23-Nov-2001 -- My younger brother (Daniel), sister (Reb), and I (David) were visiting our older brother (Ben) and his girlfriend for Thanksgiving. We decided that visiting a confluence would be a fine way to spend a day together, get some walking in, and see some scenery. Regretfully, my brother's girlfriend had to work, so only the four of us went to the confluence.
The day started out overcast and rainy. The rain continued throughout the trip, ranging from light to heavy and back again, with what might have been hail for a very brief period. We left Lafayette, Colorado a little after 9 in the morning, driving east to visit 40°N 102°W, which looked to be the easiest confluence that hadn't been successfully visited within a vaguely sensible driving distance.
The drive was through small towns, range land, and open fields. The topography was a bit hillier than I had anticipated, but still very flat. When the rain let up, we could see a very distant horizon, with scarcely any trees or other features to block our view.
After several hours, we crossed from Colorado to Nebraska, overshot our turn slightly, then followed a very nice dirt road south into Kansas. We followed another dirt road going west, and passed within 0.81 miles of the confluence. The maps we had showed a small road leading north from this and coming closer to the confluence, but this road was a mere trace in the rangeland and gated off from traffic.
We parked on a small turnout on the south side of the road, ate a quick lunch of turkey sandwiches, donned our raingear, and set out. Prior to this point, the rain had only blocked our visibility. Now that we were out of the car, it made travel a bit unpleasant, soon soaking us anywhere that our clothing wasn't waterproof. Ben and I both had our GPS receivers, and I had my camera.
We hadn't seen any houses or other places where people might be located, so we didn't stop to ask for permission. The area wasn't posted against trespass, so we proceeded. We crossed the road and climbed over the barbed wire fence.
The pasture was mainly covered with low lying grasses, with clusters of yucca and other plants. There were several dirt tracks leading through the field, some made by trucks and others by cows. The confluence was practically due north (true) from where we started, and we walked more or less straight toward it. Our way was mildly interrupted by a dry wash. On the other side of the wash was a windmill and water pump. A short distance beyond this was the confluence.
The unobstructed skies allowed us to get all zeroes on one of the GPS units very quickly. Both occasionally showed all zeroes, but it was hard to photograph both of them together reading such. I hadn't taken many photographs on the walk to the confluence, as the wind was from the north and the rain was in our faces. Now at the 40°N 102°W, I took pictures of the GPSs, the views in the cardinal directions, and of the confluence hunters.
The return was an easy retrace of our steps, with only the occasional pause to examine an old bone or interesting plant. The rain was now at our backs, much to our relief. We got back to the car in short order and then set off on the return trip. The wetness of our clothing made it hard to keep the car windows free of fog, but otherwise we had no troubles.