15-May-1999 -- For the complete story of Wagner's second confluence, see
http://www.cardhouse.com/g/conflu/35n111w/index.html. Excerpts are quoted below for the record.
After a failed attempt at another confluence (near Payson) earlier in the day, there was
just enough time to high-tail it to a confluence near Meteor Crater.
We drove a little past the crater. On both sides were official NO TRESPASSING
signs. Guess the feds don't want people sneaking into "their" crater. Given that we
were going to have to traipse across a few miles of posted badlands to reach the
confluence, it seemed like a good idea to find a place to park where the warning signs
weren't visible. Having done that, we began the trek. I just hoped the lip of the crater
would still be visible from the confluence.
After a couple of miles, I stumbled upon a marker
along the 35th parallel (photo #4). It was left in 1917 by the Continental Land Survey
team. We were still a ways from 111 degress longitude, so I don't know what they
were measuring. Anyhow, we didn't mess with it. Not that we were inclined to
mess with it, but there was a $250 fine for doing it in 1917 & with the current
draconian federal laws, who knows how much they'd ream you for today?
We were burning daylight and it
was still quite a ways to the confluence. We also had to think about getting back --
which we didn't want to do in the dark.
Finally, the confluence. Turns out it does have a view of the Meteor Crater (photo#1).
Off to the northwest was an antelope watching us. Antelope are more curious
than they should be. That 52 mph wind was blowing directly from us to him. He
left, but came back a few minutes later with a pal. They both stood watching
for a few minutes, but bolted when I took off my hat. I
took this photo of the two of them (photo #2), which sealed mydecision to buy a camera
with a zoom lens.
I took this shot of the sun setting (photo #3), as a gift to whoever found our bodies. If I am
not a Godfrey Daniels impersonator, that must mean we made it back to the
Meteor Crater was closed. "Sorry folks, we have to close the crater at night -- er,
so it doesn't catch a chill." Chill is right, Nat'l Parks Service idiots!