04-Jun-2003 -- This was my second confluence visit in as many days, having visited
56°N 120°W the previous evening. I was joined by Karl Makepeace and Lucas Lopatka. Lucas provided electronic support while I did the driving. Starting out from Dawson Creek, BC, we passed Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway. Dawson Creek is the starting point of the Alaska Highway, constructed during WWII, which runs over 2000km northwest through the Yukon and into Alaska.
We took Highway 2 southeast into Alberta, driving through flat rich farmland across the Alberta border to the town of Beaverlodge. We then followed Roads #722 and #667 zigzagging south and west toward the confluence. The terrain remained flat but farmland gave way to forest the further west we drove, and the road turned to gravel. About 6 km from 55°N 120°W, the road angles almost directly southwest. We stopped just east of the Alberta-BC border where another road branched due north, running almost directly on the meridian. Pausing to photograph the misspelled boundary marker, we proceeded north, all the while watching the GPS coordinate readout. After approximately one minute of driving we reached the road's closest point of approach to the confluence. We parked the car with the GPS indicating the confluence was 75m east, in the trees on the other side of a fence.
I readied my cameras and rummaged in the car for extra film and a jacket while Lucas and Karl charged headlong into the bush with the GPS receiver. By the time I left the car, these eager confluence-seekers were out of sight, but I easily located them by following the audible complaints about mosquitos. The forest floor was quite mossy and dry: a bit of luck, as there were many wet areas in the general vicinity. Finding the confluence point was fairly straightforward, with only a minimum of bushwhacking. When we were within a few metres of the target we began the "confluence dance", embellished with much waving and swatting of mosquitoes and flies. The GPS coordinate drift was somewhat less well-behaved than yesterday, perhaps due to the vegetation, but we eventually got it to display exact coordinates and snapped a photo.
Photos pointing north, east, south, west, and up were summarily taken, whereupon the fierce mosquitoes chased us back to the car. Pulling away from our parking spot, we saw a rabbit at the side of the road.
Rather than backtrack all the way home, we drove back to the "Boundry" sign and then continued southwest to meet a gravel road that runs more or less straight north on the BC side until intersecting Highway 2 near Swan Lake. Not much to see on this road except trees, trees and trees. The road was good the entire way, but my Chevy Sprint's small tires were a little unstable on the occasional deep gravel or sandy patches, so going back the via Beaverlodge and Hwy #2 would have been a better idea.
After a long dusty drive, we arrived back in Dawson Creek at sundown, where Karl's Mom, Ingrid, fed us a scrumptious meal. After dinner, I reflected "Two confluences in two days. Not bad."