(simultaneously attempted and failed by Susan Mitchell)
Once we realized that our first confluence attempt of Thanksgiving Day
1998 (32°N 108°W--good luck!) would have involved a ten-mile desert hike, we
continued on into Arizona, where one of us achieved the 32°N 110°W
confluence. Under the time constraints of a waiting turkey at our
grandmother's in Tucson, we ventured toward Dragoon (not to be confused with
Brigadoon). At the interstate exit for Dragoon-nothing but 'The Thing...What
Is It?', a tourist trap for the ages.
After some car navigation fun (read: arguments and circle-driving), we drove
out of "suburban" Dragoon and headed towards the hills. We had chosen
this confluence because it looked like a road ran right up to it and
stopped--a potentially easy visit. (News flash: Roads stop for a reason, in
this case, a mountain.) Spurring off attack by a determined mutated-
grasshopper-style insect, we climbed and climbed along a "gravel" road.
We stopped near the end of the road, surveyed the landscape and
hoped the confluence was within what had become the deep valley walls.
Susan made it about halfway up before the cacti, her stomach, general
holiday anxiety, the heat, sun, and altitude caused her to give up, all in
one unmentionable incident.
David had to go it alone. Huffing to the top of the ridge, he then descended
(partially) into the deeper adjacent valley (photo #4). Finally, in
exaltation, Dave reached the confluence (photo #2), soaked in
sweat, and realized that he was going to be one stinky Thanksgiving dinner
guest. Nonetheless, the view was beautiful (photo #1), shouts of
joy echoed off the valley walls, and there was a darn neat limestone breccia
exposed near the confluence (photo #3). Upon return to the
conflumobile an inventory of the damage included: scratched-up arms (photo #5),
bleeding legs, and a torn shirt. We were able to visit The Thing
made it to Gram's in time for Thanksgiving dinner.