10-Aug-2002 -- After visiting the confluence at 41N 118W late afternoon on Friday we ate dinner in Winnemucca and drove to Elko then north on NV225 to Dinner Station. This was the approach suggested by G. Horn in his May 2001 visit to 41N 116W after encountering a washout on the southern approach up Susie Creek. We opened (and closed) the range gate (the first of five) and drove a few miles in the dark until we found a convenient place to pull over and spend the night.
In the morning after breakfast and repacking Emma (my Explorer) we continued the adventure. We drove southsouthwest along Susie Creek until reaching Blue Basin Creek where we turned west and followed the road along Blue Basin Creek until it ended amidst a number of cattle enjoying a spring nearby. At this point we were about ¾ mile from the confluence with the GPS bearing pointing southwest directly at the highest (visible) point of a mountain in that direction. The two options were to either go around the mountain to the east or take a more direct route up the mountain, perhaps skirting the high point to the west. I chose the latter. Jan, who was nursing a broken ankle, stayed with Emma and the cows while I took off.
My route crossed two drainage gullies 15 to 20 feet deep and then up the side of the mountain to the south. As I soon learned, the apparent high point was the end of a ridge that continued upward toward the confluence. The last .2 mile I had to traverse a relatively steep slope to reach the zero point. Apparently the cattle had made the same trip so I followed their path fragments. Photo #2 shows the sage brush plant where I placed the GPSR when it read all zeros (Photo #5). At the far right of that photo is the direction from which I came and traversed the east side of hill in the background. Photo #1 shows Swales Mountain to the southwest and photo #3 is looking east from the confluence. Photo #4 is looking northeast and shows the canyon I would have come up had I chosen the first option at the beginning of my hike. I debated returning that way, but chose to return via the ridge I came on and then down directly over the high point and back to Blue Basin Creek where Jan and Emma were waiting.