29-Jul-2001 -- While in Nebraska on business, a personal side trip would take us within 50 miles of 40N98W so we decided it was worth a try. My Garmin Mapsource Topo map showed a ?road? that went from NE Highway 8 south to within .3 mile of the confluence, about 200 yards north of the Republican River. It looked easy.
The last week or so had been pretty wet and we noticed considerable water in the fields as we drove towards Superior, NE. Today was sunny, hot and muggy, with temperatures in the 90s and humidity probably about the same. I began to wonder how much water we would encounter in those .3 mile we had to go on foot. My 4WD Explorer would have had no trouble with the water and mud in the farm road, but I wasn't so sure about my rented Nissan Altima. A short detour around the one serious muddy section, however, enabled safe travel to the end of the road.
Unfortunately, the end of the road was not where it showed on the map. The last quarter mile of the map's road is now a cornfield. Our hike was now .5 mile. We headed on foot in the direction indicated on the GPS (ESE) across an open field toward some trees a quarter mile or so away.?..so far, so good. Arriving at the trees, our real problems began. It was, in fact, a marshy area with brambles, vines, fallen dead trees, AND considerable water in the low lying areas. Joanna constructed a makeshift bridge of dead branches across the 40 feet of shallow water encountered first. We soon discovered we were now on an island with another 30 foot watercourse to cross. I brushed an unwanted tick from my leg and we crossed this obstacle. Emerging from the bog with only 3 of our 4 feet wet, we now faced a stand of healthy green 8 foot high corn (how high is an elephant's eye?). We were less than .2 mile from our objective. We carefully and successfully negotiated the cornfield maze and found ourselves at the edge of a large open field of clover (or some such plant) with only 200 yards to go. We made it. It occurred to me that there was something wrong with this picture. We had to slog through the brush and water to get here, whereas a local farmer who had to drive his tractor to this field probably did not go through the bog. There was surely a better way to get here? Probably from the east.
At the confluence we did the GPS dance, moving back and forth until we had zeros across the screen. We took the required pictures and headed back. Returning to the marsh further to the west proved to be a good decision as the crossing was much easier. We even flushed out 2 deer and a fox as we approached their cover. We arrived back at our car hot, sweaty, wet, and successful after our 3 hour adventure.