28-Apr-2001 -- After reading about the project in USA Today we set out to locate
a Confluence point within a reasonable distance of Calgary where we live.
51N/115W was between us and the Rocky Mountains and seemed to be reasonable
My son Houston and I set out April 25 after school to make an
attempt. The journey began well as we drove on main roads then gravel roads
and finally found a old logging trail going in the general direction of the
point. We made our way on foot through the forest and soon discovered that
Spring had not yet melted the snow in the forest. We found ourselves
trudging through 3 feet of wet snow. We gave up about 2 miles from the
destination. On the way home we set the following Saturday, April 28, 2001
as out next attempt.
This time, armed with Molly Sykes' (our generous
neighbor) snowshoes, a map, warmer boots and clothes we set out again. We
found an old logging trail which was rough, muddy and had 3 feet of snow in
places, but took us to within .5 mile of the degree confluence point. As we
departed the trail we had a beautiful view of the Rockies. Unfortunately the
forest closed in and the going was tough. We eventually ended up with our
clothes soaked, climbing a steep hill to what we thought would be the spot.
At the top the view was great but we had to climb down the other side over
logs, deep in snow until our GPS started the countdown in feet. After
traveling most of the day we were finally there.
Sadly we were now so
concerned with getting back out before dark that we didn't have time to
relax and enjoy the accomplishment. We did stop long enough to have a Sobe,
take some pictures and mark the spot. The hike back was just as long but
went much quicker since we could follow our own tracks rather than
Contributing to the project was fun, getting out in such
dramatically beautiful scenery was inspiring but most of all I had a great
day with my 11 year old son who slogged the entire trip in wet pants and
boots and never let a complaint pass his lips. We held hands
all the way back and felt compelled to let out a whoop of satisfaction and
share a smile every few minutes.