11-Apr-2001 -- There are 5 confluences in Utah along 38 degrees north. Before today I had been to two of them
and had attempted a third. I had a free day today and had already checked the topo maps and thought I had
a good chance at 38N 111W.
This confluence is near Capitol Reef National Park, which is part of a much larger geologic formation
known as the Water Pocket Fold, a large wrinkle in sandstone that extends for hundreds of miles. The
scenery is quite spectacular.
The Confluence Project website shows the town of Cainesville as the reference point. However, there is no road from the town to the confluence. I opted for the road known locally as the Notom (NO-dum) Road. It
begins just outside the east boundary of the National Park and heads to the south.
I was able to get within a couple of minutes of arc of the confluence by driving. Then I started walking. As I followed my GPS I found myself walking along the base of a long butte or mesa, part of which is shown in photo 1. If I were to proceed, I would need to get on top of it. I was excited to proceed and started climbing up. The closer I got, the more formidable the task became; see photo 2.
At length, fear overcame me. I was alone. I had no equipment for scaling cliffs. The display on my cell
phone said "No Service". I had only see two other vehicles on the road. It would be better to go home alive and whole than to reach the confluence. The task will await another day.
Photo 3 looks to the north from the point where I stopped my climb. Photo 4 looks to the northwest towards the main part of Capitol Reef National Park. Photo 5 looks to the west; it includes the Water Pocket Fold and the Boulder Mountain in the distance. Photo 6 shows my GPS. The reading is 38 degrees 2.053 minutes North and 111 degrees 1.026 minutes West. I hope to go back some day.