20-Aug-2004 -- Getting to this confluence was definitely an adventure, and firstly I'd recommend anyone else venturing up here to try and follow the Keith Gawlik's (the first visitor) route to the point. I went a different way, which I thought might be shorter and easier but realistically, ended up being more difficult.
Leaving from Denver, I took I-70 into the mountains and up to US Highway 40, which I took north up the Berthoud Pass and down through Winter Park and Fraser. Looking at the map at home, I had decided to try and approach this from the east, instead of the west as Gawlik had done on his successful visit. A few miles after Fraser, I turned left onto Forest Road 55, which is actually County Road 55 according to the sign. I was concerned that the condition of this road wouldn't be good enough for my car, but suprisingly, it was in very good shape and any kind of car could be driven down it. The road stretched west across an open plain, and shortly after a yellow "Open Range" sign, I turned left as planned onto County Road 553. There are very few people living out here, but most of the ones that are have giant silver buses in their yards, for some reason. CR 553 dead ended into someone's property, so I turned back and went up a side road until I got to a gate with "No Trespassing" signs. At this point, I was 2.3 km from the confluence. I could see clear across the plain and knew that I could easily get to it from this spot. Down the side of a hill, I heard some noises, and looked down to see a small compound complete with dump truck and barrel fire. I decided to go down and ask his permission to cross the land, but as I went down the hill, a car sped up to the "No Tresspassing" gate.
As the man got out to open the gate, I asked him if this was his land. He said no, he was only leasing a house back there, and I asked if he thought anyone would have a problem with me crossing to go take some pictures.
"Do you know Eddy?" he asked, gesturing down the hill. "I wouldn't leave your car here. Follow me in. People around here are finicky about their land."
I followed him in, and he asked where I was from, and explained to me the best points to get pictures from. I thanked him, parked my car alongside the road, and 1.6 km from the spot, headed up a ridge in the direction of the confluence.
This ridge provided a great view as seen in the photos. It was also a real steep and hard climb. I looked down towards the confluence into the woods below and had about 1.2 km to go.
Getting to the bottom of the other side of the ridge, there was a small creek which I followed for a while and led me mostly towards the confluence. There are some trails and meadows back here, but most of it was very slow going, climbing over dead trees and sliding down muddy hills. I got a real good workout going up and down the steep hills. I had just moved from Florida, so topographic maps were still a mystery to me.
About an hour after leaving the car, I finally arrived at the confluence. The last 100 meters or so were right up the side of a hill. This area is probably one of the most beautiful confluences you will ever run across. Again, I would recommend anyone going to 40N 106W to follow the route laid out by the first visitor.