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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Wisconsin

3.8 miles (6.2 km) WSW of St. Nazianz, Manitowoc, WI, USA
Approx. altitude: 246 m (807 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 44°S 92°E

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Past the squelchy bog and approaching the seriously wet... #3: The confluence is dead ahead, through that soggy mess #4: It's late, and I'm packing it in. #5: A gorgeous sunset, about 20 miles from the confluence, overlooking Lake Winnebago

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  44°N 88°W (visit #1) (incomplete) 

#1: Water to the left of me, water to the right of me, and mud all around

(visited by Daniel Klein)

25-Apr-2000 -- Eastern Wisconsin near Lake Winnebago is gently rolling farmland. Dairy is the name of the game, and you get cheese with everything here. This part of the country is also under the migratory flyways of geese, cranes, larks, ducks, terns, etc. so in April, you can see a wide variety of bird species. Redwing blackbirds and mallards abound, and I saw my first sandhill crane and my first meadowlark, and a juvenile bald eagle. There are also some medium to large marshes, and 44N88W is located right in the middle of one of these.

Starting in Fond du Lac, I drove north around the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago (it's named after an Indian tribe, not a camper :-). About mid-way up, I turned East, heading towards Manitowoc. Soon, I was deep in farmland, with houses spaced about a half-mile apart. Turning on to county road "C", I finally stopped about .56 miles from the confluence.

It started as a gentle hike across a boggy field, rutted with last year's furrows. Then, to a small copse of trees (and discourteously ignoring the "No Trespassing" sign), I proceeded another 100 meters across a squelchy field of last year's tallgrass (in the full of summer, this will be 8 feet tall). Then through a sparse blackberry thicket, a slightly more dense hawthorn thicket (good thing I was wearning thick denim), and finally into the full of the swamp. The marsh marigolds were blooming buttercup-yellow, the skunk cabbage was just starting to turn green, and the muddy water was easily thigh deep. Hummocks of grass and fallen, rotting trees provided an unsteady footing until I was within about 375 meters from the confluence. By that time, I was making progress measurable in fractions of meters per minute.

It was decision time. I was more than a mile from the nearest building, alone in the middle of a thick swamp. The footing was unsteady, sunset was only 40 minutes away, and from the evidence at my feet, the bear did shit in the woods. Nobody knew that I was out here, and the swamp only got thicker and deeper nearer to the confluence (the topographic map confirmed that). There is a line somewhere between "fun" and "stupid", and I was about to cross it.

The birds were beautiful (but they could fly), the frogs were singing ("get out"), and the thought of falling into the muck and then hiking back to the car with another hour's drive wasn't too appealing. I tried 4 separate approaches to the confluence in 30 minutes, and each time it got too wet or too thick to proceed. It might be easier in August(and I'm not too sure), but in April, getting within 375 meters was close enough.

I took a few pictures in the dying light, and headed back.


 All pictures
#1: Water to the left of me, water to the right of me, and mud all around
#2: Past the squelchy bog and approaching the seriously wet...
#3: The confluence is dead ahead, through that soggy mess
#4: It's late, and I'm packing it in.
#5: A gorgeous sunset, about 20 miles from the confluence, overlooking Lake Winnebago
#6: The requisite GPS photo. As thick and as wet as the swamp was, that's close enough.
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)