We were on our road trip home to Canada after visiting family in Florida. On our way through northern Texas, known as the Texas Panhandle, we stopped by the side of Highway 287 to visit this confluence located just south of Cactus - population 2,536. As we approached the confluence area it appeared that it would be a very short and possibly boring visit - out into a field and back again! However, it seems that there is quite a lot going on within a short distance of this confluence. This very easy confluence has had only one visit before ours. It occurred almost nine years ago.
This area of extremely flat land is mainly agricultural with crops of corn, grain and cotton. Cattle graze in large pastures. Pump Jacks bob up and down while pumping oil from beneath the soil. Several large windmill farms are visible. Groups of two dozen or more wind turbine generators stretch off into the horizon with arms turning in the breeze.
It was sunny but cool and very windy with a temperature of 38°F at 9:40 AM when we parked beside the silos just off Highway 287 south of the town of Cactus. Our vehicle was on 36°N. We simply had to walk 246 meters due west to get us to the spot. The walk started off with us crossing two sets of train tracks then walking through harvested corn stalks. There wasn't even a barbed wire fence to crawl through. The ground cover was made up of corn stalks, corn husks and cobs devoid of their kernels. It did not take long before Alan had the zeros. There were large furrows curving through the length of the field where the wheels on the sprinkler irrigation system moved while watering during the growing season.
We were parked between the large grain processing facility and the "Sunray Co-Op" Office. After we had returned to our vehicle, a large truck pulled up to be weighed. Alan talked to the driver who was able to explain that the facility was used for storing, cleaning and processing corn and grain to turn it into animal feed. We recalled that we had seen a huge feedlot, used to fatten up cattle, just a few miles back. There were hundreds of cows in various fenced lots over a very large area. We could smell it from the highway. To complete the process, in Cactus there is a huge Beef Processing Plant with a large parking lot filled with rows of large trucks waiting to transport beef products off to consumers.
Across Highway 287 from the confluence area was another facility. The truck driver told Alan that it was a Cotton Gin where cotton is processed. Along the edge of the highway there were bits of cotton that had escaped and got caught up in the weeds. Just up the highway I photographed a cotton field. It had been harvested but had a few remaining cotton balls clinging to the dried plants.
Three quarters of an hour after arriving at the confluence, we were back on the road.