27-Dec-1999 -- My sister and I split my parent's house just
before 9am. We loaded my camera, the laptop, the GPS, and the power
converter into my mom's litte Honda CRV and headed out. Our first stop
was the shopping center around the corner from my folk's house. We
shipped off some of our more awkward Christmas gifts, and then Deb got
an iced coffee. After that, we were on our way.
I hopped the toll road, FL-417, north towards Sanford. There, the highway
ends and we got onto FL-46 west and followed it along through a huge game
preserve near Mount Dora. In Mount Dora, we hit US-441 and followed it until
we found US-27. We honked north until we found the confluence.
US-27 is a wide, four-laner. It wasn't much of a problem finding the area
where the confluence lay, but finding the exact site was just a little
troubling because of our usual enemy: selective availability. After parking
the car on 151st Lane (which was just a dirt road), I needed to
walk towards the east off the highway, and south of 156th Lane. I'd be
in the brushy undergrowth of the trees along side the road, past where
the manicured highway right-of-way ended.
I hiked valiantly into the brush, and was proud to find that I had again
remembered my compass. Of course, I didn't know what the deviation was
down here in Florida, but a slightly wide reading was much nicer than no
reading at all.
Waltzing through the woods, we stumbled on a couple of omnious
dead trees; you'd have to guess that they were struck by lighting, the
way they were charred, standing, and split. We also found what was
apparently the lower jawbone of a wild boar.
is right; maybe there should be an official mandible
for every confluence. Ours is in Photo #3.
We rattled around a bit before getting any stable
readings. Because of the variance induced by selective availability, I
couldn't pinpoint the site too well. The trees and growth weren't helping,
But Deb was excited to try and find the point exactly. We continued
to try and triangluate, but
between the light tree cover and the disorienting effects of selective
availability, we weren't able to nail the spot with much more precision
than shown in Photo #2: we were at 28 degrees flat north by
81 degrees, 59.995 minutes west, about 26 feet, seven inches away.
I decided to call the reading good enough, and then we popped out near
the highway and marched north, back towards the car. I took Photo #1 just
as we emerged from the forest; the cars there are right on the highway.
Photo #4 shows the strip of US-27 that's in the area of the confluence.
As I snapped away, Deb tried to get a better reading, but I urged her
on. We wanted to drive quite a ways to the next site, and it's easy
to waste daylight by wandering aorund in the woods in seach of
the perfect reading.
Me, though, I longed to drive a little bit more around the local area.
151st Lane was on the map clearly, but was very much a dirt path. Where
did it lead? Did it turned paved, back in the woods? Would there be some
sign that we were on property that was actually owned by someone? Those
questions would have to wait, too, and we hopped back in my mom's truck
and cut one more light north on US-27 before turning left onto
Sunset Harbor Road. It would lead us just a mile or two West, where
we'd join US-301 south and proceed to the next site.