19-Aug-2006 -- I planned an East Coast summer vacation to show my wife and sons some great US cities and the area where I grew up and went to college (Cleveland, Ohio). The transportation plan was to fly to New York City, rent a car and drive it to Chicago. The only thing lacking: a confluence visit! So I searched along our route for one that hadn’t been visited for a while and 42° North, 86° West looked like a good candidate.
This confluence is located about 230 yards (210 m) north of McKenzie Road in Cass County, Michigan. I was able to determine the address of the property owner and sent a letter along with an aerial photo of the site, a copy of Kourtney Nieboer’s write up of his 2001 visit, and the DCP Letter to Landowners. About a week later Ed Toy called me and said he welcomed a visit and would accompany us on our search.
As we drove west on our vacation, we left the Indiana Turnpike at Exit 107, crossed the border into Michigan and started to zigzag north and west to the confluence. This area is heavily wooded and we saw lots of small lakes. In the cleared areas, the primary crops are corn and soybeans. When we arrived, we met Ed and his father Don. They have owned this land since the 1960s and have made many improvements over the years, including a house they built 5 years ago.
We hopped in Ed’s jeep and drove back to the confluence. Ed’s memory for the location was very good and he did as good as my GPS in pointing the way. The tree cover (oak and cherry) prevented all zeros but we settled on a spot and Ed marked it with a 4x4 for future reference. The mosquitoes found us right away, so I took the essential photos and we retreated to the house. There, Ed and Don gave us a tour of their most recent project: a beautiful guest house and fish pond they built themselves. Then, with some great directions from Ed, we headed for Chicago.
Thanks once again to the DCP for getting us out to see interesting places and meet great people like Ed and Don Toy.