25-Sep-2004 -- A spectacular desert sunrise!
Our arrival at 39n-117w was in the middle of the night. We had turned off NV-376 onto Toquima Road at N38 53.586 W117 11.632 and proceeded northeast along a very good dirt road. We parked just off the road and within 60 meters from the confluence and would rest until sunrise.
The moving map features of National Geographic TOPO! Nevada running on a Panasonic Toughbook connected to my GPS made navigation along the correct roads (especially in the dark) quite effortless and would prove invaluable throughout the rest of the trip.
Just before sunrise, we walked a short ways through the desert, did the confluence dance and set up for our pictures. We tried but were unable to locate the white marker flag described in Jack Frickey’s visit almost three years earlier.
Picture #1 shows the general confluence area. Picture #2 is a panoramic look west across the Big Smoky Valley towards the Toiyabe Range. The sunrise was nothing less than spectacular and it was also quite impressive to watch the terminator race towards us. Picture #3 looks back east towards the Toquima Range. Picture #4 looks south. A light dusting of snow is visible on the north side of the mountains. Picture #5 shows our GPS receivers in close agreement at the confluence. Picture #6 captures the apparent local sunrise.
Time to continue the adventure trek. We continued northwest along the Northumberland and Lower Mine roads rejoining NV-376 at N39 07.496 W117 06.185 We averaged about 40mph along the way over very good dirt roads.
It was just past sunrise and we had already visited two confluences. We still didn’t know that in less than 12 hours, we would have a total of 6 successful confluence visits!
Onward to 40°N 116°W!