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Introduction and History
Susan River as seen by Dillon Wallace (left) and George Elson in 1903 (© Canadian Heritage Information Network)
To my consternation, there was no sign of a boulder with a plaque on it. With the exception of one small area covered with caribou moss, where I set up tent, it did not even appear to be an area Hubbard, Wallace and Elson would have chosen for a campsite. After months of planning and weeks of effort, my wife’s comments were colourful to say the least, when I called her that night on my satellite phone and said that I could not find the monument.
That night in my tent, I again reviewed the section in Wallace’s book from 1903, describing their last campsite, as well as notes written by George Elson. Looking at my topographical map and the coordinates provided by the helicopter pilot, I decided that it was indeed significant that the coordinates had not included any ‘seconds’ (North 53° 46’, West 61°28’). I had questioned the pilot about this, who assured me that the reading for longitude by coincidence came out at exactly zero seconds. I concluded that night, that a helicopter did not need to worry about seconds of longitude in finding the location, as the distance between one minute of longitude and the next minute was only about a kilometre. If the longitude reading of West 61°28’, in fact should have included a reading for seconds, the monument must lie to the west of where I had set up my tent. (Go to Page 21)