10-Apr-2002 -- I came across the confluence project when it was mentioned in a recent slashdot article.
When I discovered Maine had two unvisited points the quest was on!
The 46N70W point is in the northern Maine woods, which for the most part is owned by paper companies. They welcome recreational use of their land, as long as you don't get in the way of the logging trucks that come barreling down their roads at high speeds. The other hazard is moose - nothing you want to argue with while traveling on a road at 40 mph.
With black fly season approaching, I figured now would be the best time to make the attempt. As it turned out, spring thaw is not a very good time to be driving on unpaved roads. Also, the softening snow made snowshoeing difficult.
We set off at 8AM for the 4-hour drive north. It was a beautiful high white cloudy Maine spring morning. At Rockwood, Maine, we headed north on the thawing lumber company roads. It was a rough 20-mile drive, as we swerved to avoid potholes and washouts. Sometimes the passengers in the back seat of our 4-Runner hit the ceiling at a particularly violent bump. At one point a part fell out of the exhaust system, and from then on the truck had the deep throaty sound of a hot rod.
The lumber companies charge a $4 toll for access to their extensive logging roads. 16 miles out of Rockwood we arrived at the "20-mile gate". It was open and deserted - I don't think they expected much traffic at this time of the year. Proceeding north another 5 miles past Pittston Farm, we came to the closest point we were able to drive, about 3.1 miles from the confluence point.
From here we set off on snowshoes. The going was easy for 1.8 miles as we traveled on a snow-covered logging road. Then, at the top of a ridge about 1.3 miles from our destination, we headed off the trail into the woods. Progress then was much more difficult; sometimes your foot would sink unexpectedly 2 feet through the snow. We traveled this way for another 1.3 miles.
Along the way we saw lots of deer and many moose tracks but no moose themselves. At one point we came across a dead coyote being eaten by an eagle.
We got more and more excited as the gps reading changed from miles to feet.
Even though the confluence point was a nondescript and totally arbitrary point in this cutover forest in northern Maine, we felt a real sense of accomplishment in reaching our goal.