02-Mar-2005 -- As Emily Grace and I had arrived in Dallas for the 17th Annual GeoTech Conference, and since GeoTech's emphasis was on geographic technologies, we thought that a confluence trek would be the perfect complement to the next four days of GIS and GPS immersion. We arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth airport at 10am, and by 11am, were driving with GPS in hand in a large reddish rental car we dubbed the "Rutabaga." As we drove northeast on State Highway 121 toward the nearest confluence, 33 North 97 West, Emily Grace gave me periodic updates on its decreasing distance. With less than 1 kilometer to go, we turned north on Edmonds Lane, into the Convergence Office Park, and parked in the large parking lot immediately to the west of the confluence. So as not to appear overly conspicuous, we parked with the small pack of cars at the west end of the lot. We walked 150 meters to the confluence, arriving at the confluence at 11:16pm local time.
It was a quiet, gray day, much like the last time I was here for GeoTech 16 in January 2004, and not much had changed at the site. The entire office park still has a largely deserted air, as I believe many of the buildings had been connected to some large defense contracts whose time had passed. We noticed a fence upon our approach that I had not remembered from last year. We hoped that the fence would not bar our treading on the actual spot. As it turned out, the fence only extends 5 meters out from the enormous building that seems to be completely abandoned. Unlike last year, no security guard came out to inquire as to our intentions.
At first, the building to the north made it difficult to zero out the GPS unit. I thought we would not be able to zero it out before we needed to get to our conference. However, due to Emily's persistence, we achieved zero-zero with me, camera-poised, over her shoulder. As I discovered last year, this confluence lies on horizontal ground on a planted and mowed area of grass, about 2 meters north of the building. The temperature was 55 F (13 C) under light winds. We saw no animals but did see a few birds. I had been to 33 North two times, once here and once in California. I had been to 97 west twice also, here and in Oklahoma. We enjoyed the site for a minute and then quickly walked back to the Rutabaga. We then drove east on Round Grove Road and southeast toward central Dallas and GeoTech 17. We were glad for the opportunity to begin the conference with some real geographic fieldwork!