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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Virginia

2.6 miles (4.1 km) E of Stovall, Halifax, VA, USA
Approx. altitude: 165 m (541 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 37°S 101°E

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Edge of small hollow we had to cross #3: View to the northwest, where the turkeys walked around #4: Theron and Megan on the confluence #5: View back down the small hollow

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  37°N 79°W  

#1: View to the northeast.  Clearing with houses way in the background

(visited by Theron Keller and Megan Elder)

23-Dec-2000 -- After discovering the project about two weeks ago, I talked my friend Megan into accompanying me to the two closest confluences to us in South Central Virginia. There were two successive, unreached confluences on the N37th parallel, 78 and 79 degrees West, so we thought we'd make a day out of it and try to get both. (see 37N 78W). I found the web links to the topo and aerial views of the area to be very helpful in planning our attack.

We left Chester, Virginia, and decided to attempt the farthest one away first, so that if we had problems, the one we would have left would be closer to home. We headed out Route 360, until it met Route 40, which we took west, through Brookneal. Soon after passing the wide spot in the road named Perth, we reached Route 777, a small country road, which was the closest pavement to the confluence. It is clearly shown on the topo map link. The topo map, and the aerial view both show that there is a large field to the north and east of the confluence. Passing time has added at least three houses (judging from the number of mailboxes at the driveway entrance) to the open area, so we decided for the stealthy unobserved approach from the rear. We turned back and found a gravel road on the topo, which runs to within a couple hundred yards of the confluence. We left the car near a workshop/shed of some sort, with a copy of John Kejr's "Letter to Landowners" safely tucked under the windshield, which made me feel a bit easier, being a first time "hunter." We walked along the edge of the woods, following the outline in the aerial view, until we were due south of the confluence.

Rural areas in Virginia are full of hunters this time of year, so that was a concern. We foolishly forgot to bring any blaze orange garments, but fortunately, a spent shotgun shell was the only evidence of hunting that we found here.

As luck would have it, it appeared that some of the residents of the houses in the open field north and east had beaten a small path through the woods to the open clearing from which we were attempting to reach the point! We followed the path into the woods, then reached the edge of a small hollow (photo #2) with a stream at the bottom... which the path makers had conveniently crossed with some boards! A few steps up the other side found us within feet of the confluence, just a few steps off the path.

We made our way into the woods, turning here and there, until all the residual numbers went to zero. As I fumbled with getting my camera out, we heard leaves crunching off to the northwest. Although we had seen two types of tracks in the mud along the edge of the fields as we walked in, dogs and deer, I really didn't think much of the noise, until I noticed it was getting louder. So I stopped moving and talking, and asked Megan to do the same. We just watched the direction of the noise, until a little movement, then at last we saw glimpses of two turkeys who were apparently out for a Saturday afternoon stroll! They looked at us, and we looked at them. My camera was upside down in Megan's hands (applying the tripod mount) at the time, and I knew any motion on our part would send them quickly away. I was right, as I slowly tried to take the camera for an incredible shot, they decided they had seen enough, and we heard them walking in a large arc around us, more or less on their original path, but just out of sight the whole way.

So... the excitement over... we took our shots of the GPS (photo #6), ourselves standing at the confluence (photo #4), and different views from the confluence (photo #1, 3 and 5).

All in all, it was a great experience for a first confluence!


 All pictures
#1: View to the northeast. Clearing with houses way in the background
#2: Edge of small hollow we had to cross
#3: View to the northwest, where the turkeys walked around
#4: Theron and Megan on the confluence
#5: View back down the small hollow
#6: GPS display at N37 W079
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)