29-Mar-2008 -- Continuing on my quest to hit all the confluences in California, next on my list was this one. As my mom was training for a marathon at the time, and it promised to be a 16-mile round-trip walk, which she needed to do that day, she decided to join.
We drove 202 miles from our home in Orange County, timing it so that the sun would be rising when we were ready to start walking. As Hwy 62 headed out into open desert, we found the shoulder on either side completely covered in a profusion of spring flowers. It was quite spectacular, and we wanted to pull over to get pictures; but we quickly discovered that it was all soft dirt, so we decided to continue on. We pulled off the highway at a point directly north of the confluence, and we set out on the 8-mile walk across the desert.
It was all flat, open country, so it was a fairly easy walk, apart from occasionally slogging through deep sand in a river bed here and there. On the way there I almost stumbled on a small rattlesnake that was coiled up on the ground. It never moved or made a sound, so I wondered if it was even alive. It could be that it hadn't warmed up enough to move. I decided not to investigate too closely.
We found the confluence up on a gentle, rocky slope. We had gathered a bunch of small rocks with the intention of building a cairn at the point, but a previous visitor had already done that.
The 8-mile walk back was grueling for me, as I had never walked that far in my life. By the time we got back to the car, I was utterly exhausted and sick to my stomach, and I thought I was going to die. When we stopped at a gas station I got a large bottle of Gatorade and guzzled it, and almost immediately I bounced back. Amazing what water, salt, and sugar will do for you.