16-Sep-2007 -- This narrative describes the expedition to the confluence at 45N 72W, in Vermont near the Canadian border.
The only two previous visitors gave very different reports of the difficulty required to access this locale. Jess West claimed 100m from the road in 1999; Joe Kerski reported a 700m trek last year. Maps suggested that the closest approach to the road was 350m, but the aerial view appeared very aquatic along such a route. We planned an approach 400m from the northeast, along what appeared on the map to be rough but dry trails.
We arrived in mid afternoon, after a morning of recreation in the Lake Willoughby region. We left route 111, the last paved state road, 12km south of the confluence, and traveled well kept gravel roads through rolling bucolic farmlands. Soon we were on the east-west oriented Prairie Road, 500m south of the Canadian border, and located our intended starting point.
The view south was not love at first sight. The bush was thick; mud and standing water permeated what was visible of the ground. We improvised on the plan and located another access further west which seemed like an encouraging path. But, after a dozen meters, we were in ankle deep water. There seemed to be no high ground whatsoever, no matter how dense the ground flora, and we resigned to the inevitable wet shoes and mud.
Once inside the inhospitable parcel, we encountered recently cut trails traversing in numerous directions. The owner was evidently reworking the property. This allowed us more rapid movement, although the ruts were under shallow water. In about 20 minutes of slogging, we were converging on the confluence.
The zeroes occurred just off one of these freshly cut paths, with a newly installed electric fence running nearby. A view of a nearby farm was seen across an adjacent plowed field. A pack of dogs began to bark, ostensibly from our trespass. We took the directional photos and the GPS record, then started back along a northerly line, following the powered fence. This proved to be the best access route; quite unlike the appearance in the aerial photo.
In much less time, we emerged onto the road, and returned to the parked vehicle. A few trucks passed us while walking on the road, but nobody exhibited enough curiosity to query our peculiar presence or muddy appearance. We proceeded east and found a northerly road which took us to an undisclosed and unguarded (& hopefully unmonitored) access to the Canadian border. We spoofed as international criminals at the border for a few moments, then continued east to assault the even more challenging 45N 71W confluence in Maine.