My wife and I made plans to visit 55N 119W on September 4, 2006. After our first
attempt and failure to reach 57N 117W on the previous weekend we decided to try a
secondary confluence that was closer to home and had already been visited. The 2
rookies (us) planned the adventure and printed off some poor quality maps. It appeared that an
approach from the West may be easier in the summertime because of a prominent access to an east/west
cutline. We located a resource road on the map and planned to depart from our vehicle for a
short hike to the confluence.
Rookie mistake #1 - Without realizing it, we ended up too far west from the confluence.
We parked the vehicle at a natural gas well and headed east across an open field.
We walked through a beautiful aspen forest area until we found an east/west cut line that
would be easier walking to a point closer to our destination. Eventually, we walked by another
dead end north/south road, and a farm that would have been far closer to our destination.
This is when we realized our rookie mistake #1. We continued walking through another farm
field and joined up with the same continuing east/west cutline.
Once we located a point on the cutline directly south of our intended confluence, we turned
and headed north into the bush. Luckily, the fall of 2006 was extremely dry as we suspect this
area would be very wet and boggy at other times of the year. It was very difficult walking
through tamarack and dry bog material.
Eventually, after a very hot and tiring walk, we successfully located the confluence. WooHoo!
Now we had the long walk back to the vehicle. On the way back towards the cutline through
the dry bog I stirred up a hornets nest in the ground. Julie, who was following behind was stung a
number of times, mainly on her hands. Her screams sent me running one way and her the other.
After some discussion, we managed to regroup and head back to the cutline and eventually our vehicle.
Rookie mistake #2 was not having any first aid supplies with us.
Finally, hot, tired, and hungry, but with a feeling of accomplishment, we arrived back at
our vehicle for some food and water and the drive home. Rookie mistake #3 was not taking food
and more water with us.