09-May-2004 -- 44N 124E lies in the mostly untracked hills behind the village of Obira, where I spent two years teaching English. On May 9th 2004 my neighbour Colin and I decided to go find it.
I’d already scouted out a way to drive to within a couple of kilometers of the point, across a bridge and 10kms down a dead-end gravel road. The map only showed 5km of that road, so every extra kilometer was a welcome bonus. Eventually it was blocked off by fallen debris, so the 2km hike would start there. On the expedition day we quickly made it to the end of the road and stared climbing up and down the hilly, disorienting terrain. I’d decided to schedule the visit for the spring because Obira typically gets two meters of powdery, almost impassible snow in the winter whereas in the summer the thick groundcover of scrub bamboo makes it nearly impossible to get anywhere. By early May the snow has started to melt and is reduced to a solid one meter or so, which is like a highway through the woods.
We had high hopes for a picturesque confluence, but the GPS (traitor!) zeroed out on the side of a muddy gully, so the views aren’t so great.