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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Iowa

1.0 miles (1.6 km) NNE of Alton, Sioux, IA, USA
Approx. altitude: 398 m (1305 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreeMap topo aerial ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 43°S 84°E

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Quality: good

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

#2: Looking North from 43N 96W #3: Looking East from 43N 96W #4: Looking South from 43N 96W #5: Looking West from 43N 96W #6: Ten zeroes in the alfalfa #7: Ground Cover in Northwest Iowa #8: Location. Location. Location. #9: A Semi-Retired Confluence Hunter Realizing He Needs A Winning Lottery Ticket

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  43°N 96°W (visit #3)  

#1: A confluence in the Prairie's Edge Development

(visited by Woody Harrell)

05-Aug-2021 -- After spending much of the day playing leapfrog with hordes of motorcycles heading to the annual Sturgis Rally (as we drove up the Missouri Valley from Kansas City on Interstate 29), we bid the bikers adieu at Sioux City and turned northeast on US-75/IA 60 towards Hawkeye Point, at 1,670’ the Highest Elevation in Iowa. This provided us the perfect opportunity along the way for a ten-year update on the most northwestern confluence point in the “Land of the Rolling Prairie.”

For the site’s initial dcp visit just after the Turn of the Century (circa August 2000), Craig and Cheryl Davidson’s brief 14-word narrative described “an empty field” near Alton (population 1,216). Eleven years later, Ross Finlayson reported a new paved cul-de-sac (bordered by still vacant lots) had just missed burying the point under concrete. Now another decade later, what would we discover at 43,-96?

Turning onto Andrew’s Court off of Kennedy Avenue, we find houses on five of the eight platted lots. However, Lot #8 (1.03 acres), which encompasses the point, remains undeveloped, with a sign proclaiming (what an opportunity!) the land is for sale! This summer’s ground cover is a healthy crop of knee-high alfalfa. The small subdivision on this hot, sunny weekday afternoon is quiet. Air quality is poor, thanks to smoke drifting down from fires in Canada, and the resulting haze keeps our photos from being picture-perfect. Other than that, what a lovely home site!

As I hurriedly reach for my checkbook so I can realize my life-long dream of owning my very own Degree Confluence Point, my wife accesses the realtors’ website. Alas, she discovers while Lots 5 – 7 are listed at $20 to $28k, the asking price for Lot #8 is $44,000! For those of you who have wondered about the value of having a confluence point on your property, here is dramatic proof: it’s close to doubled! Dejectedly, I put my checkbook away and search for the nearest place to buy a lottery ticket, realizing I’m still only six numbers away from achieving my dream…

We could have easily lingered longer, but after taking our photos, we are back in the car. We are still 65 kilometers and 111 meters elevation away from our visit to Iowa’s highest point…


 All pictures
#1: A confluence in the Prairie's Edge Development
#2: Looking North from 43N 96W
#3: Looking East from 43N 96W
#4: Looking South from 43N 96W
#5: Looking West from 43N 96W
#6: Ten zeroes in the alfalfa
#7: Ground Cover in Northwest Iowa
#8: Location. Location. Location.
#9: A Semi-Retired Confluence Hunter Realizing He Needs A Winning Lottery Ticket
ALL: All pictures on one page