24-Aug-2010 -- This confluence is situated on 110°W, the latitude that forms the border between the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Latitude 110°W forms the border all the way from the 49th parallel along the Canadian and USA border to the 60th parallel, the southern border of the North West Territories. 110° is also known as the 4th Meridian as explained on the plaque of the roadside monument beside the Trans-Canada Highway where it crosses the latitude. It reads: "FOURTH MERIDIAN This marker is on the Fourth Meridian which is the main control line for surveys in the province of Alberta. From this true north line, surveys are carried westward to establish the location of townships and sections upon which all titles to land are based. In 1905 it became a provincial boundary. Erected by the Province of Alberta"
It was a bright sunny day with the temperature around 20°C as we turned off the Trans-Canada Highway 4.9 km south of the confluence. We were on Range Road 10. A short distance from the highway we came to a cattle gate (also known as a Texas gate) with a sign for Hargrave Ranch which contained three phone numbers for requesting permission to enter the property. On the third call, Alan reached Josh who, after hearing the reason for our wanting to enter his property, gave us permission. As long as we didn't drive off the road due to the danger of fire, he said we were welcome.
It did not take us long to reach the 50th latitude. After passing some cows then a few horses, and waiting for one of them to cross the road in front of us, we parked the car at the edge of the gravel road. We prepared for the walk to the confluence, a mere 60 meters away. The area is much greener and more alive than for the previous visit made here 9 years ago. There has been a lot of rain on the prairies this summer. Wild flowers were in bloom. The sage and other plants looked healthy and green. None of them were crunching under foot as they had been in 2001.
Although there is easy access to this confluence - not even a barbed wire fence to cross - a person must watch out for the holes that animals have dug into the ground. Stepping into one of those could twist an ankle quite badly. As there are low cactuses in the area, be on the lookout for those too as they have sharp thorns. Cow pies could be another hazard.
Alan quite quickly found the zeros and we were able to get our photographs of the GPS, the directions and the ground cover. It is a quiet peaceful area with great views. Far to the south the Cypress Hills are visible.