21-Nov-2015 -- As we were meeting for the first time in the Syracuse area, a confluence visit seemed like the perfect place to have a chat about graduate school and life. Plus, as I was wrapping up a week of presentations, workshops, and meetings at a series of universities in the region, including Temple University, Penn State, and Cornell, a confluence visit seemed like the perfect capstone. We drove east on I-690 out of Syracuse and then south on I-481 until we exited at Dewitt, New York, heading southeast on Highway 5 and then 92. At Highbridge Street, things were starting to look familiar to me from my last visit. We were soon heading southeast on Troop K Road and having a grand time. It would be a much different sort of trek this time, because the ground was completely covered in snow during the previous visit. Today was surprisingly mild for this time of year in upstate New York, over 50 degrees F, and fair skies.
We parked in the pull-off area southwest of the road, and were soon walking in what I thought was a trail heading northwest. It was difficult to determine this, however, due to the thick cover of leaves on the ground, up to a half meter thick in places, and so much so that I filmed a video walking through them. It was a bit challenging to zero out the GPS receiver, given the tree cover, despite the fact that the leaves were off the trees. We were first directed dozens of meters to the north of the suspected trail, only to be redirected back to the set of fallen trees near where I had found the confluence the last time. Even here, though, we did the confluence dance for at least 15 minutes before centered bliss was realized.
The confluence lies on ground sloping slightly uphill to the south. We saw a few birds but no animals. While we were recording our visit, a fairly large group of hikers came off the ridge to the south but paid no attention to us. I had a nice collection of New York confluences by now, around a half dozen, and this was the first point for Drake. He seemed to enjoy it, too! I had visited a remote point with Rachel in Idaho many years before. I had stood on 43 North numerous times in the past, from Idaho on the west, with Rachel, across the west and midwest to Massachusetts on the east. I had also stood on 76 West a few times here in New York, and south across a series of states including Pennsylvania and Maryland on to Virginia. This confluence is easy to reach but difficult to zero out the GPS receiver. Although not far from Syracuse, it has a decidedly rural feel to it, situated as it is in the forest.
Mission accomplished, I took these fine people out to breakfast and then we parted ways. It was indeed a great way to spend time together and explore a little part of the world.