02-Sep-2012 -- At first glance, this confluence point seemed to be easy to visit, and I couldn't understand why it had been visited only once before - more than 12 years ago. According to my road atlas, a dirt road - "County Line Road" (between Deschutes and Crook Counties) - runs southward from Alfala Market Road towards the confluence point. As I drove down County Line Road, however, I soon learned the truth: This road dead ends, several miles north of the confluence point. It turns out that - since the previous visit in 2001 - this area has been redesignated as the Oregon Badlands Wilderness. Being a wilderness area, it is closed to motor vehicles and mountain bikes (grumble).
The most convenient trailhead for reaching the confluence point is the "Badlands Rock Trailhead", located at [43.95383,-121.01481], about a mile off highway 20. From this trailhead, the confluence point lies more than 3 miles away, 'as the crow flies'. Not being a crow, however, I had to hike along the "Badlands Rock Trail". Remarkably, I would find that this trail passes just 170 feet from the confluence point, but after a hike of about 5.4 miles - each way. (As a 10.8 mile round-trip hike, this ended up being the longest hike that I had ever made to visit a confluence point.) Fortunately, however, the hike was quite easy; "Badlands Rock Trail" is an old 4-wheel-drive road, on flat, sandy terrain (though alongside lava rocks). I arrived at the confluence point just 15 minutes before sunset, and so had to do most of the 5.4 mile return hike in the dark. Fortunately, the light from an almost full moon illuminated the trail as I hiked back to my car.
The confluence point itself lies on a thinly-vegetated dirt patch, with lava rocks nearby. A small rock cairn (with some animal bones next to it) marks the point. Interestingly, a birdhouse has been attached to a pine tree, just west of the point.