the Degree Confluence Project

United States : Virginia

5.5 miles (8.9 km) S of Blackstone (Nottoway), Brunswick, VA, USA
Approx. altitude: 98 m (321 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap topo aerial ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 37°S 102°E

Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: GPS display at N37 W078 #3: Megan on the confluence, view to the east #4: Theron on the confluence, view to the south #5: Two nice hunters, along the dirt road just west of the confluence

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  37°N 78°W  

#1: View to the west, back across the gully we had to walk around

(visited by Theron Keller and Megan Elder)

23-Dec-2000 -- After discovering the project about two weeks ago, I talked my friend Megan into accompanying me to the two closest confluences to us in South Central Virginia. There were two successive, unreached confluences on the N37th parallel, 78 and 79 degrees West, so we thought we'd make a day out of it and try to get both. I found the web links to the topo and aerial views of the area to be very helpful in planning our attack.

We left the confluence of 37N 79W hungry, so stopped in Brookneal at a Subway for lunch. Street Atlas 7.0 routed us 78 miles, mostly along Route 40 back east to near 39N 78W, so we settled in for the hour and 20 minutes or so of fine South Central Virginia scenery, much of it decorated for Christmas.

As we headed out of Kenbridge towards Blackstone, I noticed that Street Atlas had routed us around to the east side of the small road that was nearest the confluence. A quick check with my Virginia Atlas and Gazetteer confirmed that we could also approach from the west directly. So we turned right onto Route 615, and made our way the last few miles to the point directly north of the confluence.

The topo map and aerial photo clearly show a dirt road which goes fairly close to the point, along with a huge clearing and house directly across the street from the entrance to this road. This area was different than the last, as there were dozens of bright yellow "No Trespassing" signs (photo #6) on trees and posts every few dozen yards along the main road. All this land, it seemed, was reserved for the Old Timer Hunt Club.

We decided that as long as we didn't see anyone watching us, that we'd go ahead and hit the dirt road. We'd be out of sight of the house and main road in just a few seconds anyway. So down the dirt road we went. As we made our way, heading for the place where the confluence was a straight 90 degrees to our left, we noticed ahead, right about where we needed to be, a small pickup truck! The dirt road at this point was just wide enough to pass, so I did, and then parked about 20 yards in front. It was a hunt. I walked back and a nice looking young man who appeared to be a Senior High School student came out. I'm sure he wondered what in the world I was doing there! So I asked if he was hunting.. he said yeah.. then I opted for the "scavenger hunt" analogy, and asked if he had heard of Lats and Longs... He had... So I asked if it would be ok if Megan and I hiked a couple hundred yards over in the woods to the east.

The rest of his hunting party (howling dogs included) were off to the west, so he said sure. Great! Permission!

So we grabbed the camera, and headed into the woods. No paths here. Soon we reached the crest of another small drop off. We estimated from the GPS that the confluence was about half way up the other side, so we walked a few yards around to the north, to avoid a deep gully, then came back south on the other side, and after circling around a holly tree a couple of times, zeroed it out (photo #2).

Then we recognized the small clearing at the top of the other side that is visible in the aerial photo of this confluence, so we felt much better that we were where we were supposed to be.

We hadn't grabbed the tripod, since we didn't want to give our hunter friend a chance to change his mind about us walking in the woods behind his hunt, so we don't have a group shot this time (photo #3 and 4).

On the way out, our hunter friend had been joined by a buddy (photo #5), so I asked them if I could take their picture, gave them a copy of John Kejr's "Letter to Landowners," with the web address of the project, and told them in a few days to check out their pictures on the internet! I'm not sure what they thought of the whole incident... and I probably don't want to know!

We packed up, and headed out. It was a great first day of confluence hunting! Two attempts, two successes!

 All pictures
#1: View to the west, back across the gully we had to walk around
#2: GPS display at N37 W078
#3: Megan on the confluence, view to the east
#4: Theron on the confluence, view to the south
#5: Two nice hunters, along the dirt road just west of the confluence
#6: The Old Timer Hunt Club says "go away"
ALL: All pictures on one page