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Steve "Stilts" Fitzgerald
Begins: Jun 14, 2009
Date: Mon, Jun 15th, 2009
Entry Visits: 654
Journal Visits: 22,428
Guestbook Views: 1,550
Guestbook Entrys: 22
When Steve hiked the PCT last summer, he carried a neat little device called "SPOT." As far as I know, he was one of the only PCT hikers to carry this device last summer. However, SPOT's are getting more popular- I've noticed that quite a few other Postholer journalists are now carrying them. We always knew Steve was a trend-setter. In any event, back by popular demand, the SPOT is making the trip with Steve again this summer on the CDT.
Here's what you need to know about SPOT: when Steve gets a clear view of the sky, and when he's got a few minutes to spare (like during a lunch break or at camp in the evening), he pushes a button on his SPOT and it sends a signal to a satellite (Steve calls this "preparing his TPS reports," as in the movie Office Space. Great movie, you'll like it). The satellite then sends a message to my email account with Steve's exact latitude and longitude. This year, however, in addition to sending the email to me, Steve is sending the email directly to the Postholer website. That means you'll be able to follow Steve in real time, as his location points are almost instantly posted to the Postholer maps.
All you need to do is click on the link to the left that reads "Last SPOT Location." A map of the U.S. will appear, and you will be able to see a blue line indicating the course of the CDT, as well as a number of small yellow "S"'s. Scroll over the "S" which is the furthest south, and you'll see Steve's most recent location. Steve usually sends two signals per day.
The great thing about this feature is that you can see his location without having to read through my blathering journal entries! His location is updated regardless of whether or not I write a journal entry for that day. So don't be fooled- just because I have not chosen to pontificate about Steve's hike on a certain day, does not mean that you can't see how he's doing. Just click on an older journal entry and follow the SPOT! It updates every day, even if I don't.
I always enjoy looking at the signal in "satellite" mode. You get a real flavor for what Steve is seeing that way. For example, after all my talk of the "termini" yesterday, I decided to see what the northern terminus of the CDT actually looks like. So I zoomed in on Steve's SPOT signal. Apparently, the CDT ends at an 18-wheeler parked on the side of a highway. How magical.
The Continental Divide Trail is a national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada via New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. This unfinished trail can potentially span up to 3,100 miles. Learn more: www.continentaldividetrail.org
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