04-Jun-2016 -- As I was in Cincinnati to give the keynote address to the 700 educators gathered for the reading and assessment of this year's Advance Placement (AP) Human Geography examination, and as human geography is focused on spatial relationships, land use, and other aspects of the world and its people, I thought that a confluence visit would be the perfect capstone. And so, I found myself on a Saturday mid-morning heading out from Cincinnati on I-275, for a short drive in Kentucky, and back into Ohio to State Highway 32 at Summerside. I then drove east-southeast along this highway--the sky was gloomy and periods of rain fell. Would the short hike that I knew was coming to the confluence leave me soaked?
At Eastwood, I headed south and drove through some very pleasant and beautiful rural terrain through Andersonville and New Harmony. The skies brightened with such a pleasant sounding town name, and after driving south on Road 20A, I parked to the south of a ditch and trail that I knew would lead east to the confluence point. First, though, I walked north to the house that is due west of the confluence, and chatted with a very nice homeowner. She knew about the point and I thanked her as I walked back to the vehicle's position and then east along the trail. The recent rain had made the first 100 meters extremely wet, and my shoes and ankles were soon soaked, but the sky was becoming even lighter, promising some good photographs ahead. I walked on the south side of the cleared field, hoping that the confluence would not be too far into the woods straight ahead. Once in the woods, I encountered thorns and flies, but fortunately was able to zero out the unit after about 10 minutes. I marveled at the fact that nobody had stood here since 2001, at least for the purposes of confluence hunting. And, since the previous visitors were here in November after the leaves had fallen, today looks markedly different from then.
The confluence lies about 30 meters inside the wooded area, just south of a fenced area, on level ground that is a bit boggy. It was a morning in late spring. The temperature stood at about 75 degrees under partly sunny skies. I saw no animals or people on the trek. Views were obstructed by trees but I could see the cleared field a bit off to the west.
This was my first Ohio confluence in many years--perhaps a whole decade. It was good to be back. I had stood on 39 North many times, as it is probably my most visited line of latitude, from California on the west to Maryland on the east, including an unbroken string of points from Utah into Missouri, all the way across Colorado and Kansas. I had also stood on 84 West several times, from Michigan on the north to Georgia on the south. This was my first time on 39 North 84 West. It was good to be here but I had to drive to Louisville Kentucky today for a conference with the GeoTech Center, an organization of community college faculty seeking to promote and support GIS (Geographic Information Systems) instruction. Therefore, after 20 minutes on site, I walked back to the clearing.
After I had traversed the field, I arrived back at the road and walked north again to the house. I had a pleasant chat again with the homeowner, as I had promised to check in with her, explaining that my mission was complete. I asked her about the beautiful landscaping she had done to her front yard, which sported a lovely lake, and we parted ways. I then took a different path back to Cincinnati, because if possible, I ALWAYS take a "loop" route, not wanting to traverse sights I had already seen. I went through the lovely town of Bethel and the river town of New Richmond. I love river towns. Then I was back in Kentucky en route to Louisville but hoped to visit 39 North 85 West along the way, in Indiana (because to a geographer, everything is on the way to everything else).