)
  • Inner Sunset 11th Ave x Irving Street Corner (Gengar)
  • Y2E2 Stanford Campus (Lickitung)
  • Judah St x 38th St (Dragonite)
  • Los Cerritos Community Center (Park): Fremont Dratini nest
  • Embarcadero (Dratini)
  • WALK: Ferry Building -> Fort Mason -> Beach Chalet (Dratinis, Bulbasaurs, Squirltes)
  • Great Highway, La Play Street (Lapras)
  • Castro x Liberty St. (Onix)
  • Grand View Park, Sunset Neighborhood (Onix)
  • Berkeley Marina (Lapras)
  • Stern Grove (Abra)
  • Lake Merced (Venusaur)
  • Berkeley: Martin Luther King Jr. Way x Channing Way (Venusaur, Dragonite)

My thoughts at the end of the first day are, that there are moments when it actually feels like a little Pokémon adventure travel. When I approached the Redwood City Harbor area this evening, biking on that long path, the sun setting on my left and the large buildings shining green, I did feel like I imagine feeling in the game, approaching a new City. And man: I made it. I biked from one city on my map to the next one ; ) Wasn't necessarily the plan, but hei! it's cool with me.

Another thought is, that catching Pokémon doesn't work very well like that. I mean, completing the Pokédex, getting many, getting specific ones, etc. The whole catching business. Because it still takes pretty long to get from one place to another, it's still hard to find specific mons with the three-steps around and Pokévision simply not showing many or any.

So, primarily, it is a travel. And only secondarily it is a travel to catch Pokémon. It is still very integrated, the whole Go experience. I have the app running all the time and I check frequently. I have those people I am chatting with, and we talk about Pokémon. And I try (but didn't manage well) to utilize these other apps, to try to pinpoint where one really is and maybe end up finding interesting ones.

So I biked. The sun was sweet and set during the evening for a very long time. Some special flowers were in bloom that gave off a very distinct smell that lingered in the air, together with cut grass. It might have been wild fennel, but really tall plants. People were walking in bunches in the evening, around the park, together, small kids with bikes, couples, and people alone were running. I wonder how is it possible that Americans are fat - they have going for a walk outside so established as a together-activity! I passed by some people talking about hatching eggs, and I find it really beautiful how pervasive the game is. That is one reason why I wanted to go on this trip. To look around and see it popping up here and there. It's making a real difference in people's lives. Suddenly people walk. Someone told me that he walked 40 miles in the past week! A week ago or so I heard some people saying "Obama tries to do away with obesity, and then Pokémon Go comes out and it just solves within a few days..." It's obviously overdone, but it's not so far from the truth. I believe it is a very nice example of positive influence.

Also the groups formed, young kids together with their friends together with their older brother and their friends. Little groups walking around together catching Pokémon. Outside. Awesome! And families together. Parents playing with their kids. And couples taking walks. And also people alone. Middle aged men, women, young boys in two, girl groups... everyone is playing! It's quite impressive, it is.

Okay, that are just some thoughts...

Another thing I want to note, is that hatching works pretty well. Catching not really, but hatching does. I hatched today already 5 Pokémon on the first day of the trip. While most of them weren't too interesting, one was actually a Scyther. Yay! : ) I bike slowly, and the game counts my steps, or most of it at least. So eggies hatch. It's cool! Except that now I only have one incubator, so it'll slow down considerably. But okay. I have many more miles to roll!

Day 1. Pretty views. An Evee at the Oval. A Slowbro around Facebook. The smell of wild Fennel. White crusts on the salt marshes. Normal outdoor Americans. The road to Redwood City Harbor. My sitting spot my sleeping spot. A skunk that just walks by. Planes flying, sky graying, trains honking, loading stones. Me here, finally out. Finally moving, and on the road again. My bike my helmet my sleeping bag and me. Time to say good night. Good night. : )

Hatches

Image Pokémon CP
Rattata 313
Nidoran female 487
Pidgey ?
Scyther 1152
Krabby 433

Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon CP Where? Caught?
Evee (nicknamed #1, because
it's the first catch on the trip)
293 the Oval Yep!
Seel 569 a Palo Alto park Yep!
Slowpoke 524 Facebook HQ Yep!
Kabuto ? among the nice smells and the sea Nope.

Day 2 - Redwood City ~~~ Pacifica

Started to experience that it can be quite fun to gym-battle against someone. You don't usually know who it is. Or if it's the same person. Or even how many. It feels as if there is this one foe, and you battle and try. Finally you win the gym, then you lose it again. And this can go over and over again.
But maybe it's a bunch of different people. Every time someone new. In the end it doesn't matter. You have this tiny competition going, and after all it's just about picking up those 10 gold coins every day. But hei: Today I got 20! Boosted two of my stronger Pokemon and took two gyms that were close to each other. Then be fast:
Collect.
Yay.

my two gyms that I managed to hold together and gain some virtual money

next picture shows the spot in reality

There's this thing about Pokémon, that was also in a way present in the Gamboy games - that there are these few strong mons that it makes sense to have and train (or feed, in the case of GO). Therefore it ends up being a rather boring selection of always the same Pokémon hovering above the gym towers.

Today I also started using the Pokéradar - in order to then walk and look for a specific mon. It was fun! I got a Kabuto like that, and the funnest part was pedaling fast towards a Kingler... I knew my chances to be there on time were slim, and indeed it had vanished before I arrived. Hm... I was thinking that this travel is so far a very slow one, and maybe it is actually a Pokémon travel : )

I had an intense battle with a Butterfree in front of the Oracle fountain (and their hovering Katamaran). Butterfree had 500something CP and was very stubborn about going to live inside a ball. I offered him loads of them. Different ones. Red-white ones, blue-red ones, and even quite a bunch of black-yellow ones! He checked a few of them out from the inside, but declined every single time. In the end I ran out of offers and he just disappeard. Belly full of Razzberries.
There is no such thing as a free Butterfree.

<- Consequences of overspending...

A stopover in a Starbucks brought me to witness the little circle of old men meeting there. When one plus arrived I tried to make space, and so we got to talk a bit. Turns out three of five spoke German. Before I left I got a Starbucks gift card from one of the men... "So that you remember this place" : )

Up on one Vista Point.
San Francisco in the distance.
I trained one Pidgeot-held gym up to Lv 3. I then assign a mon before I leaving, and learned that this counts towards the rewards pickup.

It's funny how I expect everyone I see with a phone to be playing too. A guy in a white car looked at me suspiciously, and I thought "aha!".
A little later I saw him inhaling drugs from a balloon.
I guess not everyone is actually playing. : /

Another thing about this place here, and I feel like generalizing it to "US-Americans", is that people enjoy their Vista Points from within their cars.
Come, park, watch, (inhale,) drive forward.
More people came, but only two older ladies ever left their car. They went to the bench and the younger helped the older one light a cigarette.
Inhale.
Drive forward.

I went astray. Up towards the water reservoirs - and back down without ever getting there. Didn't really take care for directions and ended up doing a hilly-loop drive. I don't mind. It was good and completely worth it!

Worth it because I found the Guittard chocolate factory in Milbrae. I found it in the best possible way: smelling the chocolate being made, tasting it out of the air! I love it when such good smells linger suspended, and it makes me unsure where the borders lie between tasting and smelling.

The Guittard chocolate factory does not, so I found out, sell chunks of broken chocolate at the factory. But the ladies were friendly and when she asked me what darkness of chocolate I like, I realized that I won't be leaving with empty hands after all.
I like it dark.

Cute! Some old roads, from when i first arrived... A same view, but coming from the other side. I biked up to the second reservoir.
Memories of getting my first Clif bar as a present from a friendly ranger :D

It was pretty intense to see how the world suddenly plunged from hot and dry and sunny, into cold and wet and foggy. Without much movement or time change. The clouds I would often see plunging across the hills towards the Bay in the evening. Today I was within them. Winds blow strongly, an unknown wetness sweeps through your hair, and the sunshine hides away behind layers of suspended waterdrops.

So wet!!

Pacifica made me dress up all those clothes I thought I'd never need again...

Hatches

Image Pokémon CP
Weedle 233
Paras 502
Voltorb 467
Weedle 234
Weedle 237

Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon CP Where? Caught?
Poliwag 233 Redwood Houseboat Harbor Yep!
Kabuto 560 Redwood Houseboat Harbor Yep!
Exeggcute 468 Oracle Fountain Yep!
Butterfree 5?? Oracle Fountain Nope. It ate all my Pokéballs...
Slowpoke 260 Oracle Fountain Nope. No more balls after ^
Gastly 426 Burlingame Starbucks Yep! (spun some back)

Day 3 - Pacifica Galore

Whales! I was sitting at Pacifica pier eating my breakfast, when a jogging lady asked me whether I had seen the whale. :o

And then we watched into the foggy sea for a while... Birds went for my food and distracted me for a moment. Just the moment when he had surfaced the next time!

But I kept watching, and she told me where to look. I had never seen a whale before! ... And then, suddenly: a fountain in the middle of the sea. A sigh of exhale that sprays the drops up to the sky. And a tiny distant black cutting through the surface.

It was gone very fast, and already too far to be in sight the next time it would surface. And I saw it!
: D
Didn't catch it, though ; )

Pacifica pier is a crazy spawning ground. I rushed from one side to the other, and out onto the pier, drawing looks from fishermen. Haha, we're doing the same pretty much! Getting up early to catch some. I wonder how many play GO. The pier surely is a good place for it.

I might have to change my approach in noting the catches. Because now there are so many! I've caught Oddishes, a Seel, a Starmie, two Rapidash, a Voltorb, a Geodude, a Bellsprout, a Horsea, a Gastly, an Exeggcute, numerous Poliwags, and (both first time!): a Psyduck and a Goldeen, and even a Squirtle and a Charmander! And that just during maybe one hour in the morning!

I also tried this (I just had to do it empirically...)
And I really wanted that Vaporeon!

Only later I learned about this trick on reddit to get the evolution you want. (There's more to it, though).

Personally I'm a little disappointed, and would have preferred if it was depending on the surroundings, as also many of the game versions Pokédex entries suggest.

Now I've settled in a Starbucks in one of Pacifica's beach valleys (one I like less than the one I stayed at before, which was Sharp Park). Trying to figure out how to upload my page to webhosting, so that it could go online. I decided I'll simply put it up as a work-in-progress and then come to update it when I can, not only the content but also the appearance. Most probably no one will look at it anyways, and if so, there's a story of my progress involved : )

I biked around the Pacifica Public Pier a few times and caught a bunch of Pokémon I never even saw before, since playing GO. It was pretty neat! I also totally grew to like the foggyness of that valley, it made a special atmosphere to everything, calm and cool and beautiful. And a little bit mysterious. It's still peculiar when coming from 6 months on the other side of those small hills, where fog never stays longer than until maybe 8 in the morning.

After deciding I'd go bike North later on (there's a PkmGo event in SF tomorrow), I was heading South to take a closer look at the whales and charge my devices. Whales first.

As the jogger lady had suggested, I hiked up Mori Point. ... The view was just plain amazing. Sea and crashing shores all around. And those bird flocks above the water, then a fountain, and a sight of a big black body surfacing for a moment. There are whales everywhere, and here you were able to see panoramic. I watched one of them pass along the coast from left to right. That took surprisingly long. It was calm, calmed me down. I enjoyed.

There's this inital period of trying to capture things on camera. It is a bit of a frenzy sometimes. It is probably useless, as I haven't yet established a good way of dealing with those moments I capture. But I do it still, something about life being fleeting, something about the wish to share, something about the wish to keep and remember.
But my thought today was, that once that initial craze has passed, then I am able to sit and calm down. It's a wave. And if the situation lasts long enough, and if I am consciously staying around in the situation for long enough, then I can also just sit and look... And that's just what I did.
Whales. : D

Poor Krabby! Had a bad trainer... ->

Me not being employed in a normal job, and not extremely working on a career, does have advantages that I sometimes also feel and think about. I really like to sleep a little during the day. Short naps! Naps in the sunshine, around midday, or early afternoon. It would be much more difficult to do this under different circumstances.

I lied down up Mori point on the edge of the cliff. Sideways, so I could see the sea and the whale I had been watching, as he swam further North. The view was impressive. It was approaching noon, and the fog was still covering the sky completely. However, the sun was sending its warmth through the foggy blanket and this made it very comfortable to just lie around and doze while I looked out in the distance and then inside my brain's twirls...

Hatches

Image Pokémon CP
Zubat 348
Weedle 237
Horsea 377
Sandshrew 435

Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon How many? Where? Infobox
Vulpix 1 Pacifica Pier Region 286 CP
Bellsprout 5 Pacifica Pier Region 484 CP
Voltorb 2 Pacifica Pier Region 457 CP
Geodude 3 Pacifica Pier Region
Poliwag 8 Pacifica Pier Region Big brother leads the gym
Squirtle 2 Pacifica Pier Region 407 CP!
Horsea 3 Pacifica Pier Region also caught the evolution
Psyduck 5 Pacifica Pier Region new to Pokédex!
Oddish 4 Pacifica Pier Region new to Pokédex!
Evee 3 Pacifica Pier Region, Linda Mar 533 CP
Magikarp 5 Pacifica Pier Region, Linda Mar 15.31kg, 1.11m, CP 11...
Machop 1 Pacifica Pier Region 576
Gastly 3 Pacifica Pier Region, Linda Mar
Seel 3 Pacifica Pier Region but many more around...
Exeggcute 2 Pacifica Pier Region
Staryu 2 Pacifica Pier Region
Goldeen 3 Pacifica Pier Region new to Pokédex
Charmander 2 Pacifica Pier Region Yay! My starter x2
Nidoran female 2 Pacifica Pier Region
Nidoran male 3 Pacifica Pier Region
Tangela 1 Pacifica Pier Whoa! Caught it with my final Pokéball! CP 806!
Sandshrew 4 Pacifica Pier Region, Southern End Quite some around
Drowzee 1 Pacifica Pier Region
Seadra 1 Pacifica Pier Region New to Pokédex!
Magnemite 1 Pacifica Pier Region New to Pokédex!
Shellder 2 Pacifica Pier Region, next to Gorilla Guy New to Pokédex!
Krabby 3 Pacifica Pier Region, Linda Mar
Weedle 4 Pacifica Pier Region there are more around
Electabuzz 1 Pacifica Pier Region
Graveler 1 Pacifica, Linda Mar
Charmeleon 1 Pacifica Pier Region
Sandslash 1 Pacifica Pier Region 903 CP!!
Golduck 1 Pacifica, Linda Mar 1203 CP! wow.
Ponyta 4 Pacifica Pier Region

Day 4 - Pacifica to San Fran

I woke up before 4am. Not a long night. I decided to start biking.

It was extremely foggy all the way. Water hung in the air. Due to the darkness and the fog I must have been invisible except for my two tiny lights flashing on the bike. The streets were empty and I cycled along, sometimes walking through this small world that moved with me. I caught a few Pokémon, marked one Magnemite nest on PokéRadar, and had a very good time for thinking. The slow walk in the night through the invisible made some wheels turn in my head.

I looooove this smell of eucalyptus in the air!!!

Too much stuff.
Just passed by a homeless person. He had way too much stuff.
I thought
It's no good. Then you can't move. Then you can just as well take a job and work.

wow.
Except for my computer, I feel like the most homeless person in the universe in this city. Seeing all these people in the streets makes me really sad. It’s pretty intense. I think my face dropped many centimeters from where I started this morning. It just all feels so messy and run down. Here are the two smells of San Francisco again: weed and homelessness. It really doesn’t make me happy to come here. There is this moment at the beginning when it does. It did again today, it did originally when I arrived the first time.
But the heavy of it all sinks in and weighs me down immensely. I'm not sure I would want to live here. Rather work from home on the countryside. Those hundreds of Pokéstops can’t make up for it, when I need to dive into my phone, autistically spinning them so that I don’t have to look around too much.

I can only imagine that you move at a different stratum when you’re rich. That you’re somewhere higher up so you don’t need to see and smell all this. It makes sense that kings built their stairways above the streets, so that they could walk to church without needing to go out on the street. Or that science-fiction-futures often show the scum dropping to the bottom (or below) the streets.
Strange strange strange.
Maybe that event tonight is gonna be enough SF for me on this journey. I’d definitely prefer fewer Pokémon if it means more joy in life...

Wow... I have a website online. My own self-made website, and it’s hosted somewhere that I paid for. It has the URL I gave it. It’s crazy! :D

I came here for the Mystery Island Event - a Pokémon Go gathering in the Fort Mason area. Many many people are here from all around SF, and also some people from the WhatsApp group will come. That's gonna be interesting, I'm looking forward to it! There will be lots of lures. And also, but I haven't researched this yet, many people playing at one spot might cause more spawns somehow?

A bit tired... I'll try to get a bed tonight.

Found no bed, everything is booked. But i got myself a hot chocolate and will find a spot behind a bush when time comes around.

Here's my character speaking:
So, I've really arrived at the city. The big city on my map. It's not exactly pleasant. I feel out of place. There's a large amount of trainers around, I can see everyone walking down the pathways catching and training. The city is messy. Big, too, and it feels as if it makes life hectic and difficult. This is not the way my adventure goes. However, it fits in here well. It's a step on the way. The big city! It is loud, people are training (but are they really?). A Pokémon trainer on a big adventure has to pass by these kinds of places. Because the city-fame and elusive pleasures is not what he set out for. There's something else that is calling, and that something is adventure. ;)

I came to attend this event, the big trainer gathering. I've seen others walk around the hill, hundreds it feels, and it's only getting started. I needed a time-out but I will return soon, not sure how long I'll stay. The big events are not my scene, but I really wanted to see what is going on and how do people play here. It's impressive how massive the game is. At times it feels that everyone is playing. Families do, couples do, groups of friends do, and some even play alone. It seems to appeal to everyone, and cover many areas of society. I felt it was big back where I came from, but this is still surprising for me. Big cities, many people. I wonder how it looks like in other countries, how it looks like at home. Because today I realized that I am attributing this craze to here, as if it was a cultural phenomenon of the US - but it isn't at all. Globalization has swept across years ago, so a trend so big is never contained to one country. The changes I experience are changes worldwide, probably, and I just feel them so specific to this area, because this is where I was when the changes hit.

Hatches

Image Pokémon
Pidgey
Paras
Magnemite

Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where?
Dodrio San Francisco Market Street

Day 4.5 - The Poké-Event gathering

This was a fun night! I went to the Mystery Island 2 Event and met up with some folks of the whatsapp group! We had to arrange with visual cues in order to find each other, but managed to gather incrementally more people.

Fort Mason has a rather large area, some parts upstairs and some downstairs near a Marina. Initially the event was more spread out, but with time moving forward most people assembled down at the docks where lures where kept running and Psyducks kept popping up. They also tried to make a party and sales event out of it, but me and the small group I was with, we just found ourselves a triple-lure-spot and kept throwing balls and spinning stops.

I don't think I had ever before been throwing balls so constantly, because mons just appeared all the time. Ha, another new way of playing the game for me.

It was great fun to play with others together - this was also a first time for me. Being out there with friends makes it a fun activity in yet another way. It's an activity to do on the side, talk a bit, walk a bit, and informing each other when something interesting spawns. :)

I stayed up until late and then simply dropped behind a bush in front of the youth hostel that didn't have space for me anymore, haha...

Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where?
... Magikarps down the stairs
... Squirtles! up the stairs
... Psyducks down the stairs

Day 5 - From Fort Mason all along Embarcadero

Yesterday I got introduced to the Silph Road and to IVs in Go. Now I've spent the morning checking up on the Pokémon I caught and still have - and realized it makes it much more difficult to give any away (before checking). I went through a few so far, my starter Charmander that I still have was deemed ungradeable, and I didn't have any really good ones yet. Enter: another layer to the game.

One plan I came up with yesterday night, was that I would leave SF with enough Magikarp candy, so I'd be able to evolve a Gyarados. Therefore I'll now head off for a walk along Embarcadero towards the Caltrain station.

I spend a lot of time at a Starbucks in Marina District, working on this blog and sorting through some mons. Charging for power and drinking for tea. All these things that need to be done once in a while. When I headed off, I took it slow.

Slowly biking along the Embarcadero does indeed give the chance to catch a lot of Magikarps. Also Psyducks and Tentacools. Those three are everywhere. And then there are sometimes some other, more rare ones. I collected Magikarps en masse. Time was getting close for reaching the final train and I was wondering whether I'd get enough candy to evolve - without missing the train while trying to get it.
I did. : )
Mission "SF-Gyarados" accomplished.

Night fell while I was sitting on the Caltrain driving back home, and some melancholy overcame. My avatar kept running running running... And somehow this felt very fitting. I watched, and mingled with some life-metaphors in my head.

Hatches

Image Pokémon Notes
Clefairy
Caterpie
Magikarp
Zubat

Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes
Gloom Starbucks Marina District maybe a bad choice, because I gave away
my double points for a new evolution...
Koffing Starbucks Marina District
Magikarp Along Embarcadero many
Magikarp Along Embarcadero of
Magikarp Along Embarcadero those
Magikarp Along Embarcadero and
Dratini Along Embarcadero also this yay!
Magikarp Along Embarcadero and many many more of these...

Day 6 - Palo Alto Business and a tour around San Jose airport

Waking up one more time at Stanford university's campus. A bit of nostalgia, some walks around, a bit of food picked up and more business done: sent my hair, changed my break pads, left for Palo Alto to get a new bank card.

It was really time to do this!

The campus didn't provided a big diversity of Pokémon. I had forgotten about this after being in the city. All that's here are Rattatas, Pidgeys and Ekans'.

I went up Hoover Tower. On my last day, last hour, last time around here. (Maybe)

There's an extra tour I took. I organized to fly out of San Jose, so I realized my Bay circle might not end up closing itself. I didn't like that, so I decided to bike towards and around SJC airport today, so my path will connect well when I'll come down on the East Bay.

Santa Clara university offered a break.
Bill Gates sponsored a plate.
The Spaniards named it after a girl.
Timewise reversed order.

Hatches

Image Pokémon Notes
Horsea 21% above avg, XL
Sandshrew got a good rating
Charmander 18% above avg

Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes
Rattatapidgeyekans Stanford University Campus oh so many!
Dugtrio Somewhere Santa Clara while biking along to the airport
Magmar Fair Oaks Park, Sunnyvale Looking for a sleeping spot
next to sports grounds
suddenly this Magmar popped up

Day 7 - SF again: Cupid's Span and Treasure Island

This day was pretty amazing. A lot of fun and a lot of Pokémon!

Cupid's Span is such a hotspot!
                               ; )

And Treasure Island is weird and very interesting.

The radar showed many shadows of interesting mons: Cloyster, Dragonair, Magneton, Voltorb...

Hatches

Image Pokémon Notes
Pidgey
Bellsprout 20% above avg!
Onix it hatched while I was biking.
when looking at the phone,
it was suddenly there!

Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes
Charmander Embarcadero, Cupid's Span oh so many!
Bulbasaur Embarcadero, Cupid's Span just one
Squirtle Embarcadero, Cupid's Span also only one
Pinsir Embarcadero, Cupid's Span a lot of these
Tauros Embarcadero, Cupid's Span some of these (US only!)
Aerodactyl Embarcadero, under Bay Bridge : o

Day 8 - Sorting my Box, Some of the City's Parks

So I spent the whole morning, midday and early afternoon sorting through my Pokémon box. Finally I went to check all the IVs of all the ones that I kept, in order to determine which ones to keep and which ones to evolve further. It was a ride! I worked on my system of taking notes and how to adapt the SilphRoad IV tool to give me good results. Here's the essential takeaway:

KEY:
$ = Pokémon hatched from an egg
* = IV Rater returns "solid mon"
number = the summed %s that the Pkmn is above average
X = the Pkmn is XL

EXAMPLE:
Caterpie$*37X
(and actually it has to be abbreviated to)
Catpie$*37X
yeah! that's a good one!

Hatched Pokémon are usually in the second-to-best range of IVs. I've never seen one worse than that, and I've seen one that was further up in the best range.

(personally, currently) CONFIRMED: CP does not really matter. If you're into long-term gains, then the IVs are important. You can always level up the CP of a Pokémon with Stardust and Candy (sure, some catching needs to be done for that). But you can't change the IVs. So once the Pokémon will max out, you will be left off with a better one if you chose one with great IVs.

The best Magikarp of the lot I caught was at CP86 - It showed an overall minimun of 52% above average! The maximum betterness might go up to 62% above average.

There's an imprecision factor in trying to determine the IVs. That factor is the level of the Pokémon, that needs to be set through adjusting a slider on an arc (just like in the game). However, it is difficult to get the exact right position for the slider, since the amount of Stardust, that can be used to double-check, is usually accurate for more than only one level. In some Pokémon and some level ranges, this potential span of differences can be very large, so that e.g. a Magikarp could be between 37% and 54% total above average. This makes a huge difference.

Because I didn't want to get disappointed later on after having invested loads of candy and stardust, I started to set the slider on the highest possible stardust level, which produces the worst possible results for that mon. Just to be on the safe side. This didn't make me have many good ones, but at least I'd be on the safe side. : )

Another way to approximate this better, is by switching on the Developer Tools in Chrome and selecting to display the page in mobile (my phone size), which brings the arc to an easier comparison to the one displayed on the phone.

And then Chansey came along and confused my whole system with these results...

However, for now I don't have a better system to check the IVs and stats, so I kept it running like I had before. But something is not working out completely well with simply adding up the percentages. Hm...

Wrapping up the day, I managed to make space for ~100 new Pokémon, which I will have to fill up with Pidgeys and Caterpies in order to prepare for 30 minutes of Evolution.

I also procured a list of needed catches that I'd try to get on our upcoming walk outisde, in order to be able to do a lucky egg evolution spree and gain some double XP.

Here it is (spellings due to autocorrect) -->
(the [x] mean that I actually accomplished that aim)

  • [ ] 19 bulbasaurs - 2ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 6(5) charmanders - 2ev - 1mon
  • [x] 0 squirtles - 2ev - 1mon
  • [x] 2 caterpies - 2ev - 1mon
  • [x] 2 weedles - 5ev - 4mon
  • [ ] 30 pidgeys - 32ev - 32mon
  • [ ] 4 rattatas - 5ev - 5mon
  • [x] 1 sparrow - 1ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 3 sandshrews - 2ev - 2mon
  • [x] 1 clefairy - 1ev - 1mon
  • [x] 0 zubat - 2ev - 2mon
  • [ ] 1 paras - 2ev - 2mon
  • [x] 0 venonat - 1ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 1 psyduck - 3v - 3mon
  • [ ] 1 mankey - 1ev - 1mon
  • [x] 0 polliwog - 2ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 1 tentacool - 3ev - 3mon
  • [ ] 6 ponyta - 1ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 6 slowpoke - 1ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 6 magnetite - 1ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 4 doduo - 1ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 6 shielder - 1ev - 1mon
  • [x] 0 krabby - 1ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 6 volt orb - 1ev - 1mon
  • [x] 0 exeggcute - 1ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 7 cubone -1ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 6 rhyhorn - 1ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 4 horsea - 1ev - 1mon
  • [x] 0 golden - 1ev - 1mon
  • [x] 0 staryu - 1ev - 1mon
  • [x] 0 evee - 4ev - 4mon
  • [ ] 5 kabuto - 1ev - 1mon
  • [ ] 12 dratini - 2ev - 1mon

Then I headed outside together with a friend. The day was drawing fog across the city. It was pleasant but chilly, sunny but not. We walked around the neighborhood, and later up Bernal Heights. Yesyes... up_^ Bernal heights. ; )

I don't know what to do about this San Francisco.
Today it was beautiful. These hills right in the middle of the city, and parks all over. Fog drawing across and beautiful sights here and there. At these times I really like the city, and then, on other days, it makes me feel very bad.
Ah...

One big thought: I was thinking how beautiful it is that this game allows so many different aspects to explore. It makes me change game tactics, it makes me devise systems, test them, revise them. Improve my results and my experience through the systems I made up. And then... Then it also makes me go outside, walk around, test the hypotheses, discover new places and enjoy beautiful views. Get some excercise and have something to do, while standing in a beautiful spot.

Today I was thinking that I want to find a job that is like this. And then I was thinking, that science is actually kind of like that! : )

Hatches

Image Pokémon Notes
Caterpie 37% better total, XL
Machop CP591, 9-15% above avg
Pidgey

Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes
Bulbasaur Bernal Heights chilly windy foggy sweet
Kingler Dolores Park decided to catch it in the wild
instead of waiting for the evolution
Clefairy Noe Valley everywhere! many!
Zubat Noe Valley allover SF...

Day #9 - Northwest of the City

One thing I worry about, is that our poor US American friends will get even more confused about kilometers. Because this what Go is displaying does not equal kilometers... So here's my breakdown of today, in order to give a comparison.

And yes: I was biking very slowly!

During today's ride I hatched the following eggs:

  5.0km (Poliwag) +
  5.0km (Slowpoke) +
  2.0km (Caterpie) +
  4.4km (?) =
16.4km

However, the map says it was ~30km (see below).
This would mean that the game maps only slightly more than half of the distance!

So I climbed two hilly parks today. Twin Peaks and Grand View. The first path was small, red, cut into the side of the hill, calm, still. It smelled peculiar and good. The game does give just that tiny push needed to get me to explore. : )

Today I caught certainly more than 120 Pokémon... Fodder for an evolution spree.

I also stumbled across the geographical center of the city. Completely unsuspecting. While I took this picture, a man passing by said "ah you found it", and then went on to explain that the city had put a beautiful plaque in the ground last week, and that it got stolen over the weekend... I said "how?!" And he "San Francisco..."
They'll be putting it back, but first they need to find away to secure it better in the ground.

Hatches

Image Pokémon Notes
Poliwag tiny tadpole
Slowpoke lazy lazybones
Caterpie cute caterpillar
??? that's the 4.4k-mon that didn't hatch yet

Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes
some of the (slightly) rarer ones Along the way the residential areas are very, very empty!
Pidgey Swarm Around Golden Gate Bridge just what I needed :)
Alakazam Golden Gate Bridge Visitor Center first a shadow, then the real thing. wow!
and it's actually a good one! +14% above avg.

Day #10 - Embarcadero again, and tireing

Somehow it wasn't very fun today to catch. Initially yes, but I got tired pretty soon... Seems I need a change of tactic or something such.

Hatches

Image Pokémon Notes

Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes

Day #11 - Across the Bridge

Set off to leave the city and bike further North into the woods! So today I'm on the road to go from San Francisco to the Safari Zone. ;)

Can't stick around in one city too long, for the adventure to remain a travel!

I spun my 2000th Pokéstop at the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge! What a great coincidence! Got myself the 2000-medal, and it has this special international color for me now. ;)

I also got myself this "GoldenKarp". It sure isn't officially shiny, but hei! I caught it while biking across the Golden Gate Bridge! That should mean something ; ) I hope it's a good one so that there's also another reason to keep it around...

Later that day:
Oh dear! I popped a lucky egg in my pocket. Accidentally.
In Sausalito.

That meant a lot of evolving, some trying to get back into cellphone reception, some restarting the app...
I managed to get around 30000XP from it still. Haha, what a ride!

After the dust had settled, I went for a break down there at this nice bench. Guess what surprise was waiting for me...

still a bit closer...

... aaaand there you go! yay! ;)

The shore is splashing with these guys!

Towards sunset I was climbing up some hills into the direction of Muir Woods. Arriving at the Panoramic Highway and being captivated by the (guessed it?) panorama, and the gold-red of light waning, I scurried off into the Californian bush.

Enjoying the grand view, I settled for my nighttime, already eager for the sunrise...

Hatches and Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes
Zubat hatchling Cruising towards GGB What a grand surprise...
GoldenKarp Golden Gate Bridge That one is gonna kick ass!
Rhydon Vista Point near GGB
Marowak Vista Point near GGB
Koffing Sausalito Where there is sunshine again
Dratini Sausalito Where there is sunshine again, and sea

Day #12 - Safari Zone

o_O ... I rose today having slept too little. Thoughts of encountering a mountain lion kept my sleep light and disrupted.
At least there was the morning view, no...? Aehm... No. Haha.
Fog.

Making my way down the windy slopes to Muir Woods (my Safari Zone), I felt quite excited about hiking. There wouldn't be that many Pokémon to catch, though. My phone had 0 reception and the app didn't even want to start up. But hei!
Bugs and troubles!
That does sound like Safari Zone!

I went to visit the Coast Redwood Trees, the tallest of their kind. Trees so huge that you can easily raise your head to remove the other tourists from sight and still keep seeing only trees.
It's trees all the way up.

I like and respect this US American thing, that many people go outside into nature as their free time activity. Families do, friends go, it's really much more a thing than in other countries. Even if this also brings a weird bunch of people into the woods, and even if nature appreciation doesn't go much farther than walking the smallest loop. It's still more than other folks come up with! I wonder how one can become fat when movement is such a natural part of one's culture.

So there are plenty of tourists here. But leaving the most basic loop makes me be pretty much alone. I've experienced this in other places as well. I do prefer the silence. Now I finally remove the earplugs and listen to the sounds of the woods instead of my pumping heartbeat. I climb up higher onto the nearby hills, dedicated to take a small hiking tour all around Muir Woods and also the coast. I can feel that I didn't sleep much the night before.

After arriving up on the top, there's a surprise in store for me: My cell reception is back, and with it also Pokémon Go. - and, as it turns out, another new way of playing the game. Here it comes:

Because there is more or less only a single path that is possible to walk, the "Nearby" feature actually makes sense and is very accurate. Checking the grid I can see which mons I'll be encountering on the way. I walk forward. At some point my phone buzzes and I know who'll be there - and indeed! It's that Pidgey I saw on the radar before. It's fun - and again very different than before. There's no searching, it's simply an early warning system, and you walk on confident that it'll buzz up sooner or later.

There was a surprising number and diversity that I found up there on the ridge of the Coastal View Trail: MuirPidgey, MuirBell, MuirFairy, Krabby, Poliwag, Nidoran male, Zubat, Weedle, Evee, and even a Butterfree and a Pinsir! So if anyone wonders what a hike in nature can yield in catches, here's a screenshot-list:

Loosely quoting a local hero: When going into nature, one always receives more than one was looking for.


Yay! That guy makes real Safari Zone memories surface!

Later at the Muir Beach lookout I even found a Squirtle and a Geodude alongside some more of those I already mentioned. Logged them duly and was happy about my surprising wealth of catches for this remote area.

Being in this new area also made me play more with the AR option. Somehow it just felt fitting to take pictures of the beautiful scenery together with the Pokémon in them. Here's a little selection of my Coastal Trail / Muir Woods / Real-life Safari Zone encounters:

Hatches and Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes
Tentacool On the serpentines down to Muir Woods
MuirPidgey Coastal View Trail My first catch in the Safari Zone
Evee Hm... Maybe up on the ridge! hope she'll be good!
Butterfree Coastal View Trail It fitted very beautifully out there in nature
Pinsir Coastal View Trail Yay! Makes me remember the good old games...

Day #13 - Marin County Hangout

I crossed the hills on Hwy 1, then spent most of the day in a Starbucks earning a bit of money. I had been exhausted and was considering a day at the beach, but the lack of electricity (and sunlight) led me to move on.

New tactic:
Checking stats more thoroughly, by powering up to levels where I can determine the level precisely due to a leap in Stardust expenses :)

So then when I biked a bit more in the evening I felt exhausted still and decided to call it a day at the edges of the Horse Hill Open Space Preserve. Looked for a spot, following the tracks of deer with proud antlers. At first they were looking at me in disbelief, then making way for me. This area must be quite a hangout spot for them, because large areas of the high grass are squished down to comfortable sleeping spots.

Where's a good spot? One thing I kept remembering from a story that a person told me about their encounter with a mountain lion, was to better not rest on the path of an animal... So I looked around, here, and there a bit deeper... until I figured in cold sweat that the bush I'd been considering to dive into was my old nemesis Poison Oak! A HUGE poison oak! I had gotten used to spotting them on the ground and as small shrubs, but this one was so big that I hadn't even considered to consider.

Because my previous initiation experience with poison oak lasted for more than a month and was rather unpleasant, I've developed a flight reaction to this plant. However, when living outside it is difficult to flee (even if it's a plant, haha, well... It's difficult to flee its oils that I have probably spread allover already...). So I sat down for a tiny break and then started to dig out some old shirt and my last bits of water, splashed the fabric, and tried to rub the invisible oils off my skin on the legs and hands as thoroughly as possible. Which is not very thoroughly, in such a messy environment. But alas! Better try than not. I also changed clothes and dropped all the potentially infested stuff into a plastic bag. That's all I can do for now, we'll see whether the itchy bumps will return...

My resting place I chose where the deer rest, too. The smell of stable hangs in the air, but only very faintly and rather pleasant. I did, however, encounter two fleas, oh my! and hope they won't find too much excitement about that bald mammal that'll share their spot tonight. I considered moving and went ahead, but eh... The deer chose their spot well and it seems to be the only one without steep inclination or poison oak. So I'll take the flea spot and wash my stuff tomorrow.

But now back to Pokémon: After climbing into my sleeping bag I went to read on reddit what has been going on - and that night a new update was released that people seemed to be actually pretty excited about! My internet is painstakingly slow for these kinds of things, but I launched the download anyways. Who knows, maybe I'll be among the lucky ones that get to try out the new tracker, yay!

Waiting for all those MBs to find their way into my little phone, I was getting myself excited about another change in the game mechanics. This truly is what I enjoy the most - that there are so many different ways that I have already been playing this game and it seems to be offering more to come. It's very fluid at the moment and still changes, but also allows different approaches through the way it is set up. Looking forward to seeing what this new tracker might bring. : )

Oh dear! After a loooong time of waiting, the update is actually finished... So let's see whether downloading it in Marin County at a deer layr in the middle of nowhere next to a highway will reward me with a tryout-tracker...

<- Nope. : )

Hatches and Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes
Magibeach Muir Beach I had no Pokéballs left on that beach and
the battery was about to die... But I got that one
as a memory ; )
Dratini Muir Beach I didn't catch it! Got a pic on my VR screen
but it ran away... (only 2 more for a Dragonite!)
Magnemite Somewhere on the way across the hills Hatched with 490CP. Good for candy for sure!

Day #14 - Across two Bridges

Holy cow I think I'm sick...

Did some very slow biking through the sunshine and Richmond Marina. It felt pleasant, very unspectacular (except for the views!). Met an excited guy who talked Pokémon with me and caught one Dratini and one Bulbasaur. I also did some gym battling, but it all happened so slow and sunny, that I think I must have been passed multiple times by retired people taking their dogs on a walk along the shore.

Currently I'm at UC Berkeley to take a little break before hoisting myself back across the Bay. I have an inside place waiting for me on the other side, and sleeping does sound very nice... :)

An Onix like the Berkeley campus tower!

Oh dear. I'm back home at my friend's place. They are out shopping so I am currently alone. It's so quiet and beautiful. The view still amazing, while night fell. I showered and dropped my clothes into the washing machine.
Homes. They are something very convenient and reassuring. I am a little sick, so the feeling comes probably even stronger. Sitting here on this couch, in silence (only some muffled noises from outside, and some humming of silent kitchen appliances), warm water to drink, and that view... Oh dear, that view... I'm really starting to get into this city. One of my problems is that I'm always exploring when I'm about to leave...

Palm leaves sway in the Bay's evening wind. Tonight I am protected from all this by walls and a roof. This house sits on a hill, one of the many. And the blinking skyline of the city shines through the large balcony glass wall. Silence. It's beautiful. Probably the most silent and homey I will have had it in the past 6 months.

I crossed two bridges today, both with public transportation. Initially I wanted to bike across them all, then gradually found out that they were unavailable for biking. The Bay Bridge has the funniest story regarding this. And yes, it is still closed.

Passing over the Bay Bridge. My bike goes by bus too.

Happily I discovered that the new tracker update was dependent on current area instead of being randomly assigned to specific people. Which makes sense for the type of game this is. :) Yay! Gonna be able to try the new feature too.

So now in the night I wrote a tiny program for easier stats calculation. Lets see whether I can bring this somewhere and pull the values from the page directly without needing manual input.
Next step: an app ; )

Hatches and Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes
Sandshrew Richmond Marina Oh! Sandshrew and Pidgey look so similar!
Pidgey Richmond Marina Ah...
Electrode Richmond Marina the ball shilouette was there but I couldn't find it...
Caterpie Maybe UC Berkeley Well, it was 2ks
Dratini Berkeley Marina I got 2, which makes me have enough for a Dragonite!
Magnemite Berkeley Marina 2, plus one that ran. Only one more for Magneton
Machop Noe Valley Still missing quite some, but this is great!

Day #15 - I hope I'll sleep

because I need some rest!

No Hatches and Catches...

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes

Day #16 - Days in the Pokémon Center

I was very exhausted and needed to take a break. Today I wanted to go to Beach Chalet and catch some rare ones, but only walking for two blocks made me feel rather done with it all. So I ended up turning around and going back to relax some more. Loading myself into the Pokémon Center. :)

Ping-Ping-Piwu-Ping!

No Hatches and Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes
Missingno.

Day #17 - Final Days

I've stayed inside also most of today. Read loads online about AI and the Fermi paradox. Had a good day and managed to relax a bit. Feels good and healthy, and maybe it'll keep me from getting really sick. Taking care a bit. :)

The one interesting Pokémon Go related thing that happened today, was that I had a meeting arranged with a person to check out my bike that I'll be selling before flying home. While he was biking around the park to try it out, a Gastly appeared kind of close by. So I was wondering whether to go and get it... but felt bad for if he came back and I wasn't there. After a while I crossed the street, but turned around right away. The pull... but then still the decency to hold the spot. Of course Gastly was gone after the meeting was over!

Finally enough earnings for more storage space. I decided for the bag upgrade, because since I've found a way to order the mons, they have never been filling up my box too much.

I also had a great time with my hosts over self-made Sushi and me-made Kaiserschmarrn. Food was great and we had a ton of interesting conversation. Happy me. : D

Now it is night, and I'm about to go sleeping and spend my last night here in SF. The citylights dance beautifully across the distance up to here. I smile a little. The fog crawls up covering half of the city, however, the larger part from there to here is clear.
I wonder whether I'll ever come back and for what reason would I do so. I learned to like the city a bit. Surprised, I have to admit that I learned to like it quite some.
Well... good night San Francisco. Sleep well crazy stressed stupid smart innovative driven city.

One Eevolution

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes
Jolteon just here, inside the Pkmn Center I wanted another strong(ish) Elektromon
I've got a 91% Raichu. Good but not strong enough
Sparkz has 89% but a bit more CP (currently 1440)

Day #18 - Closing the Circle

I really wanted to go on this ferry ride... It just feels such a classic Pokémon thing to do!
So I did.
MS Anne to Vallejo!

Haha maybe Mew pops up from behind a truck ; ) ... Not.

There is one tip for Pokémon trainers going to the ferry building in SF to catch: While the lower floor demands navigating through hordes of people...

...the upper floor accesses everything in calming solitude!

The views across the Bay were breathtaking. It was great to look here and there and know that I've been passing that bridge some days earlier, and been biking those hills just before. It feels that I got to know the Bay somewhat, and Pokémon Go was with me all the time and made me move from here to there.

I didn't have any trainer battles on the ship (also because this is not yet possible), but there was a young girl whose character I saw running across the water during the ferry ride.

I also didn't help the Captain puke...
So no VM for me ;)

I wonder about how it would change the possibilities to experience this game, if trainer battles were enabled. If one could meet others on their own Pokémon adventure, and train together.

Here's a waving Staryu welcoming me at Vallejo's shore

I think my Pokétour is over.Has been for a few days. Other things were and are more present. It was fun! How long did it last exactly, how many days? Not sure... : ) But i had a good time and it gave me a reason and a way to travel. Later on it changed and the original intent dissolved, but that's okay. Things change during a travel, it's good to be open for this.

I do feel like wrapping it up properly, though. Maybe do some sweet evolutions, and especially write about the different gameplays that I went through. That is one of the central points for me about this game.
I wonder whether I'll play at home. Probably not, because, oh dear, I will be dropped into the most rural setting and join the ranks of those seeing Pidgeys only ever. Maybe I can rule the one gym in my little home town (if there even is one...)
Haha. The guy who came back from the US... ; )

Hatches and Catches

Tinyimage Pokémon Where? Notes
Vulpix Leaving the city 83% and plenty candy
Staryu Vallejo ferry building it sat there to welcome me on the farthest North spot
of my travels!
Dratini Vallejo ferry building this one saves 3 from being traded for candy!
Weedle Stanford Palm Drive and me, I hope for good IV!
Squirtle Hoover Tower Oh so sweet! 84%

Day #19 - Evolutions and Battles

So for today I was planning to do a Gym round at Stanford and go grab all the gyms I can, while spinning stops on the way and evolving the starters and my Dratini.

However, the first gym I checked was populated with 2000+ Snorlax, Gyarados and Dragonite, so I figured I should probably evolve before.

Now what to evolve? I have a few decisions to take between evolving higher CP but lower IV, and vice versa. I used to go for high IVs only, once I got to know about this whole IV story. However, since I am leaving the areas with abundant spawns, I might have to change my tactic on this.

... and now choose one!

Here's my reasoning: In the close selection I have a Dratini with CP 595 and 82% IV, and another one with CP 417 and 96% IV. While I am inclined to evolve the 96% one, Dratinis are very rare and will probably be even less common in the rural areas I am going to. So I checked what CP to expect and I checked how much Candy (and Stardust) I'll need. And I also considered the Stats.
I'll pop these values into a table and then take my decisions.

If you like the tension, then don't read the Result section quit yet...

Evolutionary Choices

sMon CP IV% Lv. ATK DEF STA eMon minCP maxCP Dust>L25 Sweets>L25 Evolve Result
595 82 22 15 11 11 2161 2288 24,000 21 X 2158
Steel Wing (15)
Dragon Pulse (65)
Ah... Hm... Well...
521 89 19 15 12 13 1891 2003 40,000 35
417 96 15 15 15 13 1514 1603 56,400 51
160 73 24 11 7 15 1616 1888 11,000 9
143 87 20 15 13 11 1444 1687 35,000 31 X 1514
Bite (6)
Twister (25)
Oh dear! Please no... Not again!
78 89 12 13 13 14 787 920 65,400 63
416 80 14 15 8 13 V-1094
F-1023
J-832
V-1135
F-1057
J-873
59,600 55 F Flareon - 1030
Ember (10)
Fire Blast (100)
Not bad, but I just did it to reset the game.
686 82 23 15 12 10 V-1804
F-1687
J-1372
V-1872
F-1744
J-1440
18,000 15 V Flareon - 1693
Ember (10)
Flamethrower (55)
Wait... What?! But I thought I had reset by doing all name eevolutions! So my best one turned into a Flareon instead of Vaporeon and even with some medium moves! ajajaj...
678 76 23 15 10 9 V-1783
F-1667
J-1356
V-1850
F-1724
J-1423
18,000 15 J Jolteon - 1358
Thunder Shock (5)
Thunder (100)
I did this one anyways 3/3 and Yay!
here I got lucky - even got Thunder!
506 82 17 14 9 14 V-1330
F-1244
J-1012
V-1381
F-1286
J-1062
48,800 43

Evolutions in any case

sMon CP IV% Lv. ATK DEF STA eMon minCP maxCP Dust>L25 Sweets>L25 Result
551 84 20 11 14 13 1045 1943 35,000 31 1412
Water Gun (6)
Ice Beam (65)
No Hydro Pump...
507 72 20 11 11 10 1421 1541 35,000 31 1424
Wing Attack (9)
Dragon Claw (35)
Oh my... That, that... oh...
620 87 20 11 11 10 1402 1577 35,000 31 1417
Razor Leaf (15)
Solar Beam (120)
Wow, seems here I got lucky!
704 69 23 11 10 10 1540 1626 18,000 15 Oh dear! Not enough Candy!
Result: literally ...
443 80 20 11 13 12 1160 1173 35,000 31 1130
Frost Breath (9)
Hydro Pump (90)
Yay! These moves look nice!
550 87 18 14 15 10 1485 1749 44,400 39 1495
Zen Headbutt (12)
Seed Bomb (40)
Oh dear... What moves...

So I've been working on all this now for the whole morning. Finally some choices taken. I'll evolve the currently highest CP Dratini, because I will likely not be collecting many more Dratini candies (and would need quite some amounts to power-up the better-IV-ed ones to a similar level). And I'd want some strong Pokémon for my final gym battles today.

Similar reasons made me decide to evolve my Charmander and Squirtle, even though they do not have the best IVs. They are pretty decent, though, and it feels good enough for the excitment I'll have from seeing them evolve and then be battling with Charizard and Blastoise (in one team!).

Sadly I did not manage to collect enough candy to evolve my 73% Bulbasaur into Venusaur, so I'll leave that one unevolved for now. Who knows, maybe the future will bring me close to a nest...

And then there are some other exciting Evolutions that will yield firsts for me. I've collected enough candies to evolve them, and they have decent IVs. Also they will most probably not be the Pokémon I'll do gym battles with - so the evolutions make sense. I'm also on the task of gathering some more entries into my Pokédex!

So here we go! ... Nothing left to do but hope for great move-sets!

... (You can now go check the Results in the tables above)

Ajajaj! This didn't go all that well... Haha... But at least it fills my Pokédex some more.

So let's get myself out there and walking, to test my mons in Stanford's gyms!

... a few hours later...                              --->

This was fun!!!
I walked around all over campus and did gym battles. I actually placed one mon in each of the ~7 gyms that were in my general area of action at campus. Not all at the same time though, and I was soon lacking potions. I picked my rewards when I had 3 Pokémon assigned, but at one time later I managed to get up to having 5 assigned to gyms simulatneously! That was my record so far. And also picking 30 coins in one day is a record for me. So this went nicely!


Reflections (tl;dr)

    Ways I’ve played (with) Go.


                   game released
  1. Looking at others walking in groups
  2.                understood what this is about,
                   downloaded the game
  3. Figuring out triangulation
  4. Walking and wondering how to film all this action going on
  5.                three-step-glitch introduced
  6. Searching around aimlessly
  7. Leeching on other’s lures
  8. Collecting Pidgeys for Evolution-sprees
  9.                started the pokémon bike travel
  10. Catching random mons that appear along my way
  11.                got to know Pokéradar
  12. Speeding from here to there to find specific special mons
  13.                mystery island event
  14. Standing at triple-lure spots constantly throwing balls
  15. Walking around with others, catching together
  16.                got to know about IVs
  17. In front of a computer figuring out IVs
  18. Sorting through boxes endlessly, with changing naming systems
  19.                outside in the middle of nowhere
  20. If there’s only one path, you know what will pop up next
  21.                new tracker introduced
  22. Getting confused by the grass in the sprites
  23.                new tracker works in the city!
  24. Running to the indicated Pokéstops to actual find the indicated Pokémon
  25.                going by ferry
  26. I just looked at the pretty view! : )
  27.                going by bus
  28. Can't really play while going by bus
  29.                last days coming around
  30. Using many tools and lists to figure out which individuals to evolve
  31. Filling up my Pokédex
  32. Walking around trying to put mons into many gyms
  33.                flying on a plane
  34. Can’t play at all while flying on a plane...
  35.                no more data on my phone
  36. Connecting repeatedly to the airport wifi to spin some potions
  37. Gym battling to have my near-0 mons defeated so I can revive them to half HP

Here are some final stats:

I began the travel at Lv. 21 with 14692 XP
And ended when reaching Lv. 25

My Pokédex went from ~60 mons up to 118

It got dark in Go.
So I finished my round around the Bay. The East Bay happened much faster than I thought, but I simply wasn't healthy enough to continue the travel like before.

It was a good time! Very interesting! How I made the game take me places, meet people, take pictures, look at views, and even finally buy a domain and start this blog.
: )

I really like all those different phases I experienced with Go: city playing, rural playing, going outside, changing footsteps, always three footsteps, no more footsteps, suddenly grass, the new tracker... Learning some English Pokémon names. Reliving some of my childhood, and later times.

Think and order and structure! Devise systems and revise them. And again: go outside and explore!!

I could have gotten into programming something for it as well, maybe I might still : )
But even if not, this was certainly worth it, and certainly an adventure!

Thanks Nintendo and Niantic.
Despite all the troubles, I think you really created a new and interesting game. A great experience than spans many ages and classes, and this is such a feat to achieve!
: )
And you made people go out and discover! This is something really beautiful.

Today I saw a family watching a (real) seal swim through the water. There's something in there that connects to this whole experience. Going out to live things together, and watching little animals. ;)

So I say goodbye for now.
To this place and to this game.
ByeBay, So long and thanks for all the mons!