30-Aug-2001 -- Thursday Aug 30 awoke to the threat of rain. Although the threat continued all day, the rain held off. John Carhart, Jim Malnerich and this scribe, Badge Darling, three recent pensioners struck out to our neighboring Province Quebec for yet another Confluence Capture(see N48W80,N49W81 and N49W80).
Equipped with three Garmins, one lap top, two compasses, a multitude of maps including Map Source and a toothless killer dog, we were a tight fit in John’s Honda Accord. Our first mistake was not taking a 4 W drive vehicle. Our maps showed an approach road coming close to our objective from the East, which after two hours driving our road proved impassable to the Accord.
We circled around and came in on a Concession or Range road from the East and were able to drive to within a couple of kilometers of our Confluence. It looked like we had trails taking us closer.
Leaving the car in the care of Killer Dog we packed up our gear which was considerable in my pack sac at least, and set off. About a kilometers walk brought us to a trail heading off in our desired direction. The trail and many more in the area proved to be moose hunter’s access to their camps and tree stands. In Quebec the hunters like comfort as their tree stands resembled small two story apartments.
We followed the trails to within 500m of our target and struck off through the bush for the last leg. The walking was still pretty good and John led with his Garmin III+ in hand followed by Jim and I in the rear. From old habit I cut a few blazes on the way.
Arriving at our objective we did the “dance of the confluence” trying to hold the zeros long enough for a picture. We placed our picket, took the photos and struck out on the reciprocal trek, we thought. John again led. He could not get up enough speed for the III+ to orient itself and we wound up travelling in a very irregular circle right back to our picket where upon we picked up my blazes and followed them out.
It is very easy to get bogged down in all this new technology and forget the basics. The terrain around this confluence was typical for Northern Que/Ont, with one very odd difference. The black spruce which is common to our bush, in the locale of the confluence was infected with some blight that causes the trees to grow large knobs up the length of the trunk. We have never seen so many of these odd shaped trees in one place. Anyone into war clubs, burls to carve bowls or just decorative trees should go to N48 W79. I tried to get Jimmy to carry one out but he declined.
We finished the day with a visit to Quebec’s Parc d’Aiguebelle which has a fantastic swinging bridge and spiral staircase to play on along with many other Parc attributes.
It was a long day with almost 15 kilometers of hiking , half of which was the Parc. This is our fourth Confluence and it seems we are getting some competition for the others in our vicinity. We will have to venture further. Soon the snow will be here and we will have to travel by snowshoes and skies. I hope not snowmobiles. Every time we do one of these we wonder why, but we are already looking for the next one.