08-Aug-2003 -- We set out from Hudson's Hope at 8am eastbound on Highway 29 to the Alaska Highway, 20 minutes later we turned to the right on Beatton Airport Road, carrying on through Buick and finally to Prespatou.
According to a local oil and gas exploration map, there might have been two exploration roads that should have provided us direct access to the point. After driving around northern Prespatou and failing to find these access roads, we followed some faint tire tracks off the east end of Klassen Ave. We drove along the perimeter of a farmer’s field as far as we could without getting stuck in ground that was quickly becoming mucky. This was a sign of things to come, but brought us within 2.2km of the CP.
GPS in hand, we set off from the truck at 11am. The first 1 km was through a thick forest, causing our GPS to lose reception. Luckily we were able to find a cut-line in the forest that was apparently made in 1968 by an oil and gas company (from the aluminum tags nailed on the trees). This sped up our progress immensely, and we eagerly pressed on.
In the distance we saw the forest open up as we thought the last little jaunt was going to be a leisurely walk through a meadow. Unaware of what was really ahead, we strolled into an open area full of dwarf spruce trees. Shortly thereafter we realized that the true crux of this prairie confluence had begun: the remaining 1.2km to the confluence was a long, wet, sinking slog through prairie muskeg (a new experience for us). Each step we took, our feet we sank above our ankles (and sometimes to our knees) in this dirty, cold water. After an hour of squishy trudging, we finally reached the CP with a heightened appreciation for muskeg. After a short confluence dance we managed to find the exact location, and marked it on a nearby stick with the flagging tape already affixed.
With the sun was directly overhead and every direction looking the same it was certainly a disorienting place to be!
The return to the truck was slightly aided by a cut-line in the forest that led almost directly to where we parked. Arriving back at about 1pm, we carried on to attempt a visit of 57N 122W.