02-Apr-1999 -- The first point we visited was 44°N 70°W. We
drove as far as we could on single-lane country roads, then
hiked (maybe a mile) to this spot. The guy in the red jacket is Matt Lindley,
host of the CBS-syndicated TV show, The Wild Web. The guy with the mike
and the laptop is me, producer Mark O'Leary.
The Story: I'm a producer for the CBS-syndicated TV show, The Wild Web
Matt is co-host (with the lovely and talented Beth Lahr) of this 30 minute,
magazine-format show which covers entertainment, popular culture
and what-have-you on the internet. CBS has put it in something like 140
cities nation-wide, so you should be able to see it almost anywhere you
live in the US.
While on assignment for the show, we visited the DeLorme
company in Yarmouth, ME
They gave us one of their GPS receivers
to plug into our Compaq laptop, and we decided to play with it. I had
come across the Degree Confluence Project on line awhile before,
and since two of the ten Maine confluence points were on our
itinerary for the story we were working on, we decided to participate.
We drove our rented SUV as far as we could in both cases, and
we did secure landowner permission before crossing private property
on foot. So, what's actually located at these two confluence points?
Not much-trees, mostly. And mud. A lot of mud. But for a while, we
were located there too.
Lessons learned: Maine is a beautiful place, but if you go confluence
point-hunting in April, wear your high boots, because it's pretty muddy that
time of year. Also, a GPS is a fun toy, but don't try to learn how yours
works while flying down a narrow, bumpy country road in a four-wheel