14-Nov-2004 -- As my brother (Tom McDonald) is an avid confluence finder, and has been pestering me to get involved, I took the opportunity to travel to one near our parents home. As both of our parents are outdoor people, and interested in the GPS technology, we wanted to do this as a family activity. We had a choice - 45N 123W which is on a freeway on-ramp, or 45N 124W which is on the way to the coast near Lincoln City, Oregon, USA. We chose the latter of the two.
I printed off the maps and information from this web site, checked the GPS, found my compass, and got everthing ready to go in the morning. We were not sure if we could get very close as it appeared that the Confluence was within an active housing development, and may have had additional houses constructed since the last visit.
It was a very foggy morning, and my Father was feeling ill and was unable to go. Mom and I headed for the coast, about 35 miles away. Finding the site was no problem, and we drove the car to within 150 feet. The confluence was clearly inside the fenced rear yard of a nice house, and we were not willing to deal with that. The adjoining vacant lot to the east had an excavator sitting on it with a partially dug basement.
We decided to walk the short distance to the fence line, and take some pictures and be gone. It is fairly common practice in this part of the US for local residents to "inspect" housing under construction, and generally no issues arise if the equipment and stakes are not molested.
As we were waiting for the GPS to stabilize, the excavation contractor came by to ask what we were doing. He was not overly impressed with us being there, but after discussing the project, and providing him a copy of the "introduction letter", he calmed down. His real concern was that he was surprised by people around his job site taking pictures, which often leads to "no good" around a construction project.
I won't say we made a convert, but he did say to go ahead and take the rest of the pictures. I think having my Mom with me helped quite a bit also.
A result of this is that the picture of the GPS is a bit blurry, but we were within 50 feet, and combined with the GPS position error, made us within 20m of the confluence. I would say that this is as close as one will be able to get now, and in the future it is likely that even visible access to the confluence will not be possible unless you know or contact someone in one of the adjoining houses.
As we travelled on down the coast, the fog lifted, the sun came out, and it ended up as a glorious day for travelling. The tide was high, and the large waves made great splashes and dramatic explosions against the rugged coast line. We went as far south as Newport, and then inland to return to the house. All-in-All - a very good day.
As this was my/our first confluence, I was happy to contribute, but wish it had been a little less complicated.