26-Feb-2005 -- Today I continued my exploration of confluences in the mid-Atlantic region, visiting this one in rural south-central Pennsylvania. It had been visited only once before, in the summer of 2000, so I thought a winter visit would be worthwhile.
I approached the confluence from the south, taking U.S. Route 522 north from McConnellsburg to the small town of Knobsville. About half a mile north of Knobsville, I turned left on Breezy Point Road, followed it for a little more than 2 1/2 miles, then made another left on Peach Orchard Road. About half a mile down this road is a driveway, on the left, that leads to the farm on which the confluence is located. At the entrance to the driveway I saw a herd of about 20 goats. They were very curious about me and came right up to the fence as I was taking pictures.
I parked at the end of the driveway, about 250 meters west of the confluence, got out of the car and looked around. There were numerous cows on the hilly pastures that stood between me and the confluence, so it was obvious that active farming was taking place even at this time of year. There was a gated road that led up to what appeared to be a storage shed for farm equipment. I saw no sign of any people in the immediate vicinity, but I had only been out of the car for a minute or so when a black cat walked up to me. It was very friendly, rubbing against my legs and even trying to get into my car! After another couple of minutes, another cat came to me, even friendlier than the first one. Then a third cat joined the party. I spent about 15 minutes taking pictures of the cats and petting them before they all headed back toward the storage shed.
The nearest house was several hundred feet down the road, and I wondered if the people who lived there were also the farm owners. So I walked down to that house and knocked on the door. An older woman came to the door and I tried to explain what I was doing there, but she didn't have the faintest idea what I was talking about, and she abruptly closed the door. I trudged back to my car, wondering what to do next. I felt quite wary about going into the cow pastures without permission, having to deal with electrified fences and cows that might be spooked by my unwelcome intrusion. Plus, up on the pastures, I would be in plain sight of anyone who was in the house where I had just been turned away in a rather hostile manner.
Just as I was contemplating the disappointment of a failed confluence attempt, I heard the goats bleating at the other end of the driveway and saw that a truck was coming in. I had caught a bit of good fortune--it was the farm owners. I explained to the farmer and his wife why I was there, gave them a copy of the DCP letter for landowners and mentioned the previous visit from 4 1/2 years ago. They immediately remembered that visit and were happy to let me go into the pastures. After a couple of minutes, they decided they wanted to see the confluence for themselves, so the three of us headed off to find it. One of their dogs kept running circles around us as we tried to avoid stepping in large piles of cow dung. Along the way, we saw that one of their cows was going into labor; the little calf was already starting to come out (sorry Mom, I didn't get any pictures of that).
We soon arrived at the confluence, which is on an exposed hillside and has nice open views in all directions. After a few minutes, the farmer and his wife went back to their work, and I thanked them for being so hospitable and accommodating. Almost as soon as they left, about a dozen cows began walking toward me. They came within about ten feet of me, but I wasn't fazed. I just paced around, trying to get a picture of all zeroes on the GPS. Finally succeeding in this, I took a few other pictures, and by that time the cows realized I was harmless and they slowly plodded away. I returned to my car, having finished a somewhat challenging but very rewarding confluence visit.