19-Aug-2011 -- The North Milk River valley where this confluence is located is on the Remington Ranch, a large cattle ranching operation covering many sections. Being there today on business with the Ranch manager and my collegues, I took a few minutes to walk down into the coulee to the river. The confluence is on the west side of the river and due to the St Mary canal being open and keeping the water high in the river, I took the waypoint on the east bank. It is interesting that the surveyed border with the USA is actually about 150 m south of 49 degrees, which is pretty accurate considering it was surveyed using a sextant in the 1860s by the Dawson Boundary Commission then marked in the early 1900s.
The confluence site is treeless, fescue prairie on a slope. Near the river, wolf willow shrubs grow in the otherwise treeless landscape. There is a nice view upriver south into Montana and north into Alberta. It is possible to canoe this river from the next bridge downstream on hwy 501, although this stretch is much less popular than the reach I have done from Milk River town to Writing on Stone Park, a great trip. The section downstream looks very interesting as it winds along the Milk River Ridge by sandstone hoodoos and cliffs in open grasslands with Ferruginous Hawks, Prairie Falcons and Mule Deer.
I've included some photos of Del Bonita (Photo 5), a community 10 km east of the confluence point we drove through en route from Lethbridge, population about 6. A couple have been renovating a 100 year old building that was moved from Whiskey Gap years ago which is now open to sell ice cream and souvenirs. Also a picture of my co-workers and the ranch hand on the prairie. Interesting to note how the grass range has recovered, compared to the last visit to the site in 2001(Photo 6).
The GPS point is east of the river by the wolf-willow patch at the fence. The fence was not crossed as there were cattle and a bull a few metres away inside that pasture and the rancher said just to go to the fence, not to cross it (this is all on his private land). The fence is new since the last visit in 2001.
Coordinator's Note: This visit is listed as Incomplete because the GPS coordinates of the closest approach are 105 meters from the confluence.