20-Aug-2004 -- We took a road trip from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to visit our daughters - one in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. and one in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is one of fourteen successful confluence visits along the way.
After reading the first visitor's account of this confluence we felt it might not be possible for us to do this one due to the time taken to walk to it. However, since we were already driving by on Highway 41 on the Michigan Upper Peninsula we turned in at the Hiawatha National Forest Ski Trail sign to have a look. The sign is 2.8 km from the confluence. The road into the ski area leads to a parking lot but it also kept on going. We followed it to see how close we could get. The trail wound around through the forest getting closer then further. The gate that says "Private" was open. We stopped only when we saw the sign on a tree saying "Caution - Firearms in use - Keep out". We were only 280 meters from the confluence - close enough to give it a try.
As we were preparing to find a way through the woods to avoid the firearms, a truck came out containing two men. One of them was Carl Johnson, the land owner who is featured in the first visit. This land was purchased by Carl's father in 1922 and the first cottage built in 1928. There are now three family cottages spread out across the property. Carl gave us permission to cross his property and even told us to follow the path behind his cottage. He said we should find what we were looking for right on the path. The path crosses a wet swampy area so Carl has placed wooden pallets along the pathway to act as bridges. It certainly made it convenient for us.
The land around the cottage seemed to be used for hunting and hunting practice. A trap shooting area was set up to the east of the cottage. Five or six gun "stands", with spent cartridges at the bases, were arranged in a semi circle pointed out towards a swampy clearing. Here, several shooters could practice trap shooting. Along the path to the confluence we passed a practice target pinned to a pink board.
Alan found the zeros just a couple of steps off the path near a murky brown pool of water 200 meters north of the cottage. Frogs hopped in and out of the swamp. Thankfully there were no mosquitoes. Just north of the confluence the pathway ends at a hunting blind. This small shack has narrow windows on three sides that could be opened for shooting. Inside was a chair.
We got forest scenes in all four directions then headed back to our van. On the way down the trail we closed and locked the gate as Carl had requested. A confluence we thought would be too time consuming turned out to be a very easy one thanks to Carl Johnson's help and directions - as well as the foresight to cover those swampy areas with a wooden pallet boardwalk.