the Degree Confluence Project

United States : California

10.9 miles (17.5 km) SSW of Reederville (NV), Lassen, CA, USA
Approx. altitude: 1552 m (5091 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreeMap topo aerial ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 41°S 60°E

Quality: good

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

#2: Duck Lake Loop turnout #3: Express Canyon #4: West from the confluence; Renee #5: East from the confluence; Keith and Kathleen #6: Etrex

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  41°N 120°W (visit #1)  

#1: Looking north to the Coppersmith Hills

(visited by Kathleen Bradley, Keith Bradley and Renee Bulow)

04-Mar-2001 -- Northeast California doesn't end at the Sierra Nevada. This part is Great Basin: narrow mountain ranges, alkali flats between, lots of sagebrush, and here and there a river that never makes it to the ocean.

To get to 41N 120W we drove south from Cedarville, passed Middle Alkali Lake, got off at Duck Lake Loop (a dirt road circling a lake-shaped and presumably relatively moist expanse of grass), went over the south end of the Coppersmith Hills and left our car at 120W, just west of the Nevada state line.

The walk south was easy for a bit, with nothing in the way except sagebrush, until we reached what the topo map called Express Canyon. It's an endearing name for what we would otherwise have referred to as Really Big Steep Muddy Gully. Eventually we found a way down into RBSMG, and after a while we also found a way up the other side. The little creek at the bottom of the 30-foot canyon was flowing east. It probably sinks into the ground at Duck Lake.

Then sagebrush and more easy walking, and an immense black bird with a white head flapped up out of the brush. After hearing the description, Kathleen's father (Hank Hansen) said it was a bald eagle. He has 624 species on his life list, so we trust him. So hey, bald eagle!

Oh yeah, there was also lots of mud. The desert is dry and fine-powder-dusty most of the time, but after some rain all the fine dry dust turns into slippery mud. So, mud mud mud and then we were at the confluence.

The exact point (within 6 metres, said Etrex) is down in a still-icy creek bed with a steep hill on the side. All the juniper trees that live there enjoying the water made it hard to take a picture that looked characteristic of the area. Picture 1 is much more like what we saw everywhere except in the creek bed, and it was taken (just barely) within 100 meters of true 41N 120W. It's a long stretch of sagebrush, and to the north, the Coppersmith Hills.

 All pictures
#1: Looking north to the Coppersmith Hills
#2: Duck Lake Loop turnout
#3: Express Canyon
#4: West from the confluence; Renee
#5: East from the confluence; Keith and Kathleen
#6: Etrex
ALL: All pictures on one page