23-Aug-2002 -- We finally decided to visit this "attempted" confluence. David Wasserman visited this area in July 2001 but did not have enough time. If he had time and rain clouds were not approaching we know he would have made it. Even if there had been a steep mountain in the way and a few fast flowing rivers to cross, he would have made it.
After reading David Wasserman's report from this spot we were prepared for several scenarios which included wading through the water in the ditch. We left Regina shortly after 8:00 AM for the 307 km drive northeast to Norquay. With one stop in Yorkton to pick up submarine sandwiches we arrived near the confluence at noon. Sure enough, there was the exact spot, as shown in David Wasserman's first photo, 190 meters north of the grid road on the other side of the water filled ditch and marshy area. Wading through that water didn't look very inviting but if necessary we would do it! We continued a short distance east along the grid road where we found a clearing that seemed to lead back towards the confluence area. After testing this "trail" to see if it was driveable (i.e. we wouldn't get stuck after recent rains) we drove off the grid road for about 25 meters and parked in the shade of some trees. We were now 285 meters from the confluence. The dogs stayed in the van because of mud and the thick treed area.
We walked northwest along the trail until it veered away from the confluence. Then we climbed north up an embankment through some trees until we were on the edge of a beautiful ripe crop. Seeing a beautiful crop is unusual in Saskatchewan this year due to drought conditions. A Statistics Canada report released this very day predicts the 2002 crop year will be one of the worst in history for western farmers. Walking west along the muddy space between the crop and the trees and then north, we entered the grove of trees 50 meters east of the confluence. Clambering over mossy fallen tree trunks, under and over branches and through thorny wild rose bushes we finally reached the confluence. Because of the leafy cover it took some traipsing about through the forest until the zeros were steady on the GPS. Mosquitoes came out from under the damp undergrowth and enjoyed feeding on us.
As soon as the required pictures were taken we quickly backtracked to the field where there were no mosquitoes. In the corner of the field where the trees had been cleared from the land to a 90° angle, parts of the crop were bent to the ground in varying directions. Perhaps a strong wind had been whipping around in this protected corner causing a strange whirlwind reaction. It looked like an attempted crop circle gone wrong.
There were purple thistles, yellow sweet clover and golden rod growing along the narrow space between field and trees. In the cleared area where we parked the van there were various grasses and wild flowers such as clover and goldenrod. Growing in the shade of the trees were huge golden brown mushrooms as big as 15 cm in diameter. Amongst the variety of trees were Chokecherry trees with ripe chokecherries ready for picking.
It was a beautiful sunny day for confluence hunting. In the ten hours we were gone we drove a total of 629 km. We enjoyed seeing some new scenery and exploring a few of the towns along the way. Just west of the confluence was one of the more scenic spots with a view of a lovely green valley with wild flowers, a meandering stream, hay fields and a pasture of contented cows. Hawks soared on the breezes overhead.
Our team of four thoroughly enjoyed the outing. The new fourth member is seven year old MacDuff, our older daughter's Basset Hound. MacDuff moved from North Carolina, USA to live with us when she recently moved to an apartment near Baltimore, Maryland, USA. MacDuff's "hound" nose has a built in GPS to help him seek out food. As long as there is food at a confluence, we're set!