14-Sep-2002 -- When I first discovered the confluence project, I was scoffed at and ridiculed. My own son asked me why anyone would want to trek out into the wilderness to find a point in space that is nothing more than the intersection of two imaginary lines. My answer was, "Because it is there." Of course, it is not really there. And in the case of 51N109W, there was very little of anything there at all! To his credit, my son eventually joined our expedition, and added his usual dry humor and expert technical assistance to all phases of the operation.
A little research, the purchase of a detailed map of the area and a phone call to the local land owner had revealed little as to why our confluence was, as yet, unexplored. Virtually every confluence in the habitable portion of our province has been reached, yet the map indicated that the point lay practically next to a perfectly well maintained road (by Saskatchewan standards).
Therefore, it was with some trepidation that we set off, thinking there must be some problematical terrain or insurmountable obstacle impeding our discovery. After a sustenance stop at Tim Horton's for a coffee and bagel, our day began with a 1 1/2 hour drive through the Saskatchewan prairie in the midst of harvest.
Our first stop was the booming metropolis of Lancer, Saskatchewan, which boasts the presence of the world's largest chokecherry. We did not take the time to view the actual chokecherry, but we did get a picture of the sign announcing it to the world. I'm sure it is very impressive. We continued on a gravel road north from Lancer, and, coming over a hill, discovered the beautiful bluffs and coulees of the South Saskatchewan River Valley.
The road ended right where the map said it would, and our GPS indicated a leisurely .85 mile stroll over bald prairie. Jane decided to stay in the car, and was a very good sport in making this venture a truly family affair. Unfortunately, we had not reckoned with Carol's overwhelming fear of grasshoppers, and the awesome density of their population greatly discouraged her. Luckily, her 66 lbs. was not too much of a burden when carried on my shoulders, especially when she remembered not to wriggle.
As we neared the South Saskatchewan River, we came to a series of steep coulees, as expected, and followed cattle trails winding through the network of valleys. The confluence was easily found on the slope of one of the hills, 500 feet from an old cowboy cabin nestled among the cactus. Scout, who had been walking point the whole way, found a small pool in the area, and had a good drink before we started home, elated at the beauty of our province, and the achievement of finding our desired goal.