30-Apr-2007 -- We live in Timmins and set off for this confluence the night before, spending the night at the Companion Motel in Hearst. It is a good place to stay for anyone travelling in the area. We decided that it would be best to start as early as possible and have little highway driving in the morning. The next morning was cold with flurries in the air and we left a bit later than planned. After stopping at Tim Hortons for coffee and the grocery store for food, we headed west on Highway 11.
Leaving Highway 11, we turned north onto Fushimi Road (gravel road) which heads up to Fushimi Lake Provincial Park. The park is about 13km up the road where we passed by its closed gate and continued further north. The excellent road appears to be an old logging and possibly mining road with no visible operations or activity. It is likely maintained by the Ministry of Natural Resources. After we left Highway 11, we did not see another vehicle or person until we arrived back at the highway. We headed another 15km north and then turned left onto another bush road that was in excellent condition as well. We drove about 5km to the northwest then turned northeast and continued on a smaller road. The truck reached a bridge made of logs that crossed a creek with rushing water. There was still a bit of snow left in the bush but almost all of it has melted and water levels are high. The bridge would not hold Kevin’s Chevy pickup truck. This road is for ATVs, so we decided it was time to walk. At this point we were almost a couple of kilometres from the confluence and were happy that we could drive this close to it.
We decided we would continue on the ATV road until we crossed a couple of creeks shown on our topographical map on the GPS and then head directly to the confluence in a northwesterly direction. We enjoyed the scenery of the many ponds and bogs but were happy that the area was not as swampy as we thought it would be. To our surprise, there was an ATV trail that headed directly northwest towards the confluence! We walked this trail for quite some time and left it and walked through some marshes which was easy as the ground was mainly grass-covered. We were wearing rubber boots so anything less than a foot of water was okay. After getting past the wetlands, we joined up again with the ATV trail and it took us almost directly towards the point! We couldn’t believe how easy it was considering the remoteness of the area. We walked on the trail until we saw a perfect 50°00.000N on the GPS and then decided to head directly west through the bush.
We were within 300 metres of the confluence before we had to walk through thick bush. This is an extremely easy confluence to find by Northern Ontario standards. The bush was probably as good as it could get for this area as there were many areas with jack pine trees, meaning a not so wet ground. There were also black spruce, balsam poplar, small willow and tag (speckled) alders. We were really excited when we were within 100 metres as we knew it was going to be a successful visit. When it was down to 20 metres, we probably did a number of circles around the point. When it was under ten, we moved very slowly to get all the zeroes. It was kind of funny because this area was covered with water which might have made things difficult had it been deep. Luckily it wasn’t and we had a perfect reading with the lowest possible estimated amount of error!
We tried many times to get a good photo of the GPS and the sun’s glare didn’t help. We then read the list of required and recommended photos and took them accordingly. Later, we ate lunch on a dry mound right by the confluence. We just rested and listened to the light wind and thought we could hear the rapids from the Kabinakagami River which is only a couple of kilometres from the confluence.
The walk back was interesting because for some reason we decided to try to take another trail we found back but it had too much water. We used the GPS to guide us back to the trail we came on and had to walk through a considerable amount of thick bush and water. We are very happy that everything turned out well and that we did not encounter any bears! So many of the confluences in our region have been visited by people who drive up from southern Ontario and the U.S. so we felt we should take advantage of this fun activity in Northern Ontario as we live here.
Some interesting observations from our trip:
- there were so many animal droppings (scat) everywhere we hiked, especially from moose
- we saw and heard many grouse (we call them partridges) and this would be an excellent area for one who likes to hunt them, there were also many ducks in the ponds
- on the drive home we saw tundra swans in a lake near the town of Opasatika
- saw two moose on Highway 655 as we entered the city limits of Timmins (home)
Now I (Neil) believe that confluence visitors should include the following information when posting their visits to make the website more interesting.
Confluence name: Kabinakagami
Alternate name if above name is already in use (unlikely!): Fushimi (I decided to use the name Kabinakagami because it is the nearby river and the fact that it is an aboriginal name)
Weather conditions: Mainly Sunny, temperature 10°C (50°F)
Elevation: Approximately 165m (541 ft.) above sea level
Travel time on foot: About 2.5 hours to get there, 1.5 hours to return to truck (we were not in a rush to get there as we took photos, looked for wildlife and enjoyed the fresh air)
Trees/vegetation at confluence: small Willows, Tag Alders, Black Spruce, White Spruce, Balsam Poplar, Trembling Aspen, Balsam Fir, White Birch, Jack Pine. Very typical boreal forest
Nearest communities: Constance Lake First Nation (Cree), Lac-Ste-Thérèse, Hearst. Hearst is known as the "Moose Capital of Canada." It is also called "Le petit Québec" because about 90% of its population is francophone (speaks French as a first language.
GPS used: Magellan Meridian Color
Software: Magellan Topo Canada
Maps: printed from Softmap Technologies (Federal Government topo)
Note to anyone else who visits this confluence: The only thing we left behind was a red pen in the closest tree. See if you can find it!