Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Seiffert Brothers: 55 Miles in One Day!

God's RiverWow...55 miles in one day! See where they are, and read about what this means...
I don't know if the guys are that eager for fresh food, that tired of being on the river in the rain, or just enjoying a strong current, but by my measurements, they ate up about 55 miles today. If they go that far again on Tuesday, they will be on the doorstep of York Factory. I'm not sure if they plan to make it there tomorrow or not. They were supposed to give us a special signal when they thought they'd be there the next day and we haven't received that yet, but we know by now that even signals relayed from a satellite can get delayed. They can probably almost just drift the rest of the way if they are so inclined; the river is probably moving fairly swiftly here. They have dropped from about 90 meters above sea level yesterday to about 25 today (for those of you not conversant with metric, that's a bit over 200 feet). The river is obviously growing, with some additions from other streams. Right now they are at the confluence of the Hayes (which has been their highway) and God's River, which is the one that Sevareid and his friend took back in 1930.

The river definitely looks bigger now. I measured it on my computer at about a quarter mile across here. It will get a bit narrower in spots yet, but it will also be wider at the end, a half mile or more, which will almost certainly make it the biggest river of their whole trip. Speaking (or writing) of big, they have totaled up some big miles by now. Even if you ignore all the twists and turns (which I'm sure they would love to have done on the Red) they are now about 800 miles in a straight line north of where we are in St. Anthony (which is almost exactly halfway between the equator and north pole) and even farther north of where they started in St. Peter. If they were to go that far north again, they would be well north of the Arctic Circle. If they were to go that far in a straight line west, east, or south of here, they would be in Yellowstone Park, central New York, or northern Louisiana, respectively. If they were to unkink all the miles that they have traveled and go that far in a straight line, I think they would be in an ocean any way they went.

I imagine that they will be glad to unkink their bodies after more than two thousand miles of sitting. I can't imagine how they will feel when they see the bay in front of them. I'm not sure if Matt and David can imagine it yet themselves, but in a day or two they won't have to - they will know just how it feels. I hope they can describe it for us...