21-Aug-2017 -- This confluence has been visited once before 16 years ago. I don't think it has changed much in those 16 years.
The reason for my being in Kentucky was the total eclipse of the sun. I had decided to drive down from Toronto to see it as I have reached the age of 62 without seeing one and this was as good a chance as I am likely to get. On Sunday 20th I drove to Carbondale in southern Illinois where there was to be a big eclipse party. Not having planned far ahead to remain flexible, I assumed that there was no room at the inns (or only at greatly inflated prices). I made good use of the Super 8 car park and slept in the back of the car (others had the same idea). In the morning the forecast suggested thunderstorms for the area but that Kentucky and Tennessee should be clear. I drove to Eddyville where I had already noted that there is a point very close to the central line of the eclipse (maybe 10 km - I am sure someone could calculate this precisely but anyway pretty close). As the area was wooded I decided to visit the point and then retire to a nearby marina (Eddy Creek) where there was an eclipse party going on.
Although the point was not far from the road (290 metres? - not 29 as mentioned in the previous report) this was a challenging visit as I did not have a downloaded map on my cellphone and no data plan for the USA. Also my GPS was suffering - it had been left in a dry bowl one evening the previous week while camping but with heavy rain it was floating in the morning. Although it is supposed to be waterproof it was not amused and decided to give up. After a few days it was showing signs of life and by the 21st it would fire up and display the satellite page and the coordinates. However none of the buttons on the front would work so I could not use the arrow to aim for the point.
I parked the car outside number 910 Friendship road and walked up the hill to the house. The owner was very happy to let me walk in the woods behind the house and told me where there is a path (although I couldn't find it). The woods are mostly established trees with brush underneath. It was dry underfoot and there were no bugs or thorny bushes although I must have caused a lot of web reconstruction work for the local spider population. The terrain is hilly but not too steep and the stream beds were dry. Navigating in woodland using only the lat and long was interesting as I also had no compass, so just had to work out my direction from the rate of change in position. Anyway it took about 10 mins to get to the point and take the pictures.
The front of the GPS was very fogged up so the numbers are difficult to see in the picture but I could see well enough. I realized later that where I had my hand on the screen the condensation inside evaporated so I could have made life easier for myself. After the photos I followed the nearest dry stream bed down till I hit the road - this turned out to be about 50 metres NW from where I had parked the car. Following the stream bed up might be a good option for future visitors although there are tree trunks to climb over and you would have to make the right choices at forks.
Back to Eddy Creek Marina - swim (water the temperature of warm tea) - met up with some fellow Torontonians who had booked their accommodation 2 years ago (different approach!). The eclipse was of course truly awesome. Very gradual partial phase with the sun losing its heat and the dappling of shade under the trees gradually changing to crescent shapes. Two minute of totality was not nearly long enough but the corona was wonderful and Mercury and other planets clearly visible. My photo does not do it justice - I look forward to seeing some fantastic pictures from the CP hunters that gathered at 44N 114W. I did think about driving there but Google said it was 30 hours - Kentucky was "only" 12 hours each way and that was enough.