08-Nov-2017 -- As I was in the area teaching geospatial technology at Yale University, at the Northeast Arc User Conference in Rhode Island, and at the University of Connecticut, a confluence visit it seemed like the perfect capstone to this week of geotechnology-focused events. And so, on the only one-hour window of time I had available the entire week, just after my visit to the University of Connecticut, I had the opportunity to visit the nearest confluence. I had visited here about a decade ago, when as I recall a new house was being built at the confluence site. What would the site look like a decade later?
I drove northeast out of Storrs on a surprisingly woody and beautiful road, until I reached US Highway 44. This truly is a rural part of the state, and the people living here have the best of both worlds--the rural character, and also they are only a few hours from New York City, Boston, and Providence. I made a fair bit of haste though because the day was getting darker already and it was past mid-afternoon in November. At Woodstock I turned north on Highway 169 until I reached Green Road along Norwich Worcester Turnpike. I remembered this intersection from my previous visit. Now, many of the houses were boarded up and I wondered why. There was also a very nasty skid mark right on the pavement where I parked. I assumed someone was swerving to avoid a deer but couldn't be certain.
I gathered supplies and set out. At the driveway to the home I remembered, I saw a For Sale sign. Anyone want to buy this house? You could feel very centered if you do, because the confluence is at the corner of the house. It reminded me of a few other confluence properties for sale that I have visited, one in Colorado and one in Virginia. I took the For Sale sign as a good sign, because it would mean, I hoped, that the homeowners wouldn't mind a visitor, even though I wasn't interested in buying. When I reached the top of the steep hill, I realized that the owners were not living here, given the notices on the front door and the deserted air of the property. I wasted no time and found the point along the stone wall on the north side of the driveway, just 1 meter from the southwest edge of the house itself.
The temperature was a very mild 55 F for this time of year, no snow, and trees still with some leaves. It was early November and I had been expecting snow or at least a cold wind or rain. I had stood on 42 North many times, from Wyoming on the west to Massachusetts on the east. This is only the third time I had stood on 72 West, or fourth, if you count my visit to this spot a decade ago. I was glad to be back. My previous points along this longitude line were in Vermont and New Hampshire. After less than 15 minutes on site, I walked out the way I had come in, enjoying every moment, but a bit sad too because this was my last evening in New England. It was a great way to cap off my trip. But I did have one more adventure: I then met my dear friends a short time later, including the person I had visited this confluence point 10 years before. Then I drove back to Providence, and after a very brief night, woke up at 3:45am to fly out of the region the next morning. Get out there onto the landscape!