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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : California

5.1 miles (8.2 km) SW of Lakeport, Lake, CA, USA
Approx. altitude: 847 m (2778 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 39°S 57°E

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: The confluence is 1/2 mile over that hill #3: Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga #4: Some beer to appease the weary confluence hunters #5: Trying to locate the confluence from Route 175

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  39°N 123°W (visit #1) (incomplete) 

#1: The trail to the confluence?

(visited by Scott Berk, Kathy Cannon and Monique Abatte)

04-Jul-1999 -- Over the July 4th long weekend, my wife and I visited our good friend, Monique, in San Francisco. On the 4th, we made a last-minute decision to try to visit 39N 123W up near Lakeport, CA. I was very unprepared for the attempt. We only had the GPS receiver and a vague sense of which main highway we should try to get to. From San Francisco, we headed north through the wine country of the Napa Valley. We opted to take the scenic Route 29, instead of the faster U.S. 101. After passing many many wineries, we stopped in Calistoga to see the "Old Faithful" geyser - not quite as dramatic as Yellowstone, but we did get to witness an eruption (photo #3) as we munched on sandwiches.

After lunch, we headed to Lakeport. It was slow going through the twisty mountain roads, but we eventually arrived in Lakeport, near the beautiful Clear Lake. Having no real clear idea where the confluence might lie, other than a mileage and heading reading from the GPS, we bought a map at a local gas station. The nearest road to the confluence appeared to be Route 175, so we drove to it, monitoring the GPS unit in hopes that the road would bring us within striking distance. At this point, Kathy and Monique were getting a bit impatient, so I bought them some beer to appease them (photo #4). Route 175 was full of twists and turns. Occasionally, I would get out and try to determine if we were getting any closer. In photo #5, you can see a very nice house nestled in the mountains and a lovely shot of Clear Lake (to the immediate right of my head).

After another half hour or so, we finally came to the point of closest approach to the confluence. There was another house, and behind it, a big hill. According to the GPS unit, the confluence was about a half mile on the other side of the hill, beyond the home-owner's property on public land (photo #2). I noticed a system of trails running up the hill (photo #1), and was ready to attempt to hike to the point, but since I really couldn't say for certain where the trails would go or what the terrain would be like, Kathy and Monique convinced me that at this late hour, the confluence wasn't worth the effort without more detailed information. Somewhat dejected, I drove on to U.S. 101 and back South to the city.

Once I got back to a computer, I immediately looked up the confluence on terraserver. Here's a satellite view of the area pictured in photo #1 and photo #2. You can clearly see Route 175 (the wide "trail"), and the smaller trail leading to the north. Here's a satellite view of the confluence area itself (marked with crosshairs), clearly accessible from the system of trails. The next time I'm in the area, I'll be prepared!


 All pictures
#1: The trail to the confluence?
#2: The confluence is 1/2 mile over that hill
#3: Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga
#4: Some beer to appease the weary confluence hunters
#5: Trying to locate the confluence from Route 175
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)