23-Jan-2001 -- This confluence journey was the second of the day for me and my
driver, Thomas C.H. Mueller, as we had just visited
N42 W90 shortly before
noon. The trip two degrees to the north and one degree further west took us
on a path roughly paralleling the Mississippi River through northwest Illinois
and into Wisconsin. Hastening to bag N44 W91 before the short winter day ran
out, we were ourselves bagged by a Wisconsin State Patrol officer just outside
Soldiers Grove. Mr. Mueller received a citation for $150 plus change on the
speeding charge, and a scolding for (apparently) contacting the Department of
Motor Vehicles only seven or eight times over his yet-unarrived 2001 registration
In a somewhat more irritable mood, we continued our trip, noting now one
State Patrol car after another heading southbound on Highway 61 on the
afternoon legs of their daily sorties. Anyone planning future Wisconsin trips might
want to make a note of this phenomenon.
Our target area was north of Bangor, the closest road being the winding
Herman Coulee Road. We parked as close as we could to the confluence, about
three-tenths of a mile distant, and started up an unplowed access road toward the
cleared hilltops shown on our topo maps. We were glad to not have to navigate the
densely wooded ravines, as the snow cover (warmed by the daytime sun) was already
difficult enough to wade through.
We arrived very near the confluence around 4:10 p.m. CST and I readied the
camera as Tom worked to find the "zero spot" with the GPS. The photo of
Tom has him standing right where the GPS read N44 W91, with estimated position
error of 22 feet. The confluence was within a few feet of the southern treeline of our
hill, closely mirroring what was shown on the USGS topo map. The other photos are
quite representative of the local terrain: hilly, alternating between dense woods and
clearings, with steep wooded ravines cutting into the hills.
A post-trip plot twist: upon returning to his home, Tom discovered his just-arrived
Wisconsin registration stickers in the mail. Later that same night after work, his car
was *missing* from where he had parked it. It was later found to have been struck by a
hit-and-run driver, the damage being bad enough to require towing by the police!
Superstitious types are asked to take note of these misfortunes before setting out for
the hills of N44 W91!