19-Aug-2001 -- This was my second stop on a 7-day, 3200km confluence hunting trip to the BC interior,
On Saturday, August 18th, after having lunch, I left Cache Creek at 12:40PM, heading north on Highway 97.
I took a 'detour' onto Highway 99, going as far as just past Pavillion, to refresh my memory of the terrain in the
area, for a possible future attempt at 51N 122W. Back on Highway 97 at 2PM, I continued north on 97, reaching
the 100 Mile House visitor center at 3:50PM, where I picked up BC Forest Service Recreation Maps of the Cariboo
Region, along with a Backroad Mapbook for
Having looked at a detailed wall map at the visitor center, I thought that what I wanted to do was to get to
the Lang Lake Forest Service Road, which looked to connect with a logging road that went past Roger Lake,
which is near Eagle Creek. North of the visitor center, I turned right(east) off the highway on the road to
Canim Lake. At Forest Grove I opted to take the gravel road past Ruth Lake and Hawkins Lake, and along this
road I came across a bear. I wasn't sure where the road to Roger Lake started, so once I got to Eagle Creek,
I stopped at the "store" to ask directions. The fellow working there said that I probably would ruin my vehicle
if I tried to go down the Lang Lake road, and outside, I talked to another local fellow, who said he had been
down the road, and it was a bit rough, but when I asked, he said that was 10 years ago!
I decided to try and find 'the other end' of the Lang Lake FSR, which appeared to start from the road that
led to the Coffee Lake forest recreation campsite. I headed back from Eagle Creek along Hawkins Lake Road, then
took the Bradley Creek Road, which after about 10km, meets with Wilcox Road. I turned to the right(north),
and after a further 9km, turned right onto Coffee Lake Road.
By this point it was 6:10PM, so I figured I would find the campsite, and possibly do a bit of scouting around.
I drove 5.5km up the Coffee Lake road, at which point I came to a choice of 3 roads. The one straight ahead
looked pretty old and rough, and I thought the campsite must be to the left(based on the maps), so I went to
the left, but it didn't take long to decide that the road didn't look like it led to an area suitable for a campsite.
I returned to the intersection, and headed down the right-hand road, which had a sign saying Henderson Road.
After driving for a bit, and climbing in elevation, I stopped next to a large flat rock next to the road, and took
some video(picture #1) - the confluence was 3.1km away. It was now 7PM, it was windy and cold, and it looked
like the rain was about to arrive, so I decided it was time to find a spot to camp for the night.
I drove back down Henderson road, and part way down Coffee Lake road, but still didn't see any sign of the
campsite, so I set up camp in an open area next to a gravel pit on Coffee Lake road. By this point it was raining,
so I got setup, made dinner, then called it a night.
Early on the morning of the 19th (I think it was about 6AM), I was woken up by a vehicle driving past, but I
couldn't see it, and didn't know which direction it was headed. After breakfast, I broke camp, and decided to do
some more exploring. I went back up Henderson road to the same flat rock(picture #3), but the confluence
hadn't moved any closer during the night :) I could hear some machinery operating nearby, so I drove a little
ways down a nearby side road, and found a pickup truck, with a tracked excavator working in the adjacent
clearcut area. I walked over to the excavator, and once the operator saw me, he stopped working and got out.
After talking to him, and explaining what I was doing, I found out a few things. For one, his was the early
morning vehicle that went by my campspot, and he told me that as he drove by, there was a deer standing about
6 feet away from my car. He had been using the excavator to dig apparently random holes in the clearcut, so I
asked what he was doing. He explained that he was "mounding" - the area had been quite wet in the spring, and
was due to have treeplanters come in next spring to plant new trees for re-forestation, so he was creating
mounds of dirt, and the planters would plant the trees on the tops of the mounds.
I was a bit closer to the confluence where we were talking, but it was still far enough away that I could tell
it wasn't going to be reached by the road system that serviced the cut blocks in the area we were in, and he
agreed that the Henderson road didn't continue in the direction I wanted to go. Maybe it is possible to get
closer by using roads that come in from over by Eagle Creek.
On the way back out, following his directions, I got to the Coffee Lake campsite - there is a rough-looking
road leading off Coffee Lake road, marked by a blaze on a tree. I drove down this road to the "campsite", but it
isn't worth bothering, as the road is extremely rough, and the campsite has not been maintained, and in fact the
view of the lake is nothing special. I had asked him about the Lang Lake road, and he thought that the old road
that leads off the Coffee Lake road just opposite the "535-05" sign is probably it. I drove a few hundered feet
down that road, but turned around due to the large puddle and stream across the road. I have 4-wheel drive,
and a winch, but I was alone, didn't know how deep the mud under the puddle might be, and didn't even know
for sure that this was the Lang Lake road. Also, at that point, the GPS showed the confluence to be 6.2km to
the East, so even if I could get through the puddle, there could be many other barriers along the way.
Oh well, another attempt. On to