Photos of Seton’s Expedition to Aylmer Lake by David Witt

These are photos from Arctic Prairies by Ernest Thompson Seton. David Witt chose some of the illustrations that most represented what he hopes to see while at Aylmer Lake.

Here is what David says of the photos and his hopes for the journey:

One of our destinations is this the mouth of the Lockhart River – our furthest point to the west. I plan on re-creating 3 photos taken by Seton. So expect to see a photo of us having lunch along the riverbank.

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One of Seton’s goal was to see a musk ox at Aylmer Lake – he had never before seen one. Neither have I.

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This is another of our destinations. This river had not been “discovered” by people of European descent before Seton happened onto it. He named it the Earl Gray River in honor of a Canadian politician. It’s actual name is the Thonokied River. Aylmer Lake is so vast that he missed the place where the river enters the lake. He canoed right past it and only later discovered it on a cross country hike. We intend to follow his route on that hike.

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We hope to reach this place north of the western arm of the lake part way through our journey. We are going to walk a couple kilometers or so in search of this rock, rephotographing it. Using Seton’s own maps, written accounts by Seton and his partner Edward Preble, topographical maps, and Google Earth, I have come up GPS coordinates for all the places we plan to visit around the lake. This particular spot does not yet have a GPS coordinate, but I think I can find the place where the hike began. If I can find the rock I will take a GPS reading so that we will know just where this was taken. I will have Thomas and Patty pose exactly as the two figures are positioned beside the rock. I have done this kind of photography in the past with most interesting results.

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