26-Dec-2020 -- My confluence visit was a blast! In addition to visiting it successfully, I combined it with my usual winter Saturday group bicycle ride, called Peach Peloton. This was a unique Peach Peloton because it was mixed surface rather than just paved roads as usual. Because the route was mostly dirt/gravel, I knew I couldn’t keep up with the guys anyway. (It’s much harder to draft on dirt/gravel than pavement.) Also, the route went less than two miles from the confluence. Therefore, it was the perfect day to ride at my own pace and make a side trip to visit the confluence. The total Peach Peloton route was 73 miles, but I shortened my ride to 63 miles to give myself more time to find the confluence. It was cold (28 degrees F at the start, and the temperature never got higher than the 40s) but, fortunately, I was dressed well for the conditions.
The confluence is located on a wooded tract owned by a timber company. I read previous accounts of visits to this confluence and saw that it was accessible either from a church or from an old logging road. The logging road looked like it would get me closer to the spot, and so I opted for it. The church is located at the corner of Georgia Highway 83 and Renouf Road. Access to the logging road is easy to find, approximately 0.1 mile north-northwest of the church on Highway 83.
I rode from the highway onto a dirt access road leading to an area of clear-cut timber. A man called out to me. He was a hunter whose club leases the property. He was camping out in a small trailer. He said that no one was hunting that day (yea!) and was fine with me traversing the property to get to the confluence. Although he seemed a little bemused by my appearance, he sounded kind of interested in my adventure, too. I told him that I was looking for a particular latitude and longitude, kind of like geocaching or treasure hunting.
At first, I didn’t see the logging road, which has grown up and is more of a trail now. In fact, I didn’t find it until I was walking back from the confluence because a big pile of brush from the clear-cutting had blocked it from my initial view. So, I laid my bike down where I could find it again and set out on foot with the Google Earth app on my phone.
I walked across the clear-cut area, watching the lat/long on my phone and refreshing it periodically to get a current reading. There were a few briars, but they weren’t bad. Trekking was fairly easy even in my cycling clothes and shoes. Also, because it was winter, ticks weren’t an issue. The hunter had asked me to keep an eye out for deer, but all I saw was a rabbit.
I moved from the clear-cut area to woods that had not been timbered. I was very close on latitude, but I was having a hard time zeroing in on the longitude. Then I remembered that my phone also has a compass. I was a little too far north and a little too far west; therefore, I used my compass to walk southeast. I realized that my sense of north had been slightly off because the sun is so far south while we’re close to the winter solstice. The compass also gave me lat/long, which matched the lat/long on my Google Earth app, giving me more confidence in my location (or at least my phone’s GPS receiver).
As I got closer to the confluence, I saw a creek. I remembered previous confluence reports mentioning a creek. I climbed down an embankment to stand next to the creek and – woo hoo – all zeroes! (minutes and seconds)
After taking the required photos and spending a few minutes reveling in the beautiful day and successful visit, I headed back toward my bicycle. I ate the slices of Claxton fruitcake that I had brought as bike food. Walking as straight a line as I could reckon, I found the trail (logging road) that would have led me almost right to the confluence. I picked up my bike, said goodbye to the hunter, and pedaled away.