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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Idaho

1.4 miles (2.2 km) S of Blanchard, Bonner, ID, USA
Approx. altitude: 742 m (2434 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 48°S 63°E

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

#2: Looking west #3: looking north #4: looking east #5: looking down (the actual spot) #6: GPS reading

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  48°N 117°W (visit #1)  

#1: Looking south at the hillside

(visited by H. Marc Lewis)

13-May-2001 -- On Mother's Day, 2001 I decided to try to find the closest confluence point to my home in the Spokane Valley of Washington State. It was a nice Spring day, overcast but with the sun peeking out occasionally.

I grabbed my Garmin GPS III+, fired up my BMW R1100GS "Adventure Touring" motorcycle (which has a StreetPilot mounted on the crossbar), and headed towards Blanchard, Idaho -- the closest settlement to 48 degrees North, 117 degrees West, about 50 miles northeast of my home.

Blanchard is a tiny place in the Idaho panhandle, with just a convenience store and a couple of seasonal businesses, at the intersection of Idaho 41 and a scenic two-lane backroad that crosses the northern slopes of Mt. Spokane to the east. This is rural country, and I'd guess a $100,000 home would be considered a mansion there. Interestingly, there is a nice golf course southwest of Blanchard, (Stoneridge) and I thought the confluence might even be on the green, making it easy to find.

I discovered it was south of the golf course (about .390 minutes south of the southern edge) so I circled around and found a farm road which led in the correct direction to approach the confluence from the south. I parked the bike in the forest, and hiked about 45 minutes up the mountainside, but couldn't reach the confluence (which was due north but below me) due to the steep terrain. Disappointed, I hiked back to the bike.

As I headed back to the highway, I noticed another dirt road which offered promise. Luckly, it soon headed west towards a small lake. A tiny side "road" (which I think serves as a cross-country ski trail in the winter) led to the south side of the lake. There I parked, and hiked to the edge of the slope and started climbing. It was extremely steep, and I had to use a game trail which climbed the slope at a sharp angle. When I got to N48 00.000' I cut back directly across the slope until I matched it with W117 00.000'. I captured the GPS readout on my digital camera (Olympus C3030), shot some N/S/E/W photos, then sat on a small slab of rock and soaked in the silence and the wonderful springtime forest smells.

I figured some deer ticks would have latched a ride on me, but when I got home I was pleased to discover I was tick-free! Made it home just in time for Mother's Day dinner too.

This was fun. I think I'll try it again...


 All pictures
#1: Looking south at the hillside
#2: Looking west
#3: looking north
#4: looking east
#5: looking down (the actual spot)
#6: GPS reading
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)