11-Nov-2001 -- 28N 99W is located in desert country about 60 miles northeast of the Rio Grande River in South Texas. From San Antonio, travel south on I-35 until you reach the Encinal exit. Turn left on Hwy. 44 and travel ESE for about 20 miles. This will put you about midway to the town of Freer.
The confluence is located on ranch land, although there were no cattle in sight. Other than cactus and mesquite bushes, there wasn’t much in the way of vegetation, either. In fact, as you’ll see from the photos, the ground was sandy and gray. Not exactly prime cattle-grazing land.
28N 99W was my second attempted confluence. I visited 32N 99W a week earlier. My brother says that I “have way too much time” on my hands to be doing this, but I find driving the long miles through Texas to be very relaxing, not to mention the “thrill” of locating and documenting the places where map lines cross. I’m also an amateur “rock hound” and these trips are a great excuse to look for new pieces to add to my collection. Unfortunately, 28N 99W didn’t yield any samples worth taking home.
The walk from the highway to the confluence was about 2.5 miles one way. I had to hop one fence. The terrain was slightly hilly. There were a few deer visible, as well as two beautiful hawks. No other wildlife was visible.
When I reached the confluence, it was nearly sundown. Once again, I hadn’t built enough time into my travel plan for driving, finding landowners, and the hike itself. Therefore, I only had time for a small number of photographs before I lost the sunlight on this cloudy, overcast day.
When my e-Trex GPS finally showed that I’d reached the confluence, I set it down on the ground for a few minutes so that it would “settle out” and show a more precise reading. A few position adjustments later, I took a concrete marker out of my pack and set it on “ground-zero”. I ended up placing it facedown in the sand on top of a piece of clothes hanger wire. This to insure that the writing on the marker wouldn’t wear off quickly (how permanent is a “permanent marker” anyway?) and that a future visitor with a metal detector would be more likely to find it.
Since the daylight was fading fast, I wasted no time in starting back toward my car. I noted the nearest structure to the confluence, a water cistern (dry) and photographed it. A dirt track alongside the cistern led in the general direction of my car, so I followed it. The track turned into a dirt road, which eventually turned into asphalt and led me back to a gate at the side of Hwy 44, about ½ mile from my car. Along the way, I saw a barn and a doublewide trailer.
About a half mile from the highway gate, a pickup truck drove up and the driver and I exchanged greetings. He claimed to not speak English, so we spoke in Spanish (me poorly) about the purpose of my visit, the GPS, and the spot I’d been looking for. He understood what GPS was and didn’t seem to mind that I had been on the ranch property. We talked for about three minutes and then he drove away. I proceeded to the gate and let myself out, then walked the rest of the way to my car, which I could see in the distance.
When I arrived back at the car, it was nighttime. I drove back to Encinal and fueled up for the drive back toward Houston, about 5 hours away.