16-Mar-2001 -- I'd had enough of the technology world for one week, and so took Friday off to
see if I couldn't go nab another confluence point. Luckily the high tech mecca of Canada
is still fairly un-aware of the confluence project it seems, so all 3 of the 4 points
neighbouring Ottawa sit like ripe grapes for me to pluck (insert evil laugh here).
Departing the city at about 11:00 am, pockets full of coulombs I drove north over the
river into Quebec and along highway 5, until it turns into 105, running along the Gatineau
river and winds it's way north through the skiing areas like Fortune, Vorlage and towards
Mont Ste. Marie. The village namesake of the latter is the closest town to the
confluence point. At first I went straight toward it, hoping that it was sufficiently close the
that I could just cross the Gatineau north of Kazabazua and get to it. But alas, it
appeared to be on the other side and over some hills - still a few km away.
Backtracking, then turning off the road to Mont Ste Marie and then onto Chemine
la Chute I drove over muddy roads. It appeared that the closest approach was about
2.2km from the confpt. I started out into a snowy logging road, which quickly became
two skidder ruts in the meter deep snow (tough skiing), finally I crossed the tributary of the
Gatineau and cut into a small woodlot, along a snowmobile trail, then at about 900m,
into a swamp. If you haven't skied through snowfilled swamps, you're missing something.
In summer they are almost impenetrable due to wet, mushy land, flies and brush. In the
winter, they are nice open spaces punctuated with dried cat-tails, polished tree trunks
and hidden beaver dams.
That long thin swamp between a couple of hills joined onto another more open
wetland area, but alas the confpt lay to the east, into the bush. I ascended the densly
covered hill (not so easy on skis, where you can't herringbone up the hill, you instead
need to make a longer traverse). And there lay the confpt in it's shining glory...
...actually I had to chase it around between the trees. My Etrex Summit said it
was 3m away, then it jumped up to 30m - so I figured that's as close as I could nail
it and started shooting pictures.