23-Apr-2005 -- Wyoming's official flag, adopted in 1917, is dominated by a distinctive white bison on a blue background. The state seal, in the flag's center, pictures a rancher and a miner on either side of a woman. The woman represents the state's motto "Equal Rights," indicating that Wyoming was the first state in the USA in which women had the right to vote and hold public office. The words "Livestock", "Mines", "Grains," and "Oil" are
written on either side of the woman. They represent Wyoming's agricultural and mineral wealth, and these
would nicely describe what we saw on our trek to 42 North 107 West.
We left Saratoga, Wyoming, at 10am one spring day after one final swim in the hot springs pool. As we had been thwarted in our attempt on 40 North 106 West the previous day due to snowcover, we were bound and determined to achieve our goal of 42 North 107 West. All signs looked promising: Clear, beautiful weather and excellent companions. After driving north on Wyoming State Highway 130, we joined the hundreds of truckers heading west on Interstate Highway 80, and exited at Sinclair. Sinclair well illustrated the energy resources in Wyoming, as the oil refinery of the same name occupies about 75% of the total land area of the town. We were soon in the open terrain again, leaving the truckers behind, driving north on Seminoe Road. A few recreationalists were towing their boats on the road for a Saturday outing on the reservoir at Seminoe State Park to the north. At 1115am, we pulled over after crossing 42 North Latitude. We spotted a marker and a benchmark, which I thought would be right on the latitude line, but it turned out that it was about 80 meters north
of 42 North. We donned sunblock, gathered water and equipment, slithered under the barbed wire fence that
looked new, and set off on a west-southwest course.
After a few hundred meters, we hiked over a low rise and lost sight of the vehicle. The terrain alternated
between bare ground and that covered with 1-meter-high sage and low cactus. Most of the ground here was fine grained dirt with an occasional outcrop. After 15 minutes, before passing under a north-south powerline, we entered a 2-meter wide dry gully, headed south, and found the confluence. Due to the wide open treeless terrain, we achieved at least 8 satellites without a problem, and arrived at the confluence at 1130am local time. It was an easy hike, a beautiful spot, and we were amazed that nobody had been here in 4 years.
The confluence lies on the east side of the gully, on ground sloping 10 degrees to the north. We found what
appeared to be a rock circle set no doubt by the previous visitor on the same spot as what we determined to be
the confluence. My thermometer read 85 F (29.4 C) but that could have been the result of the bright sunlight, for
the air temperature felt about 8 F cooler than that. We saw a few crows but no water or animals, although we
had crossed the burrows of what could have been prairie dogs. We were careful to watch for rattlesnakes but
saw none. The views were wonderful, particularly to the mountains to the north. We could see no people or
homes from the confluence. It is refreshing to know that not every place in the fast-growing west has been
paved over. After spending 20 minutes at the site taking photographs and a movie and enjoying the solitude, we
trekked back to the vehicle without the aid of the GPS.
This confluence marked our first point in Wyoming. We had been to 42 North several times, in Nebraska and in
Illinois, but never before had visited 107 West. We drove back the way we came to Sinclair, bound for a
confluence on the Colorado-Wyoming border. A satisfying and excellent way to spend the day!