2012-06-02 54 -120

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Sat 2 Jun 2012 in 54,-120:
54.4302218, -120.9486278

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On a mountain, between Grande Prairie, where we started, and far enough west that we could go south without being in cloud-covered mountains. That happens to be on a mountain in one of the Limestone Lakes in the Monkman Provincial Park.



Our job was to fly safely from Grande Prairie, where we had spent the night, to Kamloops, where we had work, despite there being a lot of clouds and high mountains around. Studying the weather forecasts led us to decide that flying from Grande Prairie towards Prince George and then turning south when the clouds and mountains had subsided offered the best chance of getting to Kamloops. Our plan was to find some geohashes on the way, if they happened to be convenient.


We left Grande Prairie, in an airplane which I was flying, and went sort of northwestish, which confused the air traffic controller because Kamloops is southwest of Grande Prairie, so the controller said, "What route are you planning to Kamloops?" which is a subtle air traffic controller hint meaning, "Did you remember that you were supposed to be going to Kamloops, and are you sure you know how to get there?" I said, "Via Prince George," and then he was happy.

I climbed to 8500', which was about as high as the clouds would let us get and then continued far enough north that the mountains were less tall than that. Flying is really logical that way. I entered the coordinates into my GPS and then kept changing the graticule until I had determined that there was a geohash about six minutes ahead, over the mountains that we were crossing. I started the process of documenting the geohash, with a photo of the GPS set up with the day's coordinates, and our track proceeding towards it, and then I realized that we were flying a custom-built geohashing machine. There is, installed in the airplane, a camera and computer system worth approximately four times as much as the rest of the airplane, specifically designed and programmed to take awesome high definition pictures at a preprogrammed location. I stopped looking at the now pathetically uncool aviation GPS system mounted in the aircraft panel and shifted my attention to the targeting screen belonging to the system that costs a hundred times more. My job in general is to fly around looking at this screen to align the airplane exactly in line with a target, so we can take a picture of it. Yes, I am a professional geohasher. Deal.

On this occasion the line was misbehaving, because Spencer had extended a line already programmed into the software, and the software was confused that the line was hundreds of kilometres long. "I'll have to trigger it manually," he said. "Does it matter if it's a few centimetres off?"

And then we turned south, towards Kamloops and our next point.


I may be able to get one.


P.S. Yes, our boss knows we are geohashing in the plane.