25-Jan-2004 -- I was anxious to visit a confluence ever since I was given a GPS receiver on Christmas 2003. The confluence north of Smiths Falls, Ontario, was the logical choice, since I often came within 4km of it when traveling between Kingston and Ottawa. I explored the nearby back roads on January 6th, and determined that the best approach was from Pinery Road, which took me within 1.3 km of the confluence. Unfortunately I could not make the attempt on that day due to a prior commitment.
The two successive Sundays brought snow with poor driving conditions, but the Jan 25 forecast was very promising. Since it had been very cold for three consecutive weeks, I knew that the snow would be light and fluffy. There was only a few inches of snow on the ground, so snowshoes or skis were not needed. Therefore I chose footwear that would get me to the confluence quickly: running shoes with two pairs of socks.
My girlfriend dropped me off due north of the confluence, at a distance of 1.3 km, and I quickly proceeded across a frozen swamp. The weather was sunny, with no wind and a mild temperature of -18°C. Animal tracks in the snow were numerous, but there was no evidence that other people had been on the swamp this winter. Halfway across the swamp I passed by two beaver lodges, which quite likely had hibernating beavers inside. About 600m from the confluence I left the swamp and proceeded through open woods and crossed a few snowmobile paths, all the while making as direct a line to my goal as possible.
The only active wildlife was the sound of a woodpecker and the occasional black-capped chickadee. For most of the time, I enjoyed complete silence except for the sound of my own footsteps. About 200m from the confluence, I was confronted with dense coniferous woods, and my progress was slowed greatly. As I pushed my way through branches and clambered over fallen trees, it was evident that I had dressed far too warmly for this level of activity.
Once I reached the confluence, there was a little bit more room for me to move around. I moved the GPS receiver back and forth in the snow until I managed to get all zeros on the display. The area was quite dark, and good pictures required the flash. The return trip to Pinery Road was much quicker since I could follow my own footprints. The round trip on foot took me a little over an hour. It was very rewarding to get all zeros on my display in this fairly difficult location.