13-Sep-2010 -- I had been eying 41N 99W for our trip to Nebraska. This confluence had only been visited once and that was over 10 years ago. My thoughts were that why hasn't this been visited more often? It's only a few hundred feet south of a farm house in a field. Perhaps the owners didn't want anyone on their property. I printed out the "Letter to the Owner" and filled it out for this confluence in the case that it might help in explaining our worthy cause. I also printed out previous confluences I have done and I printed out the first confluence visit for 41N 99W.
On our way from Lincoln back to Colorado we pulled off I-80 near Grand Island. Headed west and passed Ravenna. We made our way to the farm house at 35595 340th Road.
Upon turning off the road, we didn't see any "No Trespassing" signs. We followed a gravel road up to the house. We passed a couple old cars, and lots of large farm equipment and tanks. A newer truck and a minivan were parked in front of the house. A medium-sized black dog and a mini-terrier were guarding the house and barking like crazy. We stayed in the car for a while hoping the owner would come out with all the commotion. There was a stylized small windmill in their front lawn with a sign "Grandma & Grandpa's Place". Catherine saw a sign that read "No Smoking: Oxygen in use". We drove back and forth a bit and found that the house had a walk-out basement on the south end. We came back to the front and parked.
I felt a bit more comfortable about approaching the house. I got out and slowly approached the dogs. The little terrier came to me and sniffed a bit. I pet him under his jaw and he was cool. The other dog stopped barking immediately and came to me. I scratched under his jaw and we were fast friends. I came to the door and rang the bell. I rang it a couple more times and waited for about what seemed to be 10 minutes. I figured if they were on oxygen it might take a little longer than usual to come to the door. I got no response. I came back to the car and told Catherine to stay with the car in case someone eventually came out or came around. I gathered my camera and the Garmin. I had brought the Z-Xtreme survey-grade GPS, but decided that in the case we were happened upon, the Garmin would be less threatening and easier to carry in a hurry. I walked toward the field and reached a point closest to the confluence without actually going out into the field (about 277 feet). I didn't feel comfortable enough to go out in their field without their explicit permission. Especially because it looked like the field was not entirely fallow. It appeared to be growing something in a pod.
This field was irrigated using a pivot. If you look at many of these fields in the Midwest, they appear circular. The irrigation pivot is like a huge lawn sprinkler. The hydraulic pressure of the water coursing through pushes these large sprinklers around the central point without any need for a motor. There was a pivot at rest across the road from 41N 99W.
I quickly took the required photos and made my way back to the car. On our way out I noted the address and took pics from the road. It still surprises me that this was only the second visit to this "easy" confluence in 10 years and about a month.