06-Nov-2001 -- On June the 8th of this year we completed our first confluence - N50° W105°. We were novices and looking back don't feel we did this site justice. With that in mind, we decided to pay it a repeat visit - almost five months to the day later.
In preparation for this visit I had attempted to locate the owner of the land in question. On our first visit we had proceeded without permission through a farm yard. We had tried to gain that permission but with no one home and being amateurs at this, we just took a chance. This time we wanted to be better prepared. I had located a web site that allows one to enter the latitude and longitude of a locale and it would convert it into the legal description. With this in hand, a short phone call to the local Municipal Office gave me the name of the landowner. I contacted him and we made arrangements to meet. He seemed very interested in the project and thought he knew of an easier approach than the one we had previously used.
Our journey began around 10:30 in the morning. About an hour later I was talking to the landowner on his farm and he showed me what road we could use. He was busy just then but we arranged to meet about an hour later on the access road. In the meantime, we decided we'd check things out for ourselves. An interesting drive across his farm access road took us to 835 m due west of the confluence but, since we knew where we needed to be, we realized this route was not going to get us there. All was not wasted however since we did see three white tail deer and a pheasant.
We decided we would check out another possible route to "the spot". This took us into Dunnet Regional Park, south of the confluence. Here we found another farm access road that took us to within 300 m of the desired point. Rather than proceed to the confluence now, we decided we would go back and meet as arranged so the landowner could join us. When we told him what we had found, he informed us that the legal description I had found could not be correct. The point we were talking about was not on his land. So much for accuracy on the Internet! He did however know the actual landowner and felt he wouldn't mind if we continued our search. So, as he headed off, we pressed onward and managed to drive to within 150 m giving us a very easy walk to our point on the bank of Long Creek.
It was interesting to see the difference from June to November. Although we recognized the site as soon as we arrived there, it had a totally different look to it as will be seen in the photographs. We also took a little more care this time around to ensure "all zeros" on my GPS. On our way back to the van we saw five more deer running across a field in the distance. Since this is hunting season we both thought how it is not a good time for deer in Saskatchewan.
After getting our pictures we decided to explore the area a little more than we had on our previous visit. We stopped for a snack and did some shopping in a gift shop in the town of Avonlea and then drove around their golf course located just east of town and a little over a kilometer due north of the confluence site. We even managed to get within 650 m of the confluence from this side of Long Creek. Also planned was a trip to a small "badlands" area we knew existed just across the road from the golf course. We have visited this area many times in the past and were extremely disappointed to find the access posted with a "No Hunting or Trespassing" sign. Apparently arrangements can be made to visit the area but we found this out after we got back home. Next time ....
Anyone who intends on visiting this area should check out some of the local history before heading that way. There are several places of interest and more information can be obtained by logging into the Avonlea Tourism web site.
We arrived home around 4:00 having completed a total of 213 km. It had been a beautiful day (although we awoke to snow the following day) and we felt that this time we had done justice to a very beautiful section of our province.