15-Jun-2003 -- Our first attempt to locate this confluence occurred on June 07/03. We had been planning to do this confluence for a while during this past spring, but due to it’s elevation we decided to wait until we were sure snow would not hinder us. As it turned out we did find patches of snow while we hiked during this attempt. The confluence hunting season doesn’t last long up North.
The trip to the confluence took us west on Hwy 16 for about 1 hour, to Vanderhoof. From there we followed Hwy 27 for 1/2 hour, up through Ft. St. James, and then on to the Germansen Forest Service Road (FSR). From there we head North for just over 55 km until we came to the Rainbow Delta FSR.
While the Rainbow FSR is definitely a secondary logging road, the first 10 km were fairly easy going. The road was in fairly good shape, and as of yet hadn’t been deactivated The last 3 -4 km of the road made for slow going but didn’t require the use of 4 wheel drive. However, as luck would have it the road came to an abrupt stop at the end of a cut block. The GPS showed we were still almost 1.5 miles from the confluence.
Since we had seen no evidence of roads or cut lines in the area (which concurred with our maps), it looked like we were in for a couple of hours of straight “bush wacking.” We located a promising entrance to the forest and started off towards the confluence. We followed a small box canyon for about a quarter of a mile until we came to it’s end. We then proceeded up a small but steep slope and were surprised to find that a cut block which had been marked off a number of years earlier. The cut block boundary followed what appeared to be an esker and actually went in the exact direction of the confluence. While the bush wacking was made easier due to the marked boundary, the brush was certainly thicker here then it was in the canyon.
We followed this route for approximately another 1/4 mile and eventually descended another steep slope down to a creek. This afforded us the opportunity to fill up on good cold water and to allow the resident mosquito population a chance to fill up on us. Unfortunately we had neglected to pack any bug repellent. This also happened to be one of the warmest days of the year so far, with temperatures reaching 28 degrees Celsius (Hot for Northern BC). Needless to say, by the time we did get back to the truck we had experienced more than our share of “bugs.”
We continued on towards the confluence for another 10 minutes until we again came across another creek. However as we had to be back in Prince George for a meeting that night, we ended our trek before we had made the half way mark. However, knowing we would be coming back fairly soon, we left the trail marking tape on trees, there by saving us some time on our return trip.
Our second attempt occurred on June 15 (Father’s Day). Everything was much the same as the first time except this time we remembered the bug spray. Fortunately for us the weather wasn’t nearly as hot. In fact it was almost the opposite as we watched rain clouds chase each other across the sky for much of the day.
As our trail was already marked, we made great time to our previous turn around point. From there we zigzagged our way through patches of small and numerous trees until we came upon a small creek. We easily crossed this creek ,and the slightly boggy area after it, until we came upon another esker. Again we walked along the top of the esker, which roughly followed a route parallel to 55 degrees. This esker lasted for a good 1/3 of a mile.
Just before we came up on 124 degrees, we passed a cut line which was likely the boundary between area 7-25 and 7-28. We didn’t bother to confirm my suspicion. Not long after the cut line we made our way down a very steep embankment. Once we reached the bottom we were only 500 or so feet from the confluence. We again crossed over a small creek and began the task of locating the confluence.
Of course as only fitting Central BC, the brush and bush was quite thick. We ended up marking our path every 10 to 15 feet in order to keep from getting lost. This also meant we would have trouble getting and keeping a reading on the GPS. As it turned out, between the thick bush and the over cast sky (it began to rain as I started to dance), I was only briefly able to get the confluence displayed on the GPS. It’s at times like these that I envy the prairies.
As mentioned, the location had heavy brush and had not been logged before. There was a gentle slope towards the west. The elevation was 3962 feet. It looked like almost all confluence’s I’ve been to in Central BC. Lots of trees and bush, never mind the mosquitoes.
As we started back the rain turned into a downpour. Even though the trees provided lots of cover from the water, the wet brush meant we were soaked within minutes. That meant we had to do the 2 mile return trip packing an extra 10 pounds of water. Thankfully the rain didn’t last too long. We celebrated the confluence by stripping down to our birthday suits in the box of the truck and changing into dry clothes. The trip through the bush had taken us 4 hours. Total time from Prince George return, was just over 10 hours.