25-Aug-2006 -- At 10:00 am EDT on August 25th, 2006, we began our journey. The skies were mostly cloudy and the temperature was 16 degrees celcius. We traveled 20 km north from Thunder Bay on highway 11-17 to its junction with Highway 527. On Highway 527 we continued north for 46 km to the Dorion Cut Off road, where we proceeded 10 km east to Manchester Lake Road. We followed Manchester Lake Road north for 6 km to an unnamed logging road, which we took East and and then North. After 5km of driving very slowly on a road that was growing quite rough and obstructed we stopped to begin hiking at a point just slightly West of the North end of Gurnett lake. This placed us roughly 1.5 km from the confluence.
Our route to this point was chosen based on information gathered by Greg and Grant Brumpton, who visited the area on July 9th 2006 (These two were the first to reach 49N90W). Since their visit the road, and the area cleared by logging, had been extended north, past the 49th parallel. We walked north though this area until we reached the 49th parallel and then turned East and into thick bush. After a short distance down hill we were at the edge of the stream which drains Gurnett Lake to the North. It was then necessary for us to travel 300 meters north to cross the stream on an old beaver dam. After reaching the East side of the stream we traveled along its shore for about 150 meters and then began to move through typical Boreal forest in an East South East direction on an upward slope.
After rising approximately 100 meters and hiking 1km through spruce and white birch, dead blow downs of tangled balsam fir and nearly impenetrable alder and willow shrub, we reached our goal of 49N89W at a time of 3:13 pm EDT.
The plateau on which the confluence rests is composed of diabase rock and is the far northern extension of the North American Mid-Continent rift system that extends from Kansas NNE to north of Lake Superior and then swings SSE to Ohio. The rocks under the diabase sills are presently being explored for uranium minerals.
Much of the forest cut in this region is still original forest. A system of replanting is carried out under government and corporate control according to 'Forest Management Agreements'. The harvested wood is processed into newsprint, pulp and dimension wood including oriented strand board.