30-Jun-2001 -- 1:00 p.m. Piled the kids, wife and myself into the car and took off from home in Edmonton Alberta Canada in search of 53N 112W. Earlier printed off roadmaps from MapQuest and good details of a secondary highway that appeared to come within 2-3 Kilometers of the target.
1:30 p.m. After stopping for gas (price: $0.635/litre or approx. $2.40/gallon) and drive-thru lunch ($11.10 Taco Bell) we’re out of the city, heading East on Highway 14 towards Cooking Lake/Tofield.
2:58 p.m. Reach nearest access by car. Totally lucked out with the access. Found a dirt road that appears to get us within 1.0 Kilometers of target. Looks like cattle pasture. Terrain is typical of Alberta farmland in the region. Land is dry, partially cleared, mainly grassland with clumps of poplar trees and low brush. Passed a farmhouse approx. 3km up the road, however no clear evidence of who might own the land. Left the Confluence letter under the wiper blades with a note to the landowner in case they came by and were wondering. Tossed the kids over an old barbed wire fence and off we headed due East.
Shows us walking at the start of hike, just past the fence. Sidney 2 years, Abbey 8 Months (in pack) and I. Nikki is taking photo.
About 0.5k into hike we had to tiptoe through a minefield of about 100 cows. They stared us down and could maybe somehow sense we had steak burritos for lunch. :-)
Largest patch of Alberta Wild roses I’ve seen in a long time. Rose patch was approx. 5 meters (17ft) from target.
3:24 p.m. Success! GPS had a great lock on the satellites and zero’s straight across. Accuracy within 4 meters. Elevation 694 meters. Temperature 18C partially cloudy.
Within a couple of minutes of reaching confluence the cows from 1/2+ kilometer back showed up. I guess they were interested in what we were up to and decided to follow from a distance. They checked out the situation and promptly turned back. We quickly set up the tripod and snapped a few with the cows and us (Photo #2).
Photo taken due South. Shows edge of wild rose patch to the right and cows in the background.
5:35 p.m. Back home. Total round trip distance: 288 Kilometers. We’re heading off for vacation later in the year and hope to bag a few more confluence points.