19-Aug-2004 -- We took a road trip from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to visit our daughters - one in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. and one in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is one of fourteen successful confluence visits along the way.
This confluence is just off Highway 2 close to Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes. We turned off Highway 2 and proceeded along Parkington Road a short distance to reach W86°. Although the confluence was only 264 meters away there was no approach to the area because of the deep murky water, bulrushes and thick forest.
Back on busy Highway 2 we parked on the shoulder at N46°. We were only 225 meters from the confluence and although the forest here was thick, at least the ground was dry. We headed off into the woods. Live trees, dead trees, fallen overgrown trees and stumps blocked a clear pathway. Grasses, wild flowers, and ferns grew tall and thick. We more or less followed the path of Fernia Creek for over 200 meters as it flowed through the forest. Alan then realized the confluence was on the other side of the creek. We found a large fallen tree across the creek that provided a bridge across the deep murky water. A tall sturdy dead tree branch provided a balance pole so that Alan could make it across. Once across, Alan tossed the branch back so I could use it. Sadly, it hit a tree trunk and broke making it too short to be useful. Since I could not find a good replacement I chose to stay on the south side of the creek rather than chance a fall into the scary looking water. Who knows what nasty microbes lurked there. I was 89 meters from the confluence so close enough for my comfort.
Alan forged on through the forest on the other side and disappeared from sight. He was gone for 25 long minutes. As I sat on a fallen log to wait, I thought I heard grunts in the distance. Could it be a bear? We had seen a flattened bed of grass where an animal had bedded recently. Had that been a bear? Because it was windy, the dead trees were creaking and snapping; the live trees were swaying and rustling and making me nervous. I was very happy to see Alan return so we could get out of there. Alan had taken so long because he was attempting to get the zeros but it was not to be. The tree canopy was thick and uncooperative.
A note to adventurous future visitors - be advised that Alan left his very durable "new" balance pole propped against the trunk of the tree beside the log bridge ready for the next crossing. Better yet, enter the forest on the north side of Fernia Creek!