11-Feb-2019 -- As I had today just arrived in Arizona for the purpose of supporting, fostering, and promoting the use of geotechnologies in teaching, learning, and research, including several days at Arizona State University and at the Ecosa Institute in Prescott, a confluence visit seemed like the perfect way to begin. And so, having an hour before my first university visit, directly after landing at the Phoenix airport, I found myself traveling under winter sunny skies south toward the town of Maricopa, Arizona. The confluence of 33 North 112 West was the only one I could reach and still make my afternoon appointments.
I left I-10 to travel south on Arizona 347 and into the land of the Ak-Chin Native American community, and then into the broad and beautiful valley. In the town of Maricopa, I turned southeast to White and Parker Road, and then due south. After passing a distribution center for Miracle Gro plant food, I parked at the intersection of this road with Peters and Nall Road. The land use in this area is irrigated fields on flat desert valley floor. I could not determine which plants were being grown in the confluence field to the northwest, but water was very actively moving through the canals as I documented on my YouTube Channel Our Earth under the heading irrigating the desert. As I have found in at least 5 confluence visits in the past, scattered across the world, this point I was about to visit in Arizona is also on land that was currently for sale, as evidenced by a large sign near the road intersections. I hoped that this field would remain agricultural and not be paved over with the houses that were creeping in this direction from Maricopa.
I gathered a few supplies and walked between two irrigation ditches. I knew I would be a few meters south of the point, but the field was housing new sprigs that I did not want to step on. I arrived at 112 West and took photos and video. The temperature stood at about 65 F (18 C) under sunny skies with moderate winds: A perfect mid winter day in south-central Arizona. I could see why so many people from northern latitudes have moved here; at this time of year, it is quite lovely. I know from past experience that this area is always quite hot in summer. It should be noted that one week after my visit here, much of central and northern Arizona was blanketed by snows the amount of which people had not seen in 60 years. During my visit, I saw no animals or birds. A few agricultural workers stood on the field alongside a truck a few hundred meters to the west of me. I had stood on 33 North several times in the past, from California on the west to Georgia on the east. I had also stood on 112 several times, from Montana on the north to a point just 1 degree north of here in Arizona. I wanted to record that this point is much much easier than the point at 34 North 112 West that I visited with my friend Shawn Fleming. I now have a tidy collection of confluence points in Arizona, from the Utah-Arizona point on the north to this point in the south.
It was such a beautiful spot and lovely day that I was reluctant to leave: It had been 3 months since my last confluence visit, in a snow-covered stand of trees in Michigan. This point was radically different from my last point, as the Degree Confluence Project so well illustrates--the diversity of land cover, land use, landforms, seasons, time of day, weather, and more. However, I had much to accomplish before the day was through at Arizona State University, so I departed the area. I was on site for about 30 minutes. I had an uneventful trip back to the Phoenix metro area, and had an absolutely wonderful time teaching GIS classes and in faculty meetings later that day at Arizona State University. Get out there and explore the world!