21-Sep-2000 -- What is it with me and wetland
confluences? On each of the previous three that I did, it rained the
night before, ensuring that the wetland would be substantially more than
merely "moist". And so, true to form it rained the night
before Henry and I set out for N42W080 in Pennsylvania's rolling hills
near Erie. It was the last day of summer and aptly overcast when we
turned into the grass parking lot at State Game Lands #109, just off of
State Highway 97.
A dirt emergency road (no vehicles) leads from the parking lot to an
old bridge from which you can see the confluence. It is about 350 feet
to the confluence from the bridge (see picture #2, to the left of the
frame), but we didn't want a mere "attempt", so we continued
on the road and then bushwhacked through the woods and swamp to get
closer. Some of our walking was on what looked like a deer trail, but
at points, if we had had a machete, we would have whacked the bush to
get through. As it was, we were glad for long pants and long
We finally broke through the underbrush and hit the swamp again.
Pretty soon our boots were full of water (see picture #3), and when we
got within about 280 feet (within the magic 100 meter success zone), we
declared victory, and took our photos (the water was now mid-calf deep
and was getting deeper). The confluence is that small copse of trees
behind us in picture #1, and photo #6 is the three mobile GPSs we
brought with us.
Are we geeks, or what? Photo #4 shows the interior of the van, which
has two Garmin GPS-III+s, a Macintosh PowerBook running GPSy, an ancient
Magellan Trailblazer (not even an -XL), a Carin-520 in-dash navigation
system, and a Datus PNA-7000 navigation system. Why? Because we could
We also left a GPS stash at 41.99981N 79.99862W. Rather than leave
it in the swamp proper, we left it in the crotch of the 5-trunked beech
tree seen in picture #5. The beech tree is 460,150 on picture #2. In
addition to the logbook and a pen, I also left a Sendmail laser/knife
and a "Droopy Dog" toy.