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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : New York

1.7 miles (2.7 km) NW of Le Roy, Genesee, NY, USA
Approx. altitude: 260 m (853 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 43°S 102°E

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

#2: Requisite GPS shot #3: Smiling Jayce #4: Jayce donating free advertising #5: Location of the playhouse

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  43°N 78°W (visit #1)  

#1: Front of the house

(visited by Jason Olshefsky and Jan Nedelka)

02-Oct-1999 -- Each Saturday, some friends get together at O'Bagelo's in Rochester, NY for lunch and to discuss the weekend activities. On this particular day, I (Jason) showed up and plunked down my GPS and shiny new digital camera and said, "Ok, what are we going to do today?" Jan immediately chimed in and with a "Good idea," as he was the one who originally introduced me to the Confluence Project. All we got were puzzled looks when we explained to everyone else what we were out to do. I guess I need to find new friends.

Anyway, after lunch we were off to grab my film camera (just in case) and a pair of boots in case of mud and we were off to LeRoy (pronounced 'luh-roy'). We knew the confluence point was not far from a road, so we didn't need no stinking maps! I just kept an eye on the Magellan GPS pointing me in a direction. Once were within a couple miles of the point, we were out of highway, sort of--I got off I-490 at exit 1 just before the NYS Thruway. Continuing in this manner of taking turns when the GPS passed the 45-degrees-off-course mark, we made our way through a couple back roads until we were within a tenth of a mile.

We parked in this nice old lady's driveway and asked if we could take some pictures her back yard. We explained what we were doing (I'm sure everyone gets the same question: "What group are you with?") and she let us go ahead for no better reason than she really didn't care as long as we weren't bothering anyone. As it turned out, I was off by a bit, and neglecting a compass I wasn't making progress as we proceeded back onto her property.

Taking a stab at the location of the 2:00 sun as either south or west, we surmized our compass points and took a right turn which tended to put us back on course. Why GPS's don't have a hall effect compass built in, I'll never know. Despite the inconsistency of my outdated GPS, I noted that we were indeed making progress in the right direction.

By this time we were in the middle of a bean field. The plants had pretty much died there, so we surmized it wasn't going to be harvested. We treaded lightly anyway, realizing we had left the domain of the nice old lady, and could very well be treading on some mean shotgun-wielding redneck's land. Nonetheless, we made our way back to Bergen Road without incident and continued down it another tenth of a mile or so.

Once within the last hundredth of a mile, I switched to lat/long view and found we were fractional minutes away. Doing the standard dance, I found the spot which then of course moved, so I found it again. We repeated this pacing for a minute or so until I realized the estimated percieved error reported by the unit was 140 feet or so at best, so I just gave up and figured we were close enough.

The actual confluence at 43N 78W is right at the northeast corner of the property at 8543 Bergen Road. I was shocked that nobody had bothered to come out here -- you don't even have to step off the pavement.

I took the requisite picture of the GPS, then we snapped some of me and a kids playhouse on the side of the house. Sadly we couldn't contact the owners who apparently weren't home at the time. Hopefully they won't mind pictures of their home posted on the Internet.

Interestingly, it seemed to be a large old farmhouse -- perhaps the oldest on the street -- leading me to believe the original builders were aware of the curious importance of the location. Too bad the house number is 8543 instead of 7843. I like to think that a hundred years ago someone noticed that they were on a confluence point, and Jan and I rediscovered it, bringing back to life just for a moment the thoughts of someone from so long ago.


 All pictures
#1: Front of the house
#2: Requisite GPS shot
#3: Smiling Jayce
#4: Jayce donating free advertising
#5: Location of the playhouse
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)