20-Feb-2008 -- International Confluence Day 2008, commemorating the 12th anniversary of the Degree Confluence Project
I initially was planning an ambitious multi-confluence point effort in New England to mark this year’s observance of International Confluence Day. Perhaps even a trek to the point that started it all! However, this five-state attempt had to be postponed when my boss, obviously not grasping the full import of this international holiday, scheduled a meeting for 2/20/08 in Chattanooga, TN.
Although my observance had to be significantly down-sized, I was able to continue a now five-year tradition of visiting a cp in a different state each February 20th, as at the end of my meeting, I found myself less than ten miles away from 35N 85W. This was the first point in Tennessee to be recorded on the DCP, shortly after the turn of the century; and, like seven other points in the state, had not been updated since. Not that an update was particularly needed, as Roger Rockwell would find the current view of the immediate area remarkably unchanged since his initial report in 2000. However, this visit did allow me to bring the picture documentation for 35N 85W up to current DCP standards.
I turned east off of Interstate Highway 75 onto East Brainerd Road, heading toward the Apison community. Urban sprawl is clearly affecting the area, and the afternoon traffic was heavier than I expected. At the intersection of McGhee and Alabama Roads, the road made a sharp turn and short climb up to a T-intersection with Red Clay Road, and an overlook of the cp. A driveway off Howardsville Road brought me to a barbwire fence within 200 meters of the point. As I walked in the mild weather (62 degrees F.), I can’t say I regretted not being in VT, NH, or MA on the day.
After spending less than a half hour at the point, I retraced my route back to I-75. Along the way I experienced delays with two automobile accidents. The second, to which five fire engines had responded, involved a burning car upside down in a drainage ditch. If there’d been some place for me to pull over on the road shoulder, I might have been able to submit some rather dramatic photos. Unfortunately, I couldn’t, and the result is a pretty bland report for this cp. Chattanooga is quite the tourist destination with many things to see and
do. The closest historic site to 35N 85W is Red Clay State Park, an important site for the Cherokee Nation’s “Trail of Tears.”
This was my eighth visit to a cp on International Confluence Day, and while once again I failed to encounter any fellow confluence hunters, I was able to reach a few cohorts by cell phone while on the site, and their shared excitement helped make my day a success…