24-Mar-2001 -- It was a warm, sunny day as I left home for my first confluence.
I had every reason to think that it was going to be a good day and a great
experience. After a quick stop for lunch off of I-95, I left the interstate
and headed northwest.
There are no paved public roads closer than 3/4 mile from the confluence, so
I wandered around for a while, and ended up on an unmarked dirt road north
of the confluence, which soon turned into a dirt track through the woods.
With thoughts of the film Deliverance running through my mind, I parked the
car and struck off on foot. The GPS said I was .6 miles from the
confluence. "Heck," I thought, "this shouldn't be too hard."
What followed was a trek through some of the most demanding terrain through
which I have ever hiked. I was attacked by thorny bushes with almost every
step, and forced to make my way through branches and vines so thick that at
times that I couldn't see more than a foot or so in front of me. I
considered giving up on more than one occasion, but something inside me told
me to press on. Besides, to go back would have meant going back through the
dense jungle I had just come through.
With the hope that I wouldn't find myself at the dangerous end of a shotgun
after stumbling across a backwoods still, I forged ahead. I found a couple
roads (not much more than dirt tracks, really) which I was able to use to
get closer to the confluence. Finally I neared the confluence, and once
again had to plunge into the forest towards my goal.
In a small clearing, I found the confluence. There it was, just waiting for
me. I took a few snapshots, celebrated with a bottle of lukewarm water, and
got the hell out of there.
The trip back to the car went a lot faster, and once back at the relative
saftety of my vehicle, I pondered whether I would have attempted to reach
this confluence had I known what was in store for me. "No, probably not," I
concluded. But what the hell, it was over, and I had reached my destination
and made it back without losing any limbs or getting shot at. And so with
arms and legs covered with scratch marks, wet shoes and a ruined pair of
socks, I drove off, hoping that the next one would go a lot more smoothly...