08-Jul-2014 -- The Brumpton family previously completed two confluences, 49N90W, and 49N89W. Members knew that previous visits to 49N88W lacked a GPS photo of the confluence coordinates. It was decided that this summer would be a good time to attempt to reach this confluence.
This confluence is the closest confluence to Lake Superior and the approach to the site would ensure pictures of Nipigon Bay, the most northern shoreline of Lake Superior, and the road, rail, and power lines around this bay.
At 10 am on July 8/14 we left Thunder Bay and travelled northeast on Hwy 11/17 to Kama Hill, 8 km past the Nipigon River bridge. A second bridge is being constructed to ensure the highway will not be closed in the future. At this point an overview of the Lake afforded us paved safe parking. This area is often visited by geologists studying the 1.36 Ga old Kama Hill formation of the Sibley group.
We walked SW along the highway to enter the cleared powerline corridor. This route requires climbing over or around three cliffs of the Kama Hill formation, with the second cliff being the most challenging. Other obstacles included wetlands and streams overflowing as a result of a rainy spring and summer. The route was 1 km long and rose 150 m above the 274 m starting elevation of Hwy 17.
The corridor, however, was covered in many places with meadows of wildflowers and fruit bearing shrubs. One of our GPS units was programmed with a goto destination of the confluence. As we proceeded along the corridor the distance to the confluence dropped steadily from over 700 m to less than 400 m. Once within roughly 370 m a narrow road under a closed forest canopy on the northwest side of the corridor was discovered. We followed the road and it brought us to within roughly 225 m of the confluence.
The forest at this site is a mature mixed boreal forest of spruce, fir, pine, and lesser amounts of poplar and white birch. This particular area also contained considerable tree blowdown.
At 2 pm a daunting 10 m cliff and the aforementioned blowdown barred a safe continuation and a clear sight line to the 49N88W confluence. Due to safety concerns, time limitation, and insect (black fly and mosquito) attacks we decided to return to our vehicle.
At 5:30 pm, after a brief stop in Nipigon, we arrived home in Thunder Bay. Hopefully we can return soon and photograph the GPS reading at 49N88W.