Michele and I decided to attempt to visit as many N 50° confluences as possible between now and when she turns 50, in 5 years. I just turned 50 so we are calling this project 50/50°. To add flavour and excitement to 50/50°, Michele, a visual artist (silversmith – metalworker), has pledged to make art at every N 50° CP we visit – she calls this Michele makes it at 50°.
N 50° W 091° occurs on the northern lobe of a roughly triangular island in Cobb Bay, a twisting complex of inlets, bays and narrows off Sturgeon Lake in Northwestern Ontario.
The map indicated a hunting/fishing resort on Cobb Bay at the end of a road connecting to highway 599. Michele phoned Jamie and Sheri Fassett – owners of Cobb Bay Lodge – and they said we were welcome to use their dock and parking area free of charge. Since Cobb Bay is quite a distance from our home and because Jamie and Sheri seemed so friendly, we decided to make a weekend of it and booked a cabin for Saturday night.
Saturday morning we left our home near Dryden, Ontario and drove our car (with canoe on top) the 115 km to Ignace on highway 17. We next took secondary highway 599 northwest a further 80 kms to Cobb Bay Lodge. Our hosts welcomed us and showed us our lovely red-roofed cabin on the lake shore. We unpacked and launched our canoe without delay – rain clouds were threatening and the wind was rising.
It is just over 3 km to the point closest to the confluence on the shore of the island. We paddled this distance against a head wind and an ever-increasing chop in about an hour. The lake here is studded with islets and there are inlets and channels everywhere – it is very confusing – thank goodness for GPS. We stopped in the lee of islets and headlands to rest and enjoy the scenery and wildlife (many loons).
We found a landing place only 30 or 40 meters from the CP. It took several minutes of walking through the boggy forest to zero the GPS – under the thick trees and heavy overcast, we could only achieve 9 meters of accuracy.
The requisite photos were taken, then Michele settled down to work a few stitches on the tire of her knitted wire bicycle – yes, that’s right, she’s knitting in wire a full size 3D representation of a bicycle. (Stay tuned for further news of this – when the bicycle is done, we will photograph it at the next 50° CP we visit.)
We paddled off in search of a more amenable spot for a picnic. The shoreline was consistently rocky, though, and we were afraid of damaging the canoe, so we just tied up to a branch and had a floating picnic.
We arrived back at the lodge intact and unrained upon. We visited with our kind hosts, Jamie and Sheri and Jamie’s father Jim before supper and also later in the evening. If you are into great hunting and fishing or eco-tours, give them a visit. Before turning in we went out on our deck – the cloud was breaking up and we saw the full moon and its shimmering trail on the water. What a beautiful way to end the day! The next morning we hit the road for home - happy we had found not only the confluence but some new friends as well.