14-Sep-2003 -- Checking the confluence point nearest Uppsala, where I live, I found that the area had been visited once before, but because of the terrain it had not yet seen a really close encounter. I decided to try to improve on that, and also obtain a summertime view.
In December 2000, the point had been approached from the north. Judging from my map, the area seemed to be about as accessible from the south, and with a little luck the point would also be found south of the wet area mentioned by the previous visitor.
I had been in the general area during a bicycle trip a week earlier, but due to lack of time I decided not to attempt a visit then.
The weather forecast for this Sunday looked promising, and I began the day by voting in the referendum on whether Sweden should adopt the euro for its national currency. Then I packed my bag, went by bus to the road crossing at Husby, about 2 km from the confluence point, and set off on foot.
The weather was excellent, just as the forecast had predicted; clear skies and a bit windy. After following the road across some farmland (photo #8), I came to the point along my planned route where I were to depart into the forest, and at first it indeed looked pretty dense. However, it quickly became easier to pass as I navigated my way towards the target.
My 1:50,000 scale map shows three grids: The national Swedish RT 90 grid, the international UTM grid, and a lat/long grid. However, the latter is not based on the WGS84 datum, but on the Bessel ellipsoid. For this reason, the 60°N 18°E mark on my map represents a point some 200 meters west of the WGS84 confluence point, and out of curiosity I had made it a waypoint on my route. I didn't find it very interesting, though. More recent editions of the Swedish topographical maps use a datum nearly identical to WGS84 for the lat/long grid, so we shouldn't have to worry about this discrepancy in the future.
Finally, I arrived at the target. The forest was far from as dense as I had feared, and GPS reception was good (photo #7); accuracy stayed mostly around 10 meters, and momentarily came down to 7 meters, according to the display. After walking around the area for a while, watching the zeros come and go, I noticed my eTrex developing some kind of affection for a particular spruce tree (photo #1), and I thought that was about as close as I could get.
After taking photos (using the Kodak High Definition disposable camera I had obtained for the event) and making notes I made a short detour north to see where the previous visitor had been. Sure enough, some 70 meters north of the confluence point I came to the clear-cut area mentioned, and the ground indeed appeared to have been covered in water at some earlier time. However, on this sunny day in September it was completely dry.
There were small paths and traces of vehicles passing the area, and I followed one path to the south to get back on the road I had arrived on (photo #9). Someone with more spare time than I had at the moment may want to record the paths and draw a map for the benefit of future confluence visitors, but after having spent three hours on foot that afternoon, I had a bus to catch (photo #10).
I arrived home in time that evening to watch the televised referendum count, which showed Sweden opting for retaining the crown as the national currency for the foreseeable future.
1-Oct-2003 -- Unfortunately, when my photos had been developed, they weren't as sharp as I had hoped them to be, and in particular my GPS photo with all the zeros was too blurred even to be considered for submission. I haven't done much photography in recent years, and I had apparently been a bit too optimistic about the performance of that disposable model. Fortunately I had taken another photo with the GPS in view that I could use, although a few meters off the actual confluence spot (photo #6).