02-Jun-2001 -- June 2 dawned a beautiful day for another confluence. (We successfully reached 42N 113W on June 1.) Our confluence crew now numbered nine. This time we were in the Splinter minivan and Joel's 4WD Toyota truck. We had our route mapped out from a previous attempt in February 2001, which was foiled about 12 miles from the confluence by deep snow.
We left Wasatch State Park, where we had camped the night before, and drove south on Hwy 40. This route took us through forested mountain scenery, past the Strawberry Reservoir, and into more typical Utah red rock country.
At Red Creek Road, between Fruitland and Duchesne (pronounced Du-shane'), we took a right hand turn. About six miles later, after the road turns to gravel, we took another right hand turn onto Strawberry River Road (the left fork is also Strawberry River Road). Here we drove between the Strawberry Pinnacles (picture #2) and past a resort. Just beyond, we passed a sign announcing the Strawberry River Reserve, a cooperative project by Utah Wildlife Resources, U.S. BLM, and the Nature Conservancy "to insure public access to the wild Strawberry River." (If you happen to be a Nature Conservancy Member, you will find this area pictured on their September 2002 calendar!). Along this road, the minivan developed a problem--a flat tire. We stopped and changed to the spare tire, but decided it was not up to the several miles of gravel roads to the confluence point. So, all nine of us piled into Joel's pickup. Good thing it was a nice day!
Proceeding on, about five miles past the last turn, we turned left onto Timber Canyon road (Forest Road 149), which we followed through some beautiful and varied scenery (pictures #3 & #4) up into the mountains for about 14 miles. Just a short distance before the confluence, we turned left onto FR 081 (which later becomes Reservation Ridge Road). Hiking through an aspen grove, where we startled a few deer, we found 40N 111W about a quarter of a mile off the road on the side of a ridge. The GPS read elevation 9033 ft. Being early in the season, the area was very green with lots of wildflowers.
We took lots of pictures (we had four cameras along), and built a rock cairn marking the confluence (picture #5). Returning to the pickup, we had a snack and soda, and retraced our path back to Heber, picking up the minivan on the way. We made it back to town just as the Big-O Tire Store closed, but they were kind enough to fix the flat anyway. Thank you!
After a long and beautiful drive, we had successfully visited Utah's highest confluence point!