29-Aug-2003 -- This would be a confluence filled Labor Day weekend. Nine successful attempts would be made making a large triangle across Nevada and partially into California with four confluences on each side. Proceeding east to 35n-115w, my plan was to proceed north to 38n-115w capturing four (
38n-115w), then due west to 38n-118w for three more (
38n-118w), then diagonally southeast capturing the remaining two (
36n-116w), leaving a single confluence in the center which, at 37n-116w, will likely never be visited. Total round-trip mileage ended up being 1240 miles.
Having to wait until my kids got out of school before proceeding on our adventure, I knew it would be close on sunset reaching 35n-115w. We did make a short stop at Ludlow off Interstate 40 to take a look at the road leading to 35n-116w which will be attempted at a later date. We arrived at the town of Goffs with about an hour and a half until sunset at 1912. I had originally planned using National Geographic Topo California to proceed from a point east of Goffs but reading previous trips decided the direct route described by Ross Finlayson would be easier especially this late in the day. We were unable to find the road he described - this area had recently had a lot of flash floods and the road was covered with sand from multiple washouts. We continued north until we reached the power lines. We parked the RV on the service road underneath the power lines from where I would continue the rest of the way on my bike. When I got out of my vehicle, I could hear the crackling of the high voltage power lines overhead. When I opened the side door, I felt a mild shock every time I touched the vehicle. We decided to move the vehicle a couple hundred yards away!! These power lines are huge and I imagine carry a lot of the power across the southwest. I proceeded by bike along the power line road planning to intercept the road Ross described earlier. Along the way, I saw two desert tortoises a few minutes apart. I thought about stopping to take a picture - and planned to on my way back – but I was in a race against daylight! I missed the road a second time - rats! I was fighting very sandy conditions and erosion from the recent flooding. Eventually, I intercepted my original planned track and proceeded north then went direct to 35n-115w. When I reached it, the sun had already gone down. Quickly, I extended my tripod and took the required pictures of the surrounding area and then of my gps indications. This point was about 5.5 miles from where we had parked. This was outside the range of my Garmin RINO's and even the backup Motorola Talkabouts that seem to have a slightly longer range. Interestingly, in the middle of nowhere, and a long way from Interstate 40, I had 5 bars of cell phone coverage. I let my wife know I was on my way back. I chased a setting crescent moon as I half walked, half rode my bike on an intercept path to the elusive road that headed southwest. Eventually I intersected it and proceeded along it as it got darker and darker. I wish I had found this road in the beginning! I had a great view of the stars and Milky Way. Riding a bike on a very sandy dirt road at night poses several risks - the least of which is a major wipe-out. I managed to avoid several and eventually made it back to the RV for a much needed shower.
Photo 1 looks south from the point. Photo 2 looks east. Photo 3 looks west. Photo 4 looks north. Photo 5 shows GPS indications from the spot (forgot to wipe off the sweat). The last file is a Garmin MapSource file with the GPS Track record of my visit. You will need to right click and save file and then open with MapSource to view.
Total round-trip distance from the main road out of Goffs was 14.8 miles and time was 2 hours, 13 minutes. We drove towards the next objective, 36n-115w.