12-Nov-2001 -- The year was drawing to a close and I just had time to attempt my last cofluence before the snow flew. I had attempted the other 6 on the mainland of Nova Scotia and the last, 44°N 66°W near Brazil Lake looked on the map to be the easiest one in the province. It was very near a road. However, that road was about a 4 hour drive from my home so it would be a full day's project.
I decided to visit some friends who live an hour or so away from the convergence and then set out the next morning. My son Luke came with me. We left my friends' house on the morning of Nov 12, 2001 and drove west past Digby and into an area called the French shore.
French settlers had farmed the best lands in Nova Scotia (then New France or Acadia) for 150 years before some treaty in Europe gave the land to England and allowed the British to found Halifax. Wary of their Catholic neighbours, the British expelled the "Acadians" (An aside - many of these fugitives went to the French territories at the mouth to the Mississippi and became know by a corruption of their Acadian name, "Cajun".) However, some French remained in the bleak coastal areas which are almost unsuitable for agriculture. Hence, the Acadians still live in the more desolate areas.
We then turned inland and went past the access road to a an old town called New France. An aristocratic French family moved there in about 1890 and built a modern sawmill with an electric generator. They had electric lighting in this wilderness camp before the residents of the capital in Halifax. You can
read more about this or in the fascinating book, The Electric City by Paul H Stehelin , a grandson of the original family.
As we drove along the rural route 340 we saw the first snow of our winter season. The ground was almost completely white. The forests were mainly spruce and pine, still green. The larch trees, that we call hackmatack in Nova Scotia, are the only coniferous trees that shed their needles for the winter. But first they turn a brownish yellow which makes them very visible. All summer they have blended with their more common evergreens cousins but now, in November, they seem to shout "Look at all of us hackmatacks". Soon they will drop their needles and merge with the already bare deciduous trees.
We found a side road which seem to go toward the confluence but I have had too much trouble with my big old car on bad roads. We were only a few hundred meters away so we parked by the side of the paved road and walked down the lane past several summer cottages on Brazil Lake. Following the GPS, we turned into the bush and walked about 100 m until we thought we found the exact spot. The tree cover made GPS reception poor so we had to hunt a little. Eventually it appeared the most accurate spot was right on a cart track just off the side road. We took pictures of each other in the snow and then easily walked back to the car.
I think it is a rule that the easy ones are also the least interesting.