28-Jan-2001 -- My wife, Dawn K. Palmer, and I made this confluence visit as a
short side-trip on our way home from a weekend near Crivitz, WI. The confluence
is about two and a half miles east of Hwy 141, the main north-south corridor
between Green Bay and Iron Mountain. We parked on the side of Lawler
Road 0.42 miles northwest of the confluence. In retrospect, we probably would have
had easier terrain approaching from the southeast, but also a higher chance of bothering
local landowners. Approaching from the northwest as we did allowed us to get close via
oft-used snowmobile trails and didn't cause anyone concern.
We walked a straight southbound snowmobile trail into the woods to reach the
45th parallel, the trail's closest approach to the confluence on the west side.
The confluence was still 1100 feet to our east so keeping the noontime sun
on our right side, Dawn and I headed off the trail. The first trees were of the
slender variety that grow close together in squishy ground. We soon entered
the southwestern leg of the local marsh where the trees gave way to grass and
cattails. The crust on the snow was just strong enough to support each footstep
momentarily, but would give way every time I brought my other leg forward, plunging
my leg calf-deep in snow. Fortunately the marsh was cold and dry enough that our
feet didn't get wet on this walk.
We reached tall slender trees again on the other edge of the marshy grasses.
The woods were crisscrossed by many deer paths so we followed these routes --
considerably easier than breaking a new path through the snow. As we drew
close to the confluence, the ground rose just a few feet and the trees were
suddenly larger and spaced farther apart. Though it was now easier to move
around to try to find the exact confluence point with the GPS, the big trees were
interfering with the GPS unit's reception. According to the GPS, the spot I
settled on read within a thousandth of a minute of arc, but I'd say the margin
of error could be as high as sixty feet. (As a secondary indication of accuracy, the
displayed altitude on the GPS was about 30 feet higher than shown on the local
The south and east-looking photos best reflect the character of the woods
around the confluence. In the west-looking picture one can see the slender trees
on the softer ground nearer the marsh.