Every once in awhile we come across something really odd or out of place; something that doesn’t seem to make any sense at all, something like the expiry date on my dental floss! I’m really tempted to leave an open package on the shelf long past its best before date just to see what happens!
Sometimes things seem odd only because we don’t understand them. On our recent trip to Anahim Lake, we came across such a thing, the abandoned Canadian Coast Guard site, Loran C. It was the sign on the gate that left me most baffled.
The protection of life and property at sea? We must have been 300 km or more from the coast! It made absolutely no sense to me. There had to be an explanation for this one. I realize that governments are known for wasting money but surely they wouldn’t build a coast guard installation in the interior for no reason at all, or would they? That’s what I love about the internet; answers at my fingertips, but I had to wait until we got home to search for this one.
It turns out that the Loran (Long Range Navigation) C station west of Williams Lake was one of a series throughout both Canada and the US. It was part of a radio navigation system which enabled ships and aircraft to determine their position and speed using low frequency radio signals transmitted by fixed land based radio beacons. With the advent of the satellite based Global Positioning System (GPS) the Loran C became obsolete and last year the decision was made to decommission it and dismantle the 183m (600 feet) radio tower because it was deemed to be a hazard to both public safety and aviation in the area once the station was no longer manned.
I’m glad to have found an explanation for the Loran C but that still doesn’t answer my burning question… what happens to dental floss that isn’t used up before it’s expiry date?