05-Aug-2002 -- Andrew Cox:
We had just finished a weekend family reunion near High Prairie, Alberta,
I thought it would be a good time to test the will of my sister and bride to be.
I sprung a "detour" on them as we exited High Prairie. Charlene piped up, "Shouldn't we be heading away from the sun?"
(Some vital info: We three were crammed into an S10 looking at a 6-7 hour journey to our home in Calgary.
Needless to say, all they really wanted was to get home as soon as possible.)
And yet, sometimes in life we do not get what we want.
That being said, sometimes you do.
Well, I do since I've got the keys and steering wheel.
In addition, I'm bigger than the two of them put together.
So off we sped in search of our elusive confluence.
After some silence and even more grumbling and muttering, they perked up.
Suddenly they could see with what excitement I had been pouring over my assorted maps and research.
Once I pulled out the GPS unit they were hooked.
Some phases overheard by birds that afternoon:
"What the hell is that?"
And "how do you use it?"
as well as " ...so why exactly are we doing this?"
I filled them in on the project and my reasons for participating.
They seemed happy to have an adventure, well perhaps they were just content to be participants.
All of my research hinted that the confluence would lie several hundred metres from a gravel road, namley Township Road 694.
What I couldn't tell without ground truthing was what the hike would be like.
As luck would have it, as we approached the end of TWP 694, it appeared that the confluence would lie in a field of Timothy.
We grabbed a beer and headed on an extremely short journey to the intersection of 55N 117W.
I purposefully chose a simple confluence for my first. I had no idea it was to be this simple.
I'm already planning my next to be more adventurous.
We shared our celebratory beer, had a chat, took pictures for the panoramic. Twenty minutes later we were on our cramped way.
All in all, it was a lovely drive. This exercise emphasized the notion that it's about the journey, not the destination.
About your write up...I thought the whole trip to the point, was pointless,
however when we got there I became quite interested. The air outside was
hot, it was an uncomfortable drive, but the conversation was good. I
hoped we would have had to walk into bushes and up hills, but it was in the
field, so I didn't like that. I was sad that you didn't use a marker to say
you were there, so that was definitely unprepared. I especially liked the
hand set gizmo you used, I'd like to have one myself. I was sad when we
left, cause I knew you wanted to spend more time there.
I have been asked by Andrew to write a little bit about our visit to the
Confluence Point near Valleyview Alberta. Being from Northern Alberta myself
and growing up exploring fields and dirt roads, I must admit I was not as
exited as Kathryn and Andrew to go walking around through knee high grass
and giant cow patties. It probably did not help that I had been crammed
between Andrew and Kathryn for several hours in her truck and was facing
many many more hours in the truck as Andrew's mission was taking us on a
trip lengthening detour.
The area is beautiful, despite my mood. anyone who has been in the Peace
Country knows what I am talking about. Eventually the wildflowers and the
endless sky began to work their magic on me. I also knew that this project
was really important to Andrew so it did make it more interesting and
meaningful. Sharing a moment like this with him makes me feel lucky. Also it
was one of my first trips with Kathryn. I am glad she was there and I am
very glad we were all there together. Andrew said something about us making
history, I am not sure exactly what he meant by that since I do not always
listen as carefully as I should when he talks about his work. I agree we
were making history but I envision a different history. I think of my future
husband and my future sister -in law sitting in a field with me. All
thinking our own thought, dreaming our own dreams. Bees buzzing over
us...wind in the trees.
In the end I know the trip was worth it. We drove all night, we got home
late and we fell asleep exhausted (I was not sure if the cramps in our
behinds would ever go away) The next morning Andrew phoned to have me rush
his camera film out to be developed. I think THAT is when I realized what an
immensely big deal it was to him. I am so proud of Andrew. I am so proud to
be a part of his life. He included me in his adventure and I look forward to
a lifetime of exploration. Andrew sees beauty in the everyday things we take
for granted. Thanks to him. I look forward to our next trip down that dirt
road, through that quiet field.