20-Feb-2011 -- Winter slumbering in the open air/ Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge (composed 21st February 1825)
[influenced, most likely, by his observance of International Confluence Day 24 hours earlier…]
For the second year in a row, I am privileged to witness the dawn of International Confluence Day at a whole integer Latitude-Longitude crossing: last year in New Hampshire in the eastern time zone; this year in Indiana in the central time zone. And once again I am alone, as my wife, fatigued by yesterday’s strenuous day of confluence reconnoitering, has decided to sit this one out. Actually more likely to be sleeping that sitting based on her reaction to the attempted 4:00 a.m. wake-up call…
I drive west from Dayton on I-70. It is still dark as I cross into Indiana. The interstate highway circles Richmond to the north, and I exit I-70 northwest towards Williamsburg. There I turn due north for the final approach to 40N. At the 40th parallel I park in the driveway of a vacant two-story house on the west side of Centerville Road, about a third of a mile south of the Randolph County line.
Last night’s cold temperature has refrozen a thin crust on top of yesterday’s muddy field, and careful walking brings me to the point with relatively clean shoes. After zeroing out, I turn my attention to the east, for what looks like the making of a magnificent sunrise. But the sun loses a race to the horizon to the heavy cloud cover moving rapidly in from the west, and the rich colors on the horizon quickly disappear. Yet I am still satisfied as I head back towards my car.
This is the 15th confluence point I have visited on International Confluence Day, each being in a different state. I’d like to add two more such visits before the sun sets on the project’s 15th anniversary.
Indiana –“Crossroads of America”