13-Aug-2006 -- No joke folks, this is one of those two-hours-before-your-flight-leaves confluence points. Being Swiss and used to mountains I'd say it is too easy and should not count as a "real confluence" (real confluence points e.g. like this one in southern Switzerland where we climbed a glacier on skis during two days!)
Just kidding. This Montana Confluence was fun! It is nice there, especially on a sunny day. Before dropping off my rental car at the Airport in Missoula (MT) I drove up Snowbowl road on August 13, 2006 and visited this confluence with views to the Snowbowl ski area. As suggested by the previous visit by Jack Frickey the confluence is indeed not located on Snowbowl road: you actually have to do some work to get there (although, don't bother about having exquisite hiking equipment!).
During the NTSG remote sensing Vegetation Workshop, which took place that week, we had been up to Snowbowl for a barbecue and socializing, and my fingers were already then itching to jump out of the bus and visit the confluence (in fact, I had been here two years ago for the same meeting and was already planning to do it). Although Steve Running, the organizer of the meeting, had promised me to show a real bear in the Montana woods during the conference's various social events (when you're doing hard science in Montana, you're socializing in the woods, of course). No bear showed up at the meeting. I then saw a bear at the airport, which was almost as fearful as a living one. Other neat animals like this snow grouse however were giving their best in performing a professional show in front of my camera lens.
I took a panoramic picture of the confluence (center is northwest) as well as a picture of the GPS (Picture, what's this talking about all those zeroes on your GPS. Imperfection is a natural thing. Or: being Swiss, I had to simply demonstrate that I'm not a perfectionist at all). Ok, I could simply not get all those zeroes in this dark forest on a 30 degree mountain slopes. These numbers would jump around like hell. I'm sure secret service was watching me doing the confluence and they played a game by changing the satellite's geolocation code every second. After the visit and before the flight I needed some kind of joy, which - for obvious reasons - was coffee from a certain brand which can badly save your life when you're out there in the woods of countryside Montana and no espresso machine is in sight anywhere ....
Cheers and have fun visiting confluence points!