05-Sep-2003 -- 60N129W is just a couple miles east of the point where the Cassiar Highway Route 37 crosses the British Columbia/Yukon border. I believe that 60N is the official boundary line. Ingrid and I were returning to California after a several week visit to the Yukon and couldn’t pass up this chance.
The desire for personal glory often intrudes into the search for scientific truth, and it was no stranger here as Ingrid and I forced our way along the British Columbia/Yukon border in hopes of bagging a triple crown. The northernmost pedestrian visits to confluences in British Columbia, Alaska, and the Yukon, with two above the Arctic Circle! I was already silently accepting congratulations when we noticed the lake intruding its way between us and the 60N129W target.
So far things had gone well. The authorities had some years ago cleared a 30 foot lane through the mostly spruce forest along the border. While somewhat grown back, we were making good time with only one boggy stretch leaving our boots damp. We had been enjoying the early Fall colors. Now suddenly things were not so good, there was a lake was across the path, possibly even over the confluence point. Visible on the other side was the continued clearance line heading for Alberta I guess.
We broke out our moose/bear pot-top noise maker and clanged away as we pushed, clambered, and slogged through dense spruce forest with an underlayer of tangled downed logs and muskeg bogs. We circled around the lake to the north. Somewhat disheveled we reached the cleared border path on the other side and GPSed our way east to 129W. The only trouble was that the cleared line had been a consistent two hundred yards south of the GPS-defined 60N border. The GPS showed that we were at 59 degrees 59.045 minutes or .055 minutes south of 60N. So again we pushed into the woods to go the short distance north to the confluence point. When we got there the GPS just wouldn’t settle down completely. Perhaps it was the thick trees that made the GPS wander. It kept changing plus or minus .001 or .002 minutes in either direction and after waiting around for both latitude and longitude to register .000 simultaneously we just took a picture of the closest reading we could get. The wandering was only over a 20 meter area. We marked the spot with a red bandana tied to a tree.
Back at the highway the reading was similar to that at the confluence. The marked province/territory boundary and the clearance line was about .055 minutes or two hundred yards south of the GPS reading of 60N. My GPS was set on the 1984 datum and it indicated that the readings were good to about 40 feet. I don’t know what the deal is. Either my unit’s wrong or, as I suspect, the border was surveyed a bit south of the exact 60N line.