09-May-2018 -- As I had been invited to the Indiana region and would be here almost a week, promoting and supporting the use of geotechnologies at universities and at the state of Indiana GIS conference, a confluence visit seemed like the most perfect capstone. I had just left Ball State University on this particular spring day, and this being May, had a few hours of daylight left, and also because it had not been visited for 17 years, I decided to aim for 41 North 86 West.
I journeyed north and northwest, passing through Marion and a beautiful river town named Wabash on State Highway 15. It rained a bit but then the skies cleared as I approached the confluence point. At State Highway 114, I turned west, passing through the wonderfully named crossroads called Disko where 114 angled to the northwest, but I stayed on the east-west section line road. This road was no more than 50 meters south of 41 North latitude, though interestingly, the section lines in this area of the state angle ever so slightly from west-southwest to east-northeast. The countryside here is fairly flat, with just a few low hills, and now full of blossoms, as they had a late spring this year, and things normally blooming in April were blooming here in May. The road had very little shoulder to it, but I did my best at the southeast edge of the field housing the confluence point. I gathered a few supplies and walked along the east edge of the field until I reached 41 North Latitude.
I stopped at this spot for a few minutes. I was about 165 meters east of the confluence point. Then, judging that I would not be damaging anything in the field, for indeed I could not see anything planted, I gingerly covered the 165 meters to the west, all the while staying on 41 North. I reached it about 5 minutes later and stayed no more than 5 more minutes on the site. The field was almost flat, with decent views in all directions, but especially north and east. Trees blocked some of the south views. The nearest home was about 285 meters west-southwest of where I stood. It was a very windy spring day but sunny and mild, with the temperature around 78 F (26 C) under clear skies. I filmed a few videos including a timelapse on my walk back, taking care to walk along the field furrows rather than diagonally. I saw no animals and few birds. I have a long line of points along 41 North Latitude, from Utah on the west to Massachusetts on the east. I have also stood on 86 West many times, from Michigan on the north end to southern Indiana on the south end. With this confluence I now have about a half dozen points in Indiana, including a stop at 41 North 85 West earlier this week on this same trip.
I drove to where the GIS conference for the state of Indiana was being held, at Fort Wayne, taking Highway 114 almost the whole way there, and feeling quite centered as it was almost right on 41 North as I have mentioned. There were many picturesque moments along the road but I needed to finalize my workshops for the conference for the next day, so I worked in the evening to get ready. Still, this point of 41 North 86 West was an excellent opportunity to get into the field, literally. Get out there and explore!