04-Dec-2000 -- We were not, in fact, successful in
this attempt. This area is heavily
wooded and steep and required more pre-planning than we had anticipated. It
is surrounded by privately owned land (bison ranches to the south and east),
though the confluence appears to us and to the San Isabel National Forest
staff to be on National Forest Property. Finding the proper and LEGAL
approach is the problem. "No Trespassing" warnings abound, from the southern
and eastern approaches, spelling out the consequences of being caught. These
signs are not uncommon where private property is involved. However, it was
the additional signs indicating that neighbors were recording license plate
numbers and reporting them to the local authorities that inhibited us.
Our first approach, from the north, brought us "remarkably close" to the
confluence, leaving us just 0.94 mi due north of the spot. We parked the Jeep
just off of the county road that had delivered us to this point, and set out
on foot. We had dropped steeply into a narrow ravine, crested a steeply
angled ridge and were descending into the second ravine (more appropriately
labeled - valley) when we stopped to let our pulses normalize and ponder our
progress to that point. Our elevation changes had been significant and we had
been on foot for approximately 35 minutes. Our e-Trex was still reporting our
position to be 0.73 mi. due north of the confluence. The woods were dark with
dense. As we peered down to the bottom of our current ravine, gazed back up
to the next ridge seeing 1 or 2 more beyond, we surmised that this present
course could take 2-3 more hours...one way!. The days are short in Colorado
this time of year and the cold nights can bring on severe hypothermia or
death... so we decided to go back around the horn and approach from the south.
This southern approach, as previously mentioned, yielded more private
land than public. There would appear to be a very narrow corridor of National
Forest property, running longitudinally, at the top of which we estimate the
confluence to be. Again this appears to be 0.99 miles due north from the road
(Diefendeffer Rd.) that approaches it. The problem is that even the San
Isabel N.F. officers don't know exactly where to enter that corridor (or so
they say). There is no approach from the east or west which comes any closer
or yields fewer obstacles than the two cardinal points previously explored.
Renegade explorers (disregarding the law) might be successful in marking
this confluence, though not without considerable difficulty. Anyone
attempting this chapter in the project should be well prepared with water,
adequate clothing, energy food(s), sturdy footwear, extra batteries (for
GPS), matches if stranded, and some knowledge of back-country first-aid. It
also should not be attempted alone. We will make another attempt on the next
warm weekend and will notify the project before doing so.
P.S. Sorry about the poor quality photos...time to upgrade the digital camera!