22-Aug-2001 -- This was my seventh stop on a 7-day, 3200km confluence hunting trip to the BC interior,
On Tuesday, August 21st, I left my parking spot for 52N 124W at 1:40PM. I headed back out the logging
roads to Highway 20, then east to Williams Lake, then north on Highway 97. After about 430km, at 7:05PM, I
turned west on Highway 16, towards Vanderhoof, which is at the geographic center of BC.
At 8:25PM, on Highway 16, just before the hill down into Vanderhoof, I pulled over where 54N crossed the
highway. The confluence was located somewhere to the west (the other side of the highway). I had just
passed a road on the other side, so I turned around and went back. The road was Speedway Road. Although it
was 8:30PM, and I hadn't had dinner, and the light was fading, I was so close that I wanted to "polish this one
off" to finish the day.
Speedway road goes a few hundred feet off the highway, then turns right, goes another little ways, then
turns left, and after a short bit ends at a clearing, where there is a driveway for 430 Speedway Road. Not seeing
any vehicle, or lights on, I didn't approach the trailer, but went back to the first turn in the road, where I had
noticed a dirt road leading into the woods. I soon found out that this is a real 4WD road, especially when muddy,
and it looked like maybe it gets used by 'people out to play in the dirt', rather than being used for actual
transportation. I drove a ways down the road, but stopped and parked once I saw the "bridge", which I wasn't
willing to cross at this time of day, especially not when getting stuck would mean an even later dinner.
I wasn't far from the confluence, so, still hoping to reach it, I took my video camera, still camera and flash,
headlamp, and GPS and set off down the muddy road. Once I hit 124W, I headed into the woods. A few minutes
later, after going down one bank of a little gully, and up the other side, I was close, but not quite there, but I
also realised that I was just beyond the edge of the clearing next to 430 Speedway Road! I decided to call it
quits for today, and headed back to the car. It's likely that I wouldn't have been able to get suitable pictures
by that time anyway, but at least I was confident that I could easily do the visit the next morning.
Once back at the car I drove back to 430 Speedway and left a landowners permission letter at the door of
the trailer, explaining I'd be back in the morning. I then went back to the highway, and just down the road
checked into a motel. I then went down the hill into Vanderhoof to get something for dinner, but there aren't
a lot of places to eat anyway, and not much was open, as it was now well past 9PM. I picked up some pizza
and headed back to the motel for the night.
The next morning I left the motel at 10AM and headed back to 430 Speedway Road. Just as I got to the
driveway, I met a fellow in a pickup truck leaving the clearing. I explained why I was there, and he told me
that the owner of the trailer wasn't really living there yet, but that the clearing wasn't part of their property.
The fellow in the truck was using part of the clearing to store some logs, some of which he was cutting up
to sell for firewood. He also told me that the clearing is where there used to be a speedway, complete with
banked track, many years ago (thus the name of the road). He suggested I just drive across the clearing, which
I did. I was done with the picture taking by 10:30AM, picked up the unused landowners letter from the trailer,
and left the confluence.
It was nice to start the day with a successful visit, especially one done within 30 minutes! To top it off,
despite my expectations of a rainy day, it was partly sunny - in fact, watching the satellite pictures on the TV
in the motel that morning, it appeared that almost the entire province was covered in clouds, except for a small
area in the middle of BC, which included where I was :)
Now it was time to go check out