16-Aug-2003 -- To sum up our visit to this confluence, we have gained tremendous respect for those who have attempted before us. It is indeed on an extremely steep slope, buried in extremely dense vegetation in the Lolo National Forest south of Superior, MT.
We were coming back from Great Falls to Chattaroy, WA and headed south when we reached Superior. Route 257 runs southeast out of Superior and then turns back to the southwest towards the Idaho border. After about 4 miles, the paved road gave way to gravel forest service road, passing Lolo National Forest Campground on the left. The drive winds its way up a very scenic canyon, but we had little time to enjoy it because we were racing against the sun.
It was 8:08 PM (Mountain time) when we stopped alongside the road near the confluence point. From here we walked down road 388, which made a couple of switchbacks down to a creek. The confluence point was somewhere between the lowest switchback and the creekbed.
The slope was so steep that we had to slowly work our way down, holding shrubs and tree branches for support. Since it was dusk and we were traversing thickets of underbrush dotted with huckleberries, we watched carefully for signs of bear activity. The confluence turned out to be 0.2 miles from the nearest point on the road.
As we got closer to the confluence, the slope grew increasingly steep, to the point that we could no longer risk losing our footing and sliding down into the canyon. We were debating how much closer we should get when Erik lost the grip on his new Garmin GPS 76S, and could only watch helplessly as it careened another several meters down the side of the canyon. Eventually we recovered the GPS unit and found a small "clearing" with a tree stump.
At this point we were within approximately 85 meters of the actual confluence. Here we were able to document our GPS recordings and photograph the area before scrambling back up the slope as the last remaining daylight disappeared.
Much thanks to Erik's dad, Marvin Nordhagen, who drove all the way out to Montana and indulged our confluence hunting expedition. In particular, his restraint from commenting on potential damage to his car (from forest roads) was admirable.