26-Jan-2001 -- There are about three different roads that come within 3/4 of
a mile of this confluence point. I had made a half hearted attempt to
hit the confluence point last summer and so I had a pretty good idea
about which would give me the best access to the actual point. I had
discovered that one of the roads actually turns into a private drive and
since I didn't really want to try and explain to a land owner what I was
wanting to do, I chose to avoid that approach.
The road I chose is labeled on my map as either Luke's Grade Road or
Gulch Road. In either case, it goes from north of Grangeville and makes
its way down into the bottom of the canyon formed by the South Fork of
the Clearwater River. Eventually you will find yourself in Stites where
you can cross the river and get on State Route 13.
The actual location of the confluence point is in a side gulch of the
Clearwater Canyon. Last summer when I had been making my attempt, I
found that the place where the road was closest to the confluence point
was conveniently at the entrance to a large hay field. At the time I
wandered to the edge of the field where it became steep and there were
actually some small cliffs. At that point I decided to turn around even
though it was only about 200m from the point. This time I didn't intend
to give up so easily.
As you can see from the pictures, the weather was less than ideal.
When I was driving through Grangeville, I was a little concerned that
there wouldn't be much point in even making an attempt since the fog was
so thick. Fortunately, as the elevation dropped, the fog was not an
issue. I stopped at the edge of the snow covered field and hiked across
it. At the downhill edge I found a fence (which I remembered) that had
"Keep Out" signs (which I didn't remember) posted all along
it. Being somewhat [reluctant] to hop a clearly labeled fence, I chose
instead to go further along the fence to where it went over the first
steep part and make my way down there.
I made my way down a steep hillside to reach a flatter stretch of
land. Here I found a fence with no signs on it. It kind of looked like
it might be the same fence with all the signs from above. However,
since I couldn't see any signs from where I stood, I figured it wasn't
so bad to step over it. I was sort of surprised when I kept going and
found more fence which also had the "keep out" signs all along
it. Somehow I had managed to cross the fence and still stay on the
"outside" of that fence. I don't know how this worked, but I
figured I wouldn't worry about it. From here it was a short walk deeper
in the gulch to the confluence point. As you can tell from the
pictures, I didn't see anything too spectacular about this place on this