27-May-2001 -- Steve and I were ready for an adventure. We gassed up the car, put on hiking shoes and filled a backpack with cold water and dry clothes. We charted our course using three-dimensional mapping software and had a South Dakota atlas open on the front seat. All that lay between us was an impossible-to-count number of longitude and latitude intersections.
We didn’t know what we would find, but we did expect a hike of some sort and maybe the need to ask for permission to trespass.
What we would find became increasingly clear as Steve drove us west on Highway 44. The global positioning system receiver I carried counted down the distance to our objective.
“I don’t think we’ll have to walk very far,” I told Steve.
As we approached Antelope Creek road, Steve turned right. We were less than one-tenth of a mile from the goal.
“Stop, stop, stop,” I said. “We’re close.”
We hopped out of the car, and followed the directions that GPS receiver gave us. We dropped into the roadside ditch and walked slowly through the grass and cattails as the GPS ticked off our locations. We were right on our east-west line as we took a final few steps to 44 degree north. I let out a little “whoo-hoo” but I was really thinking, “That was way too easy.” The car was 50 feet away, the engine still warm from the drive out.
We took our required photos and headed back to town, a bead of sweat not dropped or a drink of cold water not taken. We weren’t even forced to deal with an angry cow, but we will show the world what our little corner of the planet look like.
That made it worth the effort (or lack of one).