14-Apr-2001 -- Another confluence in the middle of a cornfield.
When you think of confluences in this part of the country you assume that they will lie in the middle of cornfields. 42 North 94 West is no exception in that it lies in the very middle of a very large field. The field is a one-square-mile piece of land boarded by J Avenue to the east, 250th Street to the south, I Avenue to the west, and 240th Street to the north. With the confluence just about in the middle of the square, it is about a half mile walk from whichever side you choose.
Kevin Meeker of Marion, Iowa, his dad Randy Meeker of Madrid, Iowa, and cousin John Kejr of Frisco, Colorado, left Randy’s house in search of this confluence on the beautiful Saturday morning between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The GPS showed only 13 miles from the door to the confluence point. Our one concern was mud since it had been a relatively wet spring and last night it had also rained.
As we drove north from Madrid on Iowa Highway 17, we saw a police car being followed by a horse rider and realized that we were witnessing Iowa’s annual reenactment of the Pony Express ride across the state. We pulled over and photographed the rider on his segment and continued on our route to our destination.
Wisps of smoke on the horizon marked where farmers were burning weeds as we headed north to the town of Luther. We turned left on 270th street, crossed the flooded Des Moines River, until we were a couple of miles from the point. We then headed north to 250th Street and then west past J Avenue until the GPS showed that we were just south of our destination. We parked and got out to locate the spot.
Kevin led the way with the GPS as we trudged through the field, which was damp but fortunately not muddy. The farmer had not yet planted this year’s crops so only husks of the previous season lied on the ground. We commented to ourselves that this would not be an enjoyable search when the corn was full height. We kept going and going, eventually reaching the spot.
Our picture shows that there is not too much to see from this location. Distant farmhouses and trees dot the horizon in every direction. Ogden, Iowa and its blue and white water tower lies to the northwest. The only other person visible was an ultra-light aircraft pilot a couple of miles to the north also enjoying the beautiful day. The panorama shows the entire view starting and ending at the west.
We returned to the truck. We continued west on 250th Street to the corner of I avenue (.60 miles from the confluence) where we saw evidence that the weather is not as always as ideal as it was on this day. Here a strong wind (probably a tornado) had transformed grain bins into heaps of twisted metal. We headed north to US highway 30, east to Boone, and then back south and home to Madrid. Another confluence conquered.