03-Jun-2018 -- As I had just arrived in Illinois and would be here and in Kentucky for a week of promoting geospatial technology, and as the confluence project is all about and would not be possible without geospatial technology, and as this point was "more or less" on the way from Chicago to Louisville, which was my first destination, I felt it my solemn and honored duty to make an attempt. And so, after leaving my dear friends after our visit to 42 North 88 West outside of Chicago, I drove on I-294 and south on I-55 to a region south of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Then, the trip became more interesting as I was now on state and county roads. I wound gradually south, through Charleston and Greenup, and a bit east, passing on Highway 133 what must be one of the few drive-in theatres in rural areas or anywhere for that matter, before turning south on North 2000th Street (I love rural road names).
On this gravel road, I drove to the intersection of E 1050th Ave and parked. I always like a bit of a hike if possible to these points, and the sun was at a wonderful low angle, lighting up the landscape with a golden glow. I walked south and then, with only a leap-able ditch and no fences, and no newly planted seeds, walked into the field to the east. I bore to the southeast along a shallow drainage so as not to damage any hidden seedlings that may have been there. In about 8 minutes after leaving the roadway, I achieved confluence centered bliss. The temperature was a mild 82 F (28 C) under clear skies and a moderate wind. It was early June and the twilight would be long; 2 1/2 weeks before the summer solstice. This point lies at the south end of the glaciated flat part of Illinois; just south of here, the land gradually gives way to the karst hills. It was easy to reach, as my colleague Ross said in his visit here earlier this year, and amazing how it has now only been visited 3 times total.
I had stood on 39 North many times in the past, indeed, it was a line of latitude I had stood on more than any other, from the foggy mountaintops of California on the west, through buttes, mesas, mountains, and plains of Utah, Colorado, Kansas, through this area of Illinois, and on and on through Indiana, Ohio, and to a field in Maryland. I had also stood on 88 West several times, from the woods of Michigan on the north to the grounds of a power plant in Alabama on the south. Due to my appointment at a college in Kentucky at the end of the day, I only stayed on site about 15 minutes. I left the site the way I had come in, and the round trip time came to 45 minutes. It was a great day because I also had visited 42 North 88 West in Chicago that very afternoon. I now have a very nice collection of confluence points all over Illinois; I have visited more than half of all of the state's points over the past 15 years.
I had a long way to travel before my final destination, but not without one more stop, in the wonderfully named town of Oblong, Illinois, just about 8 minutes east of the confluence. I then drove south and east to Vincennes, Indiana, south to I-64, and east to Louisville, arriving just after 11pm local time. The next few days were spent with some wonderful community college instructors and others using Geographic Information Systems in their curriculum, and this confluence visit was an excellent way to begin this week of geospatial discussions. Get out there and explore the world!