24-Jun-2001 -- We are taking some R&R in north east Oklahoma and have decided to hunt a confluence. We have a rookie hunter (Denise) with us this trip who has not heard the common answer “it is just a half mile away”.
We set out relatively early, before 1000, and headed north. We intercepted Kansas Highway 166 from Oklahoma Highway 2, at Chetopa Kansas, very near to 36N 95W. We headed west as 36N 95W had been hunted earlier in the year.
At Caney we headed south looking for access west to the confluence. We had to backtrack a bit around Caney in order to get to the western side of town. After that, we followed the roads that best headed where the GPS pointed. We ended up on private property with the owners house between us and the confluence.
Mark and myself headed for the house to make introductions and get permission to traipse around their property. Mark and I were greeted by the lady of the house, Mrs. Kruger (we think) who patiently listened to my explanation. She then asked if we were with the Osage Indians. We looked at each other and replied negatively. She then said it was OK by her but we needed to talk to her husband and she invited us in.
Mr. Kruger was somewhat laid up in the living room. He greeted us and I again explained why we wanted to walk on his property. He also asked if we were with the Osage Indians and I replied negatively again and asked why he wanted to know. He replied that there is a rock that is considered special to them as they were settled in this area once during a movement period from Kansas to Oklahoma.
We let him know we knew of no rock of any significance on his property, just that a confluence lay on it. He led Mark and I to the back and pointed out the gates to use, and cautioned us about the cattle, it would seem they were known to be aggressive, (he knew personally).
We thanked him and went to get the rest of the team (Denise and Deb) and our gear. Although it was not hot, actually it was a very pleasant day in the low 80’s, we grabbed water and hats. Although we only had about a half mile to go, it is always better to have it and not want it than the reverse.
We needed to traverse a small hill while avoiding the black angus cattle. It was a pleasant stroll, but the weeds were a little tall and thick in a few areas which caused is to snake our way to the confluence, and the rock. The rock is a geological survey marker. 37 North 96 West. Our rookie hunter thought it was pretty neat as did all of us. The rock is sandstone set in concrete, as it doubles as a fence corner stone. It has sets of initials carved in it but they were becoming difficult to make out as were other markings.
We took the required pictures and headed back. As we were crossing back through the yard, the Krugers invited us up to sit and visit for a while. Their porch was well placed as it was out of the sun but still in the breeze, very pleasant. The Krugers explained their interest in the rock as the Osage tribe was planning a casino in the area and were trying to purchase land adjacent to theirs as well as part of their land, the rock.
I just love confluence hunting. I never know what I will find and run into. I have yet to meet a mean soul and have only been shown good manners and patience. This hunt was no exception as the Krugers demonstrated. They took us onto their property, offered us refreshments, and explained some of the local history of the area. This couple had moved to this location 40 years ago, cleared the land and maintained the property.