06-Jul-2014 -- As I was on a whirlwind 3 day trip exploring Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and finally doing what I am always preaching, namely, to "get out into the field", I found myself driving west from North Dakota into Montana. The sun was immediately ahead of me and I hoped I had enough time to visit this confluence. Fortunately, I was at 47 degrees north latitude and only 2 weeks had elapsed since the summer solstice, so I had several hours of daylight left. I drove past Glendive, and as I-94 curved to the southwest, I looked for the correct exit from which I could attempt 47 North 105 West. Unfortunately my cell phone had incomplete coverage and I ended up taking the exit BEFORE the one I had been planning on. I did not realize it, however, at the time. Read on.
Upon exiting the interstate highway, the road, as I expected, was gravel to the west. I had not expected the gravel to be such large boulders, and therefore, progress was slow. I could not determine where I was on the map; I had no mobile reception and only had a vague remembrance of the roads as I had reviewed them online a few days earlier. I kept taking roads, where I could, west, and south, puzzling as I did not yet know that I had truly taken the wrong exit. Eventually, though, I was on the correct road as I was south of 47 degrees latitude and heading west. The land contained some flat sections but also some ravines and buttes. I passed a house and drove to 105 West, where I stopped and pondered. I drove back to the house and after knocking on the front door, had a nice chat with the landowner, who said it would be fine if I hiked out to the site. The landowner was already aware of the project from the previous visitor. All set, I drove back west, parked near 105 West, crawled under the fence, and walked due north. I was in grass and other vegetation that was higher than my waist and it was slow going, and immediately I could determine from the GPS receiver that it would take longer than I had anticipated. Fortunately it was just 2 weeks after the summer solstice and the sun would not set for awhile yet. I hiked up a long but gentle slope, dropped into a shallow depression, and then up the other side on a steeper slope. Just north of an east-west dirt road, near a hilltop, I found the confluence, about 25 minutes after I began hiking. The views were excellent; not far from me to the east, some harvesting was occurring, and then about a mile to the west as well. The only view that was not a long distance was the view to the north, where the land continued to rise.
The confluence was therefore on ground sloping gently to the south, about 8 meters north of the east-west track, in sweet yellow clover and other plants, some about waist high. The surrounding land use was mostly corn, sunflowers, wheat, and ranching, all under a truly "big sky" here in Montana. I had been to only two Montana confluences before, and those had been nearly a decade ago; it felt great to be back. I had only stood on 47 North a few times, here in Montana and twice before in North Dakota. In contrast, I had stood on 105 West numerous times, in Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. I saw a few birds and some cattle in the distance. The temperature was a beautiful 83 F under partly cloudy skies; it was a late summer afternoon. I spent about 20 minutes at the site. I hiked back out the way I had come in, filming the sunset to the west and the virga that was falling. As I dove under the fence, I filmed this movie.
It would be good to update the visit record for this point, as it had not been visited in 12 years. I drove east, this time finding the correct exit. Taking this would have saved some time coming in, but it was a beautiful afternoon and I did not mind. I saw some wonderful hay bales as I drove along. As I was driving east along the final gravel road before the interstate highway, a magnificent rainbow presented itself straight ahead of me. It was the perfect ending to this late afternoon.