During August 2003 I drove through British Columbia and into the
Northwest Territories on a combined confluence hunting and sightseeing trip.
I started close to 49°N and went as far North as 61°N, covered
6,200 kilometers (3,850 miles), did 7 successful confluence visits, and
had another 12 confluences that are incomplete. I made
a map that shows the route,
and the confluences in the order they were done, with the successful ones
shown with black markers. The incomplete visits are a mix of actual attempts
and situations where I drove somewhat close to the confluence, and included
a 'visit' as a way to document the confluence location for future visitors.
The first confluence on the trip was
18-Aug-2003 -- After my incomplete "visit" to
59°N 130°W I continued south on the
Stewart-Cassiar Highway (Highway 37). I stopped in
to get gas, and dinner. A couple of hours later, I was at 57°N. Just before that, I took a
picture looking east, towards the confluence,
which is 15.67 kilometers away, in rugged terrain.
As I continued along the highway I took a couple of photos of the views, and as I got
closer to 130°W, I took
another photo to show the terrain in the area.
The heavy rain from earlier in the day had stopped some hours prior, but in this area
I started to get some showers again.
This was the last confluence "visit" on this trip. It was approaching 9:00PM as left the
area of this confluence, and I continued driving south on the Stewart-Cassiar highway.
Just before 11:00PM I arrived at Meziadin Junction. This is the the junction of Highway 37,
and Highway 37A, which goes to
Stewart, BC, which is on the
BC - Alaska border, next to Hyder, Alaska, which is the only community in southern
Alaska accessible by road.
My only problem was that although I had already done a lot of driving today, I was wide
awake, and wanted to continue, but wasn't sure if I could make it to Kitwanga, at the
Highway 37 - Highway 16 junction, without getting more gas. The gas station at Meziadin
Junction was closed, and I didn't know where the next one was located. As I was pondering
what to do, an '18-wheeler' truck drove up the road from the south. I asked the driver
whether there were any gas stations between here and Kitwanga, and he said the nearest
was in Kitwanga, but it would be closed. He said I could drive to Stewart, but that
gas station would also be closed!
I decided to drive further south, and after about 50 kilometers, I turned off onto a
logging road and found a place to 'camp'(i.e. sleep in the car) for the night. It was
19-Aug-2003 -- Shortly after 6AM I continued south, only to find that when I got to
the gas station at Kitwanga, it was closed! It was 7:05AM, and it turns out the station
doesn't open until 7:30AM. Once I filled up with gas, I left Kitwanga, and then headed
south on Highway 16 to Prince George, then on Highway 97 to Cache Creek, then Highway 1
to Vancouver, arriving home just after 11PM. Since leaving the Beaver Lake recreation site
on the morning of the 17th, after putting on my spare tire, I covered 2,732 kilometers
in just over 60 hours, which includes time spent getting a new tire in Fort Nelson,
rest stops, eating, sleeping, and stops to look at the scenery and take pictures.
It had been a long couple of days, and I was glad to be home - it had been an interesting trip :-)