12-May-2020 -- With the coronavirus quarantine restrictions lifting in Colorado and Kansas, I drove the six hours from Fort Collins, CO to Hays, KS to visit my friend James and his wife Tia for a few days. On the morning after I arrived, while Tia studied for a graduate final at Fort Hays State University, James and I loaded into his Subaru and made the 40 minute trek northeast along mostly dirt roads to visit this confluence. On the way we passed the surprisingly large Catholic church in tiny Catherine, KS and the ruins of the Catholic church in the ghost town of Emmeram, KS (see picture), built by Bavarian settlers in the early 1900s.
We parked the car on the west side of Gorham-Fairport Road almost precisely northwest of the confluence and walked the quarter mile to the site with no problem, ducking under a single unmarked barbed wire fence. This particular plot of land appears to have been fallow for several years, although with plenty of somewhat fresh cowpies. It was the first visit to this confluence in nearly 13 years, and was also James's first confluence. After zeroing out and taking pictures we checked out the breaks of the creek to the southeast which drains into the Saline River nearby. We saw many interesting rocks, including pristine layers of crumbly shale and even a pallet of fencepost limestone, mined by the settlers of northwest Kansas and used in lieu of wooden fenceposts (very few trees) to erect barbed wire fences. Many ranchers and farmers still use these pillars because they are so abundant at the borders of their ancestral properties.
The weather was overcast, breezy, and 45°F - unseasonably cool for this time of year. We were away from the car for 20 minutes.