On the road…again!!!
Essays, Stories, Adventures, Dreams
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek
More Cryptic Coordinate Numbers
Little did he know that a hand-held GPS reading during Episode #10 of Breaking Bad would lead to a converging coincidence in the art of storytelling. The starring protagonist in the television series, Walter White, was taking mental notes on the geographic coordinates indicating where he had just buried his ill-begotten millions.
Cleverly, he memorized the made-for-TV digital coordinates of 34 – 59 – 20 and 106 – 36 – 52 for future reference and later purchased a lottery ticket with those same numbers. Those coordinates can readily be interpreted by GPS aficionados as N 34°59' 20" of latitude and W 106° 36' 52" of longitude. Does the reader really think that any real-world verification will produce a legitimate spot on the ground? a legitimate marker for a reference map? The answer is YES. Upon checking those coordinates some months after this chronicle was published, it turns out that the producers of Breaking Bad used the actual coordinates of the studio where filming of the show took place. They also included a joke, addressed to those who went seeking the buried barrels of cash. Storytelling thus became interactive and included untold numbers of interested parties.
This somewhat spontaneous chronicle is about a story within a story. The Footloose Forester had previously published (on 20 December 2020) a chronicle about a bogus stash of buried gold in order to elucidate a few points about GPS technology, particularly digital geographic coordinates. It was a fabrication written to elucidate a few things about GPS technology, particularly to emphasize digital coordinates. The remarkable coincidences (plural) are: Breaking Bad takes place in New Mexico; methamphetamine chemist Walter White elects to bury his swag in the desert; distrustful Walter records the location of his buried treasure with digital coordinates; and disguises the site in New Mexico by replanting grasses and shrubs, then memorizes the digital geographic coordinates.
The Footloose Forester, in one of his fanciful chronicles “The Gold in Buried at…” used legitimate digital coordinates near Grants, New Mexico as the literal focus of a fictitious burial of gold booty. By way of background, he decided to write something about a 2012 road trip with his beloved Bengal Tiger, and Grants, New Mexico was the focus.
With its spectacular black basalt lava flows that look as fresh as those pahoehoe-type lava flows around Kīlauea Volcano in Hawaii, the lava flows at Grants look remarkedly fresh, although they are at least 25,000 years old. So, although Breaking Bad is a story and the chronicle “The Gold is Buried at…” is also a contrived story, this present chronicle is a story about a couple of preceding stories.
Satellite view of lava flows near Grants, New Mexico
Any comparison between the real digital geographical coordinates of the area around Grants, New Mexico, and those featured in Episode #10 of the television series Breaking Bad…is purely coincidental.