22-Oct-2006 -- This visit to the confluence point at 53W 47N was born of a trip to a scientific meeting held in St. Johns, Newfoundland from October 23-25, 2006. Arriving late the previous Saturday, Todd Sikora, a colleague and friend of mine, had Sunday October 22 to explore Newfoundland. The trip to the confluence point would take us on a scenic drive along Newfoundland’s eastern coast, so a short excursion to a confluence point seemed like a small adventure. This confluence point is a little less than 1 km west of Highway 10, the main road along the coast from St. Johns.
Based on Bill Quigley’s visit in May 2005, we were warned that we would need waterproof footwear for walking in the boggy area. However, this fair warning for his May trip was an understatement for our October trip. There had been regular rain for quite a while. Although our waterproof, angle-height footwear was adequate most of the time, there were parts of the trek where our feet sank deep enough that the inside of our boots got wet. Future travelers at the same time of the year should make note of this.
We did not at first find the ATV trail noticed by Quigley. We left the road a bit north of the latitude of the confluence point, because it was the first place we found we could cross from the road to the bog without having to ford running water in the drainage ditch adjacent to the road. This made our trip a bit longer. We tried to walk along the ridges to stay as dry as we could.
Though the distance we covered was probably only little more than 1 km, we had to step deliberately to avoid sinking deep and perhaps loosing a boot. The actual route we followed is shown in the map we made from Google Earth. The road in Google Earth seems to be displaced about 100 m to the east from our GPS measurements of latitude and longitude.
On the way to the confluence point, we ran across some bleached bones. Judging from their size, we believed the bones were from a long-dead moose and were confident that they were not the remains of the last people trying to reach the confluence point.
Like Quigley we had to walk around a small lake to reach the confluence point. The only problem was that there was a small stream draining into the lake that blocked our way. We had to take a running leap over it.
We arrived at the exact position of the confluence point as measured by the Garmin Etrex GPS receiver. The accompanying photograph shows that we zeroed out the latitude and longitude measurements. We noticed some stakes where we believe Quigley had marked the confluence point as he measured it. Those measurements were about 5 m further south than our measurement.
The return trip back to Highway 10 was much shorter because we ran into the ATV trail Quigley mentioned. We should note that at several points the ATV trail was under nearly 30 cm of water. Had we taken this ATV route on the way in, we might have been discouraged and not continued to the confluence point. However, the motivation to cross these wet areas on the way out was greater and we were already pretty wet.
On the way out, we also came upon a recently dead moose, first identified by the smell. A picture of this find is also included here. We found some rags near the moose and suspect that the moose may have been killed and butchered by someone.
We followed our wet adventure with a stop at the Riverside Restaurant on the east side on Highway 10 on the way to St. Johns. The chowder was pretty good, but the moose burger was a little gamey for my tastes. All-in-all it was an interesting way to spend part of a Sunday in Newfoundland.