08-Sep-2004 -- In early August we recieved a call from our son Darren (Kelowna) to check out the Confluence pages and get into 'history'. We decided to attempt to find 49N 86W. We live in Marathon which is approximately 100 km from Manitouwadge. On September 8, 2004 - a beautiful, sunshiny, frost-on-rooftops day, we loaded up the 4-wheeler, packed our emergency gear and enough food and water to last us all day (and for a night in the woods should we get stranded).
We drove about 4 km past Manitouwadge to a point where a powerline intersects the Caramat road. We unloaded the 4-wheeler and set out. An hour later, after getting stuck 5 times in a 1 km distance, we decided we would have to come back with a second 4-wheeler or plan to possibly stay overnight in the bush as the trail was just too wet and swampy for two persons on the bike and the trail was too rough to feasibly walk the 32 km there and back in one day. We made our way back to our starting point where we loaded the 4-wheeler back on the trailer.
Being people of endurance and open to (more) punishment, we decided to drive towards Caramat (beyond Manitouwadge) to look for a road that might take us closer than the 16 km (10 miles) of our first attempt.
Our first sideroad got us to within 12 km (8 miles). Still not quite close enough to walk at this time of day, we decided to try another road. With the GPS set up for "GoTo 49x86" we drove down an old log-haul road - the numbers getting lower as we went. At one point we were 2.7 km (1.7 miles), with the road turning away from our target. Over the next hill-in 4X4 by now- the road turned back towards our elusive 49-86. Around the next bend our (in)famous powerline was in sight. With a distance reading of 1 km (0.6 mile), we decided that a short walk would be worth the effort. Driving towards the powerline right-of way, we passed another branch road, but it was headed too far North (according to GPS).
After a 'water' break, and discussion, we decided to at least try the branch road - worst case, we come back and start from 'here'. Heading down the new road we realized it was the main snowmobile trail in the area, with the numbers (rapidly) ticking towards zeros!!! At the bottom of a hill with 0.36 km (0.23 mile) to our target we came to a washout!! Being this close one gets wreckless, and checking to make sure the Jeep was in 4x4, we tried it. Not (too much of) a problem. A bit of hitch dragging, but the trailer and fourwheeler follow. With Lorraine reading the numbers (her voice rising) I finally stop at xx.xx.009. We can walk it from here!!!
As anyone that has chased a GPS target knows, be patient, and wait for the numbers to come to you. We finally settled on a "forest" of mushrooms, which eventually was our 49N 86W. The EPE was indicated at 17 ft (5.18 m).
Coordinator's Note: It appears that it may be Shaggy Mane mushrooms growing at the confluence.