the Degree Confluence Project

United States : Ohio

1.8 miles (2.9 km) ESE of Hennings Mill (Clermont), Brown, OH, USA
Approx. altitude: 280 m (918 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 39°S 96°E

Accuracy: 10 m (32 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: North #3: East (note pile of tree debris) #4: South #5: The Money Shot!!! #6: Rich sez: "That darn confluence is around here somewhere ..." #7: The Intrepid Confluence Hunters (Dave is on the left) #8: Screenshot of Rich's Palm V/Earthmate

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  39°N 84°W (visit #2)  

#1: West (note farm houses in the distance)

(visited by Richard Westcott and Dave Reichard)

10-Nov-2001 -- After our exhausting confluence hunt in southeastern Kentucky , We decided to make our next geek trip a little closer to home. 39° North, 84° West is only a one hour drive to the southeast and looked to be fairly easy to get to (read: not on a 100% grade hill). The weather couldn't have been more perfect; sunny and around 55 degrees.

Dave showed up at my (Rich's) house shortly after 11:00 am. Dave had recently acquired a brand new IBM ThinkPad with 1600x1200 resolution and had it loaded with Delorme Street Atlas. Technical difficulties began immediately. Dave had trouble getting the Delorme software to talk to his Garmin eTrex GPS. Equipment triage was performed on the deck outside Rich's duplex. Some RTFM and a few choice four letter words later, the eTrex and the laptop were finally on speaking terms.

We hit the road at about 11:40 am ... and promptly turned back to retrieve Rich's Palm V Delorme Earthmate adapter cable ... *sigh*. Finally, we hit the road for real a few minutes before noon. Fortunately, it was a short drive.

More technical difficulties: The mapping software is supposed to have ?voice navigation?. So far it hadn't said a word. A little more RTFM and a well hidden check box got us a computerized female voice. This played over Dave's car radio via a cassette adapter.

Our route took us first east then south on I-275 (Cincinnati's beltway). Turning east again, we exited onto Route 32. After passing the Eastgate Mall, the terrain quickly faded into typical Ohio farm country. Nice drive on a sunny day. We had driven on Route 32 for about 20 miles when the laptop piped up telling us to turn right on to Route 276. Another glitch. There is no exit for Route 276 from Route 32 (unless you want to drive off a bridge). The next exit was 3/4 of a mile away and got us on to Route 133 heading south. Our fortunes took a turn back in a somewhat positive direction when, within a mile, Route 133 and Route 276 merged into one and we were back on track.

The back roads of Ohio are rather scenic this time of year and we passed several houses with leaf fires burning in the back yard. As we made lefts and rights onto roads with increasingly longer names, the laptop told us our goal was close at hand. Our last right was a southbound turn onto Locust Ridge New Harmony Road. From our research, we determined that this would be the best approach even though it was just shy of 850 meters west of the confluence. We could have stopped along Kress Road and been within 300 meters, but, looking at the aerial photo, we couldn't see any buildings of possible landowners near the site. At around 1:30 pm, we pulled into the driveway of a farmhouse directly west of the confluence.

Dave brought the car to a stop in front of an out-building at the end of the driveway. We exited the car and were greeted by young man astride a motorcycle. We explained our motives for being there and presented him with the letter from the Confluence Project. He understood what we were seeking, but was unaware of the Confluence Project. The man's name was Dan Blevins and he gave us permission to cross the cornfield to access the confluence. He said he had been back there several times and offered to show us the way. We accepted.

Now a team of three, we crossed south-southeast across the back yard of the farmhouse to an unpainted gate constructed of pressure-treated lumber. Beyond the gate was a wide mud track used by farm equipment to access the cornfield. The track was well used and had several foot deep tire tracks running through it. A few of the tracks contained some shallow water, but it was mostly dry and easily traversable. We made our way across the track to the southwest corner of the cornfield.

There was a path covered with field grass at this corner of the cornfield that followed the tree line. Mr. Blevins explained that the path is usually maintained, but had been neglected as of late. The grass was ankle deep with some sparse hip high brush. As we made our way along the southern edge of the cornfield, the sparse brush thickened a bit and got a little taller, but this did not impede our progress. We came across a small body of water at the southeast corner of the cornfield that, according to our host, was stocked with bass. The path and the tree line both turned north at this point and we followed it. My Earthmate GPS (connected to a Palm V) told me we were tantalizingly close to the confluence. Dave's eTrex said we were within 150 meters. The tree line seemed a bit on the dense side as we made our way north to the 39th parallel.

Then, like manna from Heaven, the tree line opened up just as we reached the 39th parallel giving us a nearly clear route back to the confluence. Stepping over a few fallen branches, we hiked our way into the woods. Thirty meters in, we came across a large pile of tree debris. Obviously, a tree had fallen in the recent past and had been discarded here. I wonder, did the people depositing the debris know they were covering a confluence?

Both GPSs were converging on every Confluence Hunter's dream of all zeros. At first the confluence seemed to be smack-dab in the debris pile, I (Rich) climbed in to take a look around . No luck. Meanwhile, Dave circled just to the north and west ends of the debris pile. Dave's eTrex finally settled on all zeros on a spot near the northwest corner of the debris pile. Dave snapped a photo of his eTrex . I climbed out of the pile and a few minutes later, my Palm V/Earthmate combo (running Delorme Solas Pro) also reached all zeros about a meter and a half from where Dave had found it. I quickly took a screenshot of my Palm . Ah! Sweet success! Dave then took the obligatory photos to of the views from the confluence to the West (farmhouse(s) in the distance), North , East (note the debris pile) and South . Our host, Mr. Blevins, agreed to take a picture of us standing on the confluence site (Dave is on the left).

Emerging from the woods, we saw it would be much easier to return by following the north end of the cornfield. Cloven tracks in the dry mud lead in and out of the cornfield chronicling a few deer scavenging for leftovers. As we walked back, Mr. Blevins told us that his family owned the land, but had leased the field to a neighbor farmer to grow feed corn. We exited the cornfield via the same gate we had entered.

Compared to our last foray into Confluence Hunting , this confluence was a piece of cake! I'll take near 0% grade over what seemed like 100% grade any day. Having left my (Rich's) duplex at noon, we returned only 4 hours later. A far cry from the 14+ hours spent in southeast Kentucky. Finally, a confluence where our GPSs read ?dead nutz on.?

 All pictures
#1: West (note farm houses in the distance)
#2: North
#3: East (note pile of tree debris)
#4: South
#5: The Money Shot!!!
#6: Rich sez: "That darn confluence is around here somewhere ..."
#7: The Intrepid Confluence Hunters (Dave is on the left)
#8: Screenshot of Rich's Palm V/Earthmate
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)