02-Aug-2002 -- This trip was in the planning stage for two months. Confluence hunting was an avocation of a friend and Geocaching was mine, he suggested I marry the two. Hindered by a late spring breakup and bad roads both finally came to fruition on August 1, 2002 when spouse and I left Labrador City for the site 54°N 63°W via Churchill Falls, NF, Canada, 240 odd kilometers later we were there, the first leg over and lunch on the table in the local truck stop. The ride out
had been pretty uneventful, saw a few Osprey, one fishing very intently and several Spruce Grouse. Ducks were also seen as was a family of Spotted Sandpipers and a few Warblers, mostly Yellow Rumped.
After lunch we headed up Orma Lake Road, first hour it was good going, than we were happy to have the 8 ply tires and 4 x 4. Passed a helicopter in the middle of the road, it was part of a Dutch Air Force training camp with a very high tech radar tracking fully equipped setup. Drove along by several fishermen at 'twin bridges' tried out our limited French then we had the "road" all to ourselves, well us and Willie on the CD player.
Pointed out several of our old camp sites to spouse, looked at a few more grouse families and some more ducks. Split a lot of ruts left by heavy equipment which had passed when the going was wet. Crossed 6-8 washouts with
the help of 4 x 4 and once low range. Flies numbered about 50 million according to spouse. Plenty of fresh bear droppings but no sightings. Lots of renamants of last seasons caribou hunt.
After about 2 hours and 30 minutes the pointer on our GPSr swung 90 degrees so we parked. Checked over the backpack, yep, camera, close up adapter, compass, GPSr. film, and usual survival crap plus Bug Shirt so I
headed out the final 589 meters. Over three hills, two bogs, one river and through an extra 2 million 587 thousand 674 flies I trekked.
Getting the GPSr to show N54°00.000' W63°00.000' was the objective, soon it did, yes there was a Geocache to greet me. After the usual trinket exchange plus log entry I set about to do the necessary documentation for the confluence. Pictures to the West, get the setting sun in the first one, than the South, the East and the North. Now the actual confluence itself. Wait, there are two ducks in the pond to the South, better get them too. Got 150 mm lens on, might actually see them.
Flies are hell as the Bug Shirt is open around my head, glasses steamed up. time to head out. OH SHIT, forgot to mark the truck on the GPSr, no matter, did a bearing on the compass, in 220 so it is out 40, high tech be dammed, back to old faithful!!!
As I started to leave a grouse flushed and so out came the camera once more, took a few pictures and than up flies a baby!!! Both in the same tree, with a bit of moving around I managed to get both in the same picture. Flushed one more just after that but no babies.
20 minutes later we are looking at the truck when I heard the horn, God bless the spouse, blew the horn twice every five minutes after the elapsed to be back time. Undressed, well took off the Bug Shirt, got the AC on full power. Asked spouse where we should camp, "With 50 million flies around us.......... we should head to the cabin." This was about 3 hours 30 minutes away!!! We did it in just 3:10.
Trip back was pretty uneventful, one rabbit, one bear, a very upset Greater Yellowlegs when I tried to photograph it near it's nest and a pair of Goldeneye ducks, a baby rabbit plus some Canada Geese. Had a stop once
more in Churchill Falls for gas and a snack than a sleepy ride to my camp at Ranger Lake. Cooked a gourmet meal (beans), enjoyed a bottle of champagne to celebrate our success and beddy bye in bunk beds, me on top.