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Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

100 Years Too Late? Print E-mail
Written by Bill Chupka, PS   
Friday, 30 January 2015

A 6.367Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

There have been times in my life when I had more than just a foot in the past. Ever feel like you are one of those people who was born a hundred years too late? I remember feeling that way at times when I was young, but I was able to put all those thoughts to rest this summer over the span of just two days.

Got up at 4:00 AM, jumped in my truck and drove from Riverton (where I live in central Wyoming ) around the Wind River Mountains to Pinedale, where I had a great breakfast at the Stockman's restaurant and drove to the trailhead, where I hit the trail about 8:30 am. By 11:30 I had arrived at Seneca Lake some 7 miles in. Spent a couple hours there taking photo's and headed back down. By 8:00 PM I was home having completed my planned trip.

My goal had been to replicate a photo taken at Seneca Lake circa 1878 by photographer William Henry Jackson during the Hayden Expeditions. On my drive home I pondered how long it would have taken Jackson and the others to get to the place I had just visited. Traveling by mule or horseback, I suspect it took them at least ten times as long as it took me ( and I don't know what they had for breakfast but I doubt it was better than mine).

To top that off, I flew over the area the next day in my airplane for more photos. By then I realized I had been born in exactly the right century. I truly get the best of both worlds, enjoying all the convenience of the modern day, while still witnessing the virtually unspoiled splendor of the Wind Rivers here in Wyoming. Also, I should mention, Jackson needed some three hundred pounds of equipment and supplies to produce his photos, while I needed only a three ounce digital camera. We truly live in an amazing world.

Anyway, the highlight for me was finding the exact spot from which Jackson took his photo, documented by the two large rocks which appear in the lower part of his photo. The view is much different now with the appearance of trees blocking the view to the lake.

Bill Chupka is a professional Land Surveyor in Riverton, Wyoming.

A 6.367Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

 
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