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the Degree Confluence Project
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Germany : Hessen

1.5 km (1.0 miles) SSE of Mainhausen-Zellhausen, Hessen, Germany
Approx. altitude: 134 m (439 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 50°S 171°W

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

#2: Erika at the confluence point - note fluorescent writing (50,9) on logs #3: Yours truly at the confluence point -- A3 highway in the background #4: Coordinates on the eMap -- with improvised water protection for keypad. #5: The laptop setup in the car

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  50°N 9°E (visit #1)  

#1: Clearing close to the confluence point

(visited by Gilles Kohl and Erika Thill)

10-Dec-2000 -- I've been wanting to visit a confluence point ever since I read about the project on sci.geo.satellite-nav.

What do you do if you live in the same town as a few very active confluence hunters ? Simple -- expand your scope.

Since the confluence points close to Karlsruhe (49N8E, 49N9E, 48N8E) have all been visited resp. attempted, we decided to try one a little further away, at 50N 9E, close to Aschaffenburg.

This one looked easy on the map -- just a few dozens of meters away from the road. The simplest way to get to the confluence point would have been to leave the car at the closest point and walk there -- but you better don't do that on the A3 Autobahn ! It looked as if there was a way to get close via a local road in Mainhausen, so that's what we set as our target. The weather was nice (not great but OK) this Sunday morning as well, so off north we went, with the Garmin GPS and Biblo Notebook with GPS-enabled route planner software to guide us.

After about an hours' drive, it started raining, and I suddenly noticed that I forgot to bring a plastic baggie to protect the eMap GPS against water -- as it isn't waterproof. Oh well, think positive -- it still might stop raining before we arrive ...

We arrived in Mainhausen after a 2 hours drive, and found the small local road without a problem -- we were glad to notice it even was a surfaced road we could drive our car on ... for a minute or two -- the road let across a level crossing and into a forest, where it was blocked by a barrier and a sign said "Private road, forestry adminitration use only." According to our map, the confluence point was only a kilometer away, so we would walk. After we got out of the car, it indeed stopped raining slightly ... and started to pour.

As soon as we had to leave the forest track and ventured into the undergrowth I noticed I forgot to bring something else: a compass. When you stop walking or haven't got a good fix because of trees blocking the GPS signals, you lose your bearing and don't know where to go to get closer to the confluence. We solved that problem by not stopping -- I think the technique is called "navigation by walking around" :-)

The rain had its advantages -- there was nobody else to see us walking around off the beaten path, through mud, wet grass and high undergrowth, religiously watching some strange device (a mobile phone ? a calculator ? a TV remote control ?) looking for God knows what.

As I was iterating watching the position display close in towards 50N 9E, Erika suddenly exclaimed: "somebody has been here!" How does she know, I wondered. And then I saw it - right where I was standing: an "xyz axis" made of three logs - two lying on the ground at right angle, one planted vertically. The two on the ground were appropriately labelled "50" and "9" in yellow fluorescent paint. I ignore who erected this marker, but I was glad to see it as it did confirm we came to the right spot -- our first confluence!

Back home, we celebrated it with a glass of sparkling wine - we may wait for better weather and have a few more accessories with us the next time, but a next time there will be.


 All pictures
#1: Clearing close to the confluence point
#2: Erika at the confluence point - note fluorescent writing (50,9) on logs
#3: Yours truly at the confluence point -- A3 highway in the background
#4: Coordinates on the eMap -- with improvised water protection for keypad.
#5: The laptop setup in the car
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)
  Pending visits
Submitted  Visit date  Name  Success?  Status? 
16-Apr-14  05-Apr-14  Honsa Krigge  yes  pending