07-Jan-2001 -- I thought it possible that this journey might
turn out to be an exceptionally easy one, as an online USGS map pegged
the confluence point directly on the path of a county highway. I did not,
however, know the map datum for the particular map I was looking at - so
the actual WGS84 point might be some distance off the path of the road,
which proved to be the case. This minor setback was compounded by my
wife not feeling quite well enough for a road-trip that morning, and my efforts
to roust a Sherpa from amongst my notoriously late-rising roster of friends
met with no success.
Driving in from the south, County Highway G bears left ninety degrees in
the vicinity of the confluence, but never approaches closer than about seven
to eight hundred feet. Off the highway was a mix of trees, scrub, and snow
that had settled to a depth of eighteen to twenty-four inches. I left the highway
on foot at a promising-looking ingress point about 900 feet NE from the confluence
where the woods looked more passable.
Approaching more closely, the area alternated between closely-packed
deciduous trees and clearings of low, thorny scrub. The land itself undulated up
and down as if criss-crossed by a series of ditches, and at least some attention
had to be paid to the placement of each step. The snow cover hid fallen branches
and concealed some of the deeper ditch recesses.
I nearly had to do a full orbit of the confluence point before zooming in because
my dead-reckoning was highly flawed and it was difficult to get a reliable heading
vector from my low-end GPS unit while moving so slowly through the snow. Fortunately
there were few clouds, and the sun gave me a pretty good idea of where "south"
was. Happily, upon arriving at the proper point the Magellan GPS Pioneer gave an
exceptionally solid position reading (for this particular model), based on info from no less
than nine satellites! I would say with 95% confidence that the spot I photographed from
was within 15 meters of true, especially considering that the *elevation* reading from the
GPS (much more susceptable to errors) was reading 909 feet, easily within 20 feet of the
elevations read from the local USGS maps.