It was cool as we left Regina at 8:00 A.M. As a matter of fact, it was below freezing for much of the trip 416 kilometers to the northwest. We were on our way to visit two confluences in two days. By the time we reached this confluence area at noon, it was 13°C but strong winds made it feel much cooler.
On the trip north we saw migratory birds flying south in their typical "V" shaped formations. There were Canada Geese, Snow Geese and ducks. Many of the lakes in the area are designated as National Migratory Bird Sanctuaries. At Scentgrass Lake, 8 kilometers from the confluence, we saw hundreds of Canada Geese on the shore and in the reeds on a small island. They were feeding and resting for the long journey ahead.
From Saskatoon we drove on the Yellowhead Highway, a route that stretches from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Prince Rupert, British Columbia. We turned north on Grid Road 687 at Denholm, a town 20 kilometers southwest of North Battleford, where we would spend the night. After driving 20 kilometers north we traveled east a short distance then found a promising road heading north again. It had rained a few days before and parts of this dirt track were bumpy and other parts were still muddy. There has been too much rain in this area causing a delay in harvesting. Some of the most promising crops in years have now deteriorated. As we drove along we saw a farmer out swathing his crop. A few fields have been swathed, some are completely harvested, and others are still standing and waiting. After bumping along the track for 11.4 kilometers to reach a better gravel road east then traveling north again we finally reached the confluence area.
Before getting out for the search we ate our sandwiches. We would need strength and stamina to walk that 54 meters from our van to the confluence spot. HA! Well, there was that barbed wire fence to get through. Before we knew it we were on the spot and taking pictures. The prairie grasses in this field were bent over by the force of the wind. This must be pasture land on occasion, as evidenced by the cow patties. On this day there were cows in the field across the road. The field to the south was covered in big round hay bales.
2.94 kilometers NW of the confluence we found the small village of Hatherleigh. It is on the maps and although its train track and train station have been abandoned, there are three or four homes and a sports field with a baseball diamond.
We dedicate this visit to the Centennial year of the province of Saskatchewan. 1905 - 2005.
We also dedicate this visit to our two canine team members who passed away within the last year. Max,
our Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, died November 8, 2004. Max accompanied us on 57 confluence visits. MacDuff, our daughter's Basset Hound, died December 22, 2004. MacDuff accompanied us on 12 visits. Both dogs loved the travel and the adventure of confluence hunting. We miss these beloved dogs so very much.