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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Vermont

5.4 miles (8.7 km) SW of Stratton, Windham, VT, USA
Approx. altitude: 663 m (2175 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 43°S 107°E

Accuracy: 8 m (26 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Looking north from 43N 73W, but you’ll have to take my word for it, as all directions look the same… #3: Looking east, uphill from 43N 73W #4: Looking south from 43N 73W #5: Looking west from 43N 73W #6: A GPS reading under cloudy skies #7: A short hike through the woods from Forest Road 83 is required to reach 43N 73W. #8: Snowmobilers whiz by with 200 meters of 43N 73W on F.R. 83. #9: Forest Road 83 branches off to the left from F.R. 71 on the way to 43N 73W. #10: Share the road! This trail grooming machine makes an easier path for snowmobilers and hikers alike.

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  43°N 73°W (visit #5)  

#1: Dance steps at 43N 73W

(visited by Woody Harrell)

20-Feb-2010 -- On foot in snowmobile country. In achieving my International Confluence Day goal of five points in five different states, I knew reaching the southern Vermont point would be the most problematic. Not in terms of difficulty, but because of the time required. Turning north at Searsburg, off Vermont Route 9 (Molly Stark Trail) toward Somerset, the unpaved road climbed gradually upward as it followed the Deerfield River into the Green Mountain National Forest. About six miles from Highway 9, the well plowed road ended at a wide parking area that seemed to be known locally as “the airport road in Somerset” and a sign saying “Road closed to motor vehicles except snowmobiles.” From here, it was a 3.8 mile hike via Forest Roads 71 & 83 to a point barely 175 yards from 43N 73W. That was looking a lot like a two hour round trip walk, a good chunk of daylight to spend with three more confluence point visits to follow. It seemed what I needed was a ride on a snowmobile…

During my pre-visit scouting of the area, I saw a sign on Route 9 for “High Country Snowmobile Tours.” I called and explained all I needed was a six mile round trip ride, with about a ten minute break in the middle to duck into the woods to take some pictures, and in fact the sooner I could finish the better. On any week day they said they’d be glad to accommodate me (at something over $100 per hour), but on a Saturday they were already overbooked from dawn to dark. Their only other suggestion was to contact the local Woodford SnoBusters group to see if one of their members might be able to help me out. Unfortunately, my attempts to reach them by cell phone or email all failed. Plan B was to arrive at the parking area on Saturday and try to hitch my first such ride ever on the back of a passing snowmobile…

After my success at 43N 72W in New Hampshire, I made great time through Brattleboro VT and arrived at Somerset before 9 a.m. I found the parking area deserted except for an idle tractor-like grooming machine. No chance to bum a ride with a snowmobiler just unloading. But the weather was great and I was ahead of schedule. I threw some warm clothes and a spare GPS in a day pack and headed up the trail. I stayed on the edge of the groomed path and the packed snow crunching beneath my boots allowed me to move at a brisk walk, even if gradually going up in elevation. The one or two snowmobiles I encountered whizzed by so fast I didn’t even try to stick out my thumb. An hour later I stood on 43N, and headed off into the woods to the east.

Even leaving foot deep foot prints, it was easy to get disoriented in the thick woods. At 43N 73W the view was the same in all directions, and except for the occasional snowmobile noise I might as well have been 1,000 miles from civilization. I wished I could have stayed longer, but factoring in the return walk I was now behind schedule. The road surface became difficult to walk on as increased snowmobile use chewed up the early morning grooming job. I’d have taken a ride if anyone had stopped to offer assistance (I’m sure as the lone pedestrian I certainly looked out of place!), however, no one did, and I was just happy not to be hit by one of these metal monsters roaring around a blind curve.

When I got back to my vehicle, I discovered the aforementioned Woodford SnoBusters were now out in force preparing for their Annual Hot Dog Roast to begin at noon. Cookers and bonfires and big pickup trucks and all sorts of activity. In all of my International Confluence Day travels, this was certainly the biggest celebration I had ever encountered! Certainly tempting to stop and take part. But it was two states down, and three more to go, I have to keep moving…

Note: 43N 73W is about three miles ESE and about 800’ lower than the Kid Gore Shelter on the Appalachian Trail. Following the drainage of the Glastenbury River down from the trail would bring you within 1000 yards of the cp. At this point a north-bound through hiker would have just about ¾ of his 2174 mile trip behind him. What a great time for a small detour. I’ll have to keep that in mind if I make such a hike in 2012…

At 43N 73W the elapsed time since New Hampshire confluence is 3:32:57. Back at the rental car at 11:09 a.m., with already 71.6 miles by automobile under my belt.

VT

Freedom and Unity

Story continued from here, continues here


 All pictures
#1: Dance steps at 43N 73W
#2: Looking north from 43N 73W, but you’ll have to take my word for it, as all directions look the same…
#3: Looking east, uphill from 43N 73W
#4: Looking south from 43N 73W
#5: Looking west from 43N 73W
#6: A GPS reading under cloudy skies
#7: A short hike through the woods from Forest Road 83 is required to reach 43N 73W.
#8: Snowmobilers whiz by with 200 meters of 43N 73W on F.R. 83.
#9: Forest Road 83 branches off to the left from F.R. 71 on the way to 43N 73W.
#10: Share the road! This trail grooming machine makes an easier path for snowmobilers and hikers alike.
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)