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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Virginia

2.3 miles (3.6 km) NNW of Wakefield, Sussex, VA, USA
Approx. altitude: 23 m (75 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 37°S 103°E

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: GPS receiver at the confluence after about 5 minutes of the confluence dance, to zero out the coordinates. #3: Geographer Joseph Kerski at the confluence. #4: Nearing the edge of the peanut field, the departure point for hiking into the forest. #5: View to the north from the confluence site. #6: Lilia, Emily, and Joseph Kerski at the edge of the field; photograph by Janell Kerski. #7: Turtle seen on the hike through the forest to the confluence. #8: Farmhouse where we began our confluence quest. #9: Groundcover at confluence site.

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  37°N 77°W (visit #2)  

#1: Looking north from the confluence site in the southeast Virginia forest.

(visited by Joseph Kerski, Janell Kerski, Emily Grace Kerski and Lilia Aubrey Kerski)

28-Jul-2003 -- I, Joseph Kerski, Geographer from Colorado USA, along with fellow confluence hunters Lilia, Emily, and Janell Kerski, pilgrimaged to Latitude 37 degrees North, Longitude 77 degrees West in southeastern Virginia USA. As I would be attending the Digital Library in Earth Systems Education conference in Colorado the following week, a confluence visit seemed like the perfect prelude to working with earth systems scientists and educators.

After taking the James River Ferry south from historic Jamestown, Virginia, we drove south along State Highway 31 through beautiful Virginia countryside to just south of Dendron. We crossed from Surry to Sussex County, turning west on Owens Grove Road (County Road 604). After turning south onto Spring Hill Road (County Road 603), we parked at a driveway that leads to the farmhouse that we had determined would require the minimal amount of trekking through forest. We parked the car on 37 North Latitude. This house was to the north of the houses visited by the previous visitor. We reached the farmhouse at approximately 1020 am local time.

After walking up the driveway, we found nobody at home. Wishing to set a good example for my children who were with me, I found myself in a moral dilemma about the next step to take. We decided to leave the request for access letter near the front door and to continue in our confluence quest. After heading north around the house, and fortunately finding no unfriendly dogs, we walked due west at 100 meters north of 37 North Latitude. This was a scenic hike along the edge of a peanut field. This part of Virginia is famous for history, peanuts, and ham. The soil here is quite white and sandy and we made sure not to step on any of the plants, which were about 1/3 meter high. After leaving the outbuildings behind, a thick forest was now on our left (south). It was a fine midsummer day, temperature already near 30 degrees C, and not a cloud in the Virginia sky. We had almost reached the western edge of the field when we crossed 77 West Longitude. The latitude here is 37.00117 North. After taking several photographs and a movie, I plunged alone into the forest.

The 100 meter forest hike due south to the confluence required 20 minutes, due to the thickness and thorny nature of the vegetation. In the midst of getting scratched by holly leaves and tough vines, I spotted a magnificent turtle, about 25 cm in diameter. Soon after leaving the turtle behind, while marveling at the thickness of the vegetation compared to my home state of Colorado, I reached the confluence at close to 11 am local time.

The confluence lies on level ground, in forest that was not quite so thick as that I had passed through, comprised of loblolly pine trees, sweetgum, red maple, and magnificent oak trees that frequently stand over 30 meters high. The confluence is 100 meters south of the planted field and about 500 meters west of the farmhouse. After taking the photographs and movie, and pausing in the stillness of the trees, I hiked out exactly the way I had entered, reaching the field but not seeing the turtle, and making a hasty trek along the field edge back to the farmhouse. I knocked again at the front door, but finding nobody home, I walked down the driveway to rejoin my companions at approximately 1120 am. We left the area, driving south to Wakefield, bound for the Great Dismal Swamp. We felt fortunate to have been able to experience a small part of this beautiful area.


 All pictures
#1: Looking north from the confluence site in the southeast Virginia forest.
#2: GPS receiver at the confluence after about 5 minutes of the confluence dance, to zero out the coordinates.
#3: Geographer Joseph Kerski at the confluence.
#4: Nearing the edge of the peanut field, the departure point for hiking into the forest.
#5: View to the north from the confluence site.
#6: Lilia, Emily, and Joseph Kerski at the edge of the field; photograph by Janell Kerski.
#7: Turtle seen on the hike through the forest to the confluence.
#8: Farmhouse where we began our confluence quest.
#9: Groundcover at confluence site.
#10: 360-degree panoramic movie in mpg format filmed at the confluence site.
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)