05-Aug-2000 -- After hearing of the Degree
Confluence Project a few weeks before, I carefully laid plans to visit
the closest available confluence to my home in Central New Jersey, 40N
77W. I had made arrangements with the someowhat dubious Jack Shea to
ride our motorcycles through the Amish Country back roads armed with GPS
and Sony Mavica.
I waited at the meeting spot for Jack, but after a half hour past the
departure time, he paged and said it was a no show. No problem. I fired
up the bike and had a great trip, sticking mainly to two lane roads the
whole way from NJ. Each way point I passed left me more excited until I
made the final turn off Davidsburg road on to 194. I remembered from the
aerial photo that the confluence wasn't far off the road in some trees
behind the house. As I pulled up in the driveway, the 'needle' on my
GPSIII+ was pointing directly behind the house and the spot was less
than 300ft. away!
An older fellow was mowing grass and looked right at me without much
interest, so I started towards the steps when his wife came out with a
cautious look on her face. I tried my best to explain what I was doing,
but I don't think it sunk in. At least she figured I was harmless and
told me to go knock myself out. I was in full motorcylce leather, so the
brambles & poison ivy didn't deter me from my goal and after about 15
minutes of 'chasing the needle', I came upon a set of steps within 30
feet of the confluence. The steps lead nowhere, and there seemed to be
no other evidence of a foundation at this point. Figuring this was the
best place for a photo, I sat the GPS down on the steps and pulled the
digital camera out to take a picture. AARRRRGGGGG!!!! The battery had
died! I had charged it the night before, but apparently, its age and/or
the heat and vibration of my bike's glovebox rendered it useless. What
was I to do? I had driven 200 miles for nothing.
I went back up to the house and asked if there was a convenience
store nearby and shortly found myself back in East Berlin purchasing a
disposable camera. When I saw one type of disposible there and about 4
rolls of film, I knew better than to even ask if they had digital camera
supplies. Anyway, I made it back to the spot and shot the whole roll.
The camera had a fixed focus lens, so I wasn't expecting anything
spectacular, but figured I couldn't go home empty handed.
I made it home without a problem and dropped the pictures off the
8/8/00 - I got the photos today and the results were less than pleasing.
The only GPS detail that showed up is in photo 2, the 'needle' mode -
showing the spot 207 feet off the road. I'll post a few more and let you
be the judge.