26-Apr-2015 -- As I was in the area for the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Chicago, I couldn't resist a 36 hour visit to nearby Wisconsin. I have a tradition, over 10 years old, of visiting confluence points after the AAG meetings ended, including last year's visit to a freeway off ramp in Florida, a drive to a playa in the Basin and Range area west of Las Vegas in 2009, and starting way back in 2003 with a swampy, spooky walk to the backwoods near New Orleans, Louisiana. This year, after visiting some dear relatives of mine in Manitowoc, and after a very wet trek through a wetland at 45 North 88 West, I found myself driving back south through Milwaukee. I had 45 minutes to spare before I needed to get to my flight which would leave from O'Hare airport in Chicago. Thus, I had a short time to revisit the point in this fine city on the way.
I exited I-43 at South 76th Street, drove north for a few miles, then northeast on Beloit Road. I found my way into the neighborhood which was starting to become familiar to me, as I had visited a few times in the past. Turning south on South 70th Street, I parked across the street from the spot where I knew the confluence would be found. A few minutes later, I found the confluence, once again near the fire hydrant on the east side of the street and near a driveway. As I was pacing to and fro, the homeowner to the southeast of the confluence came up and said hello. We had a nice chat and it was the first time I had met anyone nearby. We together walked to the marker that is on the opposite, northwest, corner of West Dreyer Place and South 70th, after which time he departed and I stood alone for a short time. It was a sunny late afternoon in mid spring, about 65 degrees F with the first warm temperatures the region had experienced for awhile. It was a peaceful time of day and season. I had stood on 43 North numerous times in the past, from Idaho on the west to Massachusetts on the east. I had also stood on 88 West a few times, from Michigan on the north, through Illinois and Indiana, to Alabama on the south.
I was on site for only 20 minutes, because of my upcoming flight out of the Chicago airport. I bid the area, and the state of Wisconsin, farewell as I left the neighborhood, retracing my route from about 30 minutes before. I drove south into Illinois. As it turned out, my flight was delayed and I spent all night in two different airports. Thus, I could have spent more time on site had I known in advance. However, visiting this spot was a great way to end my week in the Illinois-Wisconsin region and at the AAG conference. Get out there and explore the Earth!