01-Jan-2005 -- Today's confluence hunt yielded a couple of "firsts" for me: the first time I visited two confluences in one day, and the first time I was able to get all zeroes on the GPS. After visiting 42N76W on December 21, I waited for a good day to visit one of the two confluences on the 43rd parallel that are closest to Oxford, New York, where I was visiting my mother for the holidays. But each successive day was either too cold, raining or snowing, or so overcast that the pictures might not have come out very well. Finally, on New Year's Eve the forecast for the next day was partly to mostly sunny and temperatures near 40. I wanted to visit one of the points but couldn't decide which one. Suddenly I thought, why not try to visit both of them?
The next morning was bright and sunny, and rather mild. There was no snow on the ground at all, which is quite unusual here at this time of year. It looked like a great day for confluence hunting. I had planned to go by myself, but my mother also wanted to go, so off we went, leaving Oxford at about 10:30. We decided to go to 43N75W first, then go west to 43N76W, and then return home, with each leg of the trip covering between 65 and 75 miles. As we drove northeast, clouds began to fill the sky, and soon it was overcast and colder with a few sprinkles...hardly the sunny day I was hoping for. At least it wasn't pouring.
The easiest way to approach the confluence is to take NY Route 28 to the town of Mohawk. Once in the village, turn east on Henry St., then bear right on Shoemaker Rd. After about 1/3 of a mile, there is a driveway on the right that's covered with shale for a short distance. We parked on the left side of the road in a conveniently located pulloff area. This point is about 270 meters from the confluence. The driveway splits into two farm roads, one heading to the right towards a house, the other going left into a lightly wooded area. We took the left fork, to avoid going too near the house, and the GPS indicated that the confluence was in that direction anyway. The road was a half-frozen mixture of grass, mud and ice, and it's probably a muddy mess in the spring. Soon the road swung to the left, away from the direction of the confluence, so we hiked through the trees up a very muddy, slippery hill and into a large meadow with tall grasses. From here, finding the confluence was easy, since it's right in the middle of the field. With no tree cover, I was able to get all zeroes on the GPS for the first time ever. After taking the rest of the pictures, we headed back to the car, this time following the farm road all the way (hiking up that muddy hill had been unnecessary).
We then continued our journey onward to 43N76W.