17-Aug-2001 -- After visiting 49N 123W, the closest point to my home in Vancouver BC, I decided to try for the next closest, even though it is a secondary point. This one is in the hills south of Cultus Lake in Chilliwack, BC. The topo map shows a 4x4 road coming within 1km of the confluence. My fiance Kirsten and I were taking a trip to Kelowna for the weekend, and I decided we should take a little detour to go confluence hunting.
The trip started off well: we drove to Cultus lake uneventfully, and found the 4x4 road promised by the topo map. My fiance got a bit nervous as we wound up the side of a mountain in our 4Runner, but the truck performed beautifully. After off-roading for about 20 minutes, we got to a spot that I considered impassable, although braver souls than I appear to have gone on. The road was washed out, and someone had put a tree branch across the road to drive across. Not for us.
We stopped the truck and turned it around (picture 2), and started walking. We were within about 1.1 km of the confluence, so when the road started turning away from the direction we wanted to go, we started through the woods. The first bit was tough going through soggy ground and dense, prickly vegetation. It got a little better, as we found the remains of a very old road bed to walk along for a little while. This dissappeared, and we found ourselves walking up and down some very steep terrain (picture 1), trying to keep a fix on where we should be going. After a bit of nice coastal rainforest hiking, the way became very impeded with all sorts of sticks and trees fallen in the way - some sort of blow-down had taken place (picture 3). By this point, we had been hiking for about 50 minutes, and had only come about 300m closer to the confluence. The going was tough, and morale was getting low (picture 4). Also about this time, we began thinking of things like packing water and bear spray, and telling someone where we were in case something happened (none of which we did). Thinking also of the dinner waiting for us when we got to Kelowna, we decided to turn back.
We retraced our steps with no problems, and got back to the truck - which would not start. Needless to say, this did not do wonders for morale, which was already suffering. After a bit of swearing, grunting, and ripping up foliage, we managed to push the truck onto the path and coast it down the hill to "bomb-start" it - let gravity be your starter motor. It worked, and I made the unpopular decision to return to Vancouver to have the truck repaired, and then continue to Kelowna in our other vehicle. We finally got there at 9pm, having missed dinner by a long shot - but we had a good story to tell.
PS: Kirsten did marry me anyways, the following weekend.