30-Sep-2006 -- Want to own a confluence? Buy the house at 1350 North Woodstock Road, and you could own your own slice of Centered Earth. The house that the confluence is adjacent to is officially for sale. It is a beautiful lot containing numerous trees, sitting high above the road in a quiet rural area. Act now!
On a beautiful autumn day, Mick Miller and I voyaged on a geographic expedition to the "quiet corner" of Northeastern Connecticut. So-named because of its rural, peaceful character, this wooded area is part of the Boston-Washington urban corridor, but is remarkably rural. Indeed, no signs of cities exist here. Fresh from visiting 42 North 73 West earlier that day, we were anxious to pick up another confluence in the opposite corner of the state. We exited Interstate Highway 84 at Union onto Connecticut Highway 190, speaking of life, geography, and The Moody Blues. Winding through the beautiful woods and farms eastbound on Highway 197, one learns why this is called the "Quiet Corner" of the state. As we noted on our narrative from 42 North 73 West, the forests of Connecticut have ebbed and flowed over the years. This part of the state was over half covered in trees. Today was my first day in Connecticut and I had now achieved my goal of visiting all 50 states. Mick had lived here for many years and was full of interesting facts about the state.
We reached the community of North Woodstock, took a photograph, and turned north on Norwich Worcester Turnpike, passing a lovely garden decorated with miniature buildings on our way out of town. A community of East Woodstock lay to the east of North Woodstock, but what was lacking was a plain old "Woodstock." I broke out singing "Woodstock" by Crosby, Stills, and Nash, even though Mick had reminded me that the song was about Woodstock, New York. In less than 1 kilometer, we stopped at Green Road, where a small clearing allowed us to pull over on the southeast side of the intersection. We speculated which house was The Confluence House, and walked north on the Turnpike until we came to The Driveway. Passing a "For Sale" sign, we speculated as to if the new owner would set up a shrine at the confluence.
Upon reaching the top of the steep driveway, we saw that the garage door was open and a truck was parked outside of the new house. Our first order of business was therefore to knock at the front door. No answer. That was puzzling, given the open garage door, and hence, we walked to the garage and called out. Hearing nothing, we commenced with the confluence dance. Although it was certainly easier to tag the confluence by ourselves, I think we were a bit disappointed that we couldn't talk with the construction workers about the importance of what they were building. It appeared as if the construction was complete and all that remained was a bit of landscaping work.
At first, the GPS was directing me to a spot over the hood of the truck, while Mick was aleady at the confluence, southwest of the driveway. His second confluence, and already, he's an expert! After 5 minutes, both Mick and I centered on the spot on the west edge of the driveway, on a low rise about 7 meters south-southwest of the house. The lot had been cleared of the wide variety of sycamores, oaks, and other trees for which Connecticut is noted, but they still grew just 9 meters to the south of the confluence. The midafternoon temperature was 71 F (22 C) under partly cloudy skies; a beautiful autumn day. I had been to 42 North a few times before in Illinois, Nebraska, and Wyoming, but this was only my second time to stand on 72 West. The first time was 2 days earlier in Vermont at 45 North, near Canada. We took photographs and a movie, still seeing no one on the grounds. I didn't have the landowner permission request with me, so we left without a trace.
We hiked out the way we came in, feeling centered and blessed to have tagged both land-based Connecticut confluences in the same day. Yet we weren't finished with our expedition: We then drove to Meriden to visit the famous pillow basalt behind the Target Store.