07-Sep-2014 -- As I was in southern California en route to do some educational planning for 2015 with my Esri colleagues in Redlands, and also to make three university visits over the next 10 days, a confluence expedition seemed like a good way to begin these days of geospatially-focused events. My university visits would be San Diego State University, University of Southern California, and Los Angeles Harbor College. All great campuses!
After landing at LAX airport, I traveled east on I-105 and then north on I-605, exiting on Beverly Boulevard as I have done many times. Under bright skies, the weather was hot, over 92 degrees F (33 degrees C), and I stopped for some water at the convenience store in Whittier. As I have said numerous times in these narratives, one doesn't ever know quite what to expect on these confluence visits, even if one has been to a certain point before, as was the case today.
As I crested the ridge near the confluence on Turnbull Canyon Road, I found myself in the middle of a bicycle race. The only way I could go in a vehicle was down, rather than to the left, and not expecting this, I dutifully went down. I wound around in the neighborhoods to the east in the valley below, seeking to go up to the point in the way I typically go down. But, not to worry: In short order I was on East Oak Canyon Drive and found the familiar parking area, large enough for 2 vehicles, down the hill from the confluence point. On a day like today, I took my water and sunblock, but I wanted to travel lightly so I decided to use my phone alone for the GPS position and the photographs and videos.
I made a full assault on the steep slope to the west. At times, I have had a moderately difficult time climbing the slope, and at other times, it is even more difficult. Today was in the "more difficult" category. I slipped quite a bit on the loose soil and it seemed that every time I tried to grab a plant, it was full of thorns. But then abruptly, I was up on the gentler slope near the top of the ridge, so as difficult as the slope is, it is only for a brief distance. I found the confluence at the northeast end of the ridge, as usual, and even spotted the geocache container this time as well. I have been visiting southern California for many years, and by now, I had visited all of the confluences in southern California. The last remaining point I needed I picked up during a hike in December 2013 to the point northeast of here, northeast of Barstow, and so, repeat visits were the norm now for me in this region. I took photos and videos under the blazing sun, spending about 15 minutes at the point before moving downslope slightly to the south of where I had ascended in the hopes that it would be easier. It was indeed easier, and I was soon at the street level. It is important to note the many "No Trespassing" signs marking the entrance to the driveway to the south. I have talked with the landowner here on more than one occasion. However, do not go that way, and you don't need to, to reach the confluence. Someday, I would like to try the point from the property above it in elevation, which would entail knocking on the appropriate landowner's door, and then entailing a rather thorny descent down a moderate slope to the confluence point.
I spent another 90 minutes in the neighborhood, on a very hot but pleasant walk, enjoying the views, and filming a few videos on the geography of southern California. It is amazing how steep the slopes are here and how the houses have been constructed in such terrain. After this time, I descended to the east and took the 60 freeway to Riverside, and then northeast to Redlands. It was nearly 100 degrees F in Redlands. I checked into the hotel and then, even though it was a Sunday, met my colleagues for some hours of work at Esri to get a head start on the week. The visit to the confluence was a great way to get into the field and enjoy the local physical and cultural geography.