23-Jul-2005 -- Over the weekend of 22-23 July 2005, my wife and I visited the confluence point at 40N 84W north of New Lebanon in southwestern Ohio. (As you'll learn below, the actual date of success was 23 July 2005.) After reading about this point on the confluence project web page, I assumed that this confluence point should be one of the very easiest in the world to visit; just a few meters to the side of a state highway. From my perspective, this assessment still seems accurate. My wife Jackie however, who surprised me with a very nice GPS receiver as a gift for our anniversary but generally has little interest in maps or GPS technology, has a slightly different view as can be seen from her account of our visit to the confluence point below:
For our 30th anniversary I gave my husband a GPS receiver but I should have included the caveat: “This is your present; I don’t want to be involved.” But involved I was when we flew to Ohio on July 22, 2005 to attend my husband’s class reunion the next day. The town in which he grew up and attended high school (Sidney, Ohio) is fairly close to a confluence point. When he suggested we visit it by taking a short detour on the way from the Dayton, Ohio airport to Sidney, I envisioned this would entail quickly locating the point, taking a few pictures, and driving away. It turned out to be somewhat more of an ordeal. Driving along a two-lane road with a fair amount of traffic north of New Lebanon, Ohio, we overshot the mark, turned around, stopped, realized we were on the wrong side of the road, dashed across the road, and began the search for the spot that gave us the desired (integer lat-lon) reading. So under the broiling sun (little cloud cover that day to our chagrin in more ways than one), we did the one step forward, one step back, one step to this side, one step to that side routine, until we got the best reading. I noted the looks of people as they drove by in their cars and I was sure we would be reported for suspicious behavior. We then started the picture snapping. This all took more time than I imagined possible for a seemingly simple task. Although short of patience for anything involving the GPS receiver, I think I only verged on a temper tantrum once, and was happy to have assisted my husband in what to him was a significantly important undertaking. (To me it was at best obsessive compulsive behavior.) However, when we arrived at the hotel room in Sidney and looked at the pictures on the computer, none of those showing the GPS receiver was clear due to the glare of the sun. I graciously said we could go back the next day (July 23) thinking that since we now knew the exact location, it would be easy to get a satisfactory picture. Wrong again. This time, armed with the laptop to view pictures of the GPS receiver on the spot, we went back into the grass at the side of the road. The issue now was not in locating the exact spot, but taking a picture that would clearly show the confluence point. After at least 30 minutes taking pictures of the receiver and transferring them to the laptop for viewing, I started screaming that it’s apparently not possible to get the proper shot. Fighting words to my husband! However, we finally did take a shot that satisfied him although we never achieved a longitude reading of exactly 84.0000W. This point was in dense woods just to the east of the spot where you see me in Picture 4 holding the GPS receiver. As my colleague said, “You look like you’ve just smelled a skunk.” I said, “The whole adventure stunk!”
I forgot to take a picture of myself at the confluence point, but I have included a picture of Jackie and me a bit later that afternoon at Kiser Lake State Park to show that we were still in good spirits in spite of her "ordeal" as she called it in her narrative above. The picture coordinates are 40.19643N, 83.97780W about 22 Km north of the confluence along Ohio SR-235.