28-Feb-2023 -- As we were traveling from the University of Mississippi to Mississippi State University, and as the focus of these visits and the Degree Confluence Project were all focused on space and place, and geotechnologies, and as the 2nd shortest route between the two universities was south on State Highway 15, which is very close to the confluence, we decided to attempt this confluence point.
It was the last evening of February. Could we make it before sundown? After our last teaching appointment at the University of Mississippi in late afternoon, we traveled southeast along US 278, took a shortcut through Pontotoc, and an hour later were traveling southward along State Highway 15. I thought we were in luck: The sun was just setting and we had some twilight on our side, enough to visit this confluence point. From the satellite image, it looked like we could drive west, then southeast, and stop at one of the large pig houses and at the very edge of the wetland and just about stand within 100 meters northwest of the point, possibly without getting our feet wet. I knew this would be on private land but I was hoping some landowners and workers would be around that we could chat with and get permission to stop there. Plus I was hoping to get Mark excited about the confluence project as he too is a geographer.
However, it was not meant to be: Just after we turned west on the gravel road named Swine Drive (its name on Google Maps but not on the road itself), we saw on the south side of the road a very large sign. This No Trespassing sign is the type that makes a person take notice right away, warning that permission must be sought to drive down this road, with prosecution for those who ignored the sign. We definitely took notice and stopped right there. We took photographs and I realized this must be the main reason this point has not been visited in over a decade.
It was a pleasant evening in late winter, with the temperature about 63 degrees F with a lovely sunset forming. The landscape is rolling here and moderately populated for a rural area. I had not been close to a confluence point in Mississippi in quite a few years. I do have several in the state already, but not this one, so this was a bit disappointing. But, it had been a great day: We had met some wonderful faculty, deans, and students at the University of Mississippi, and the GIS planner for the city of Oxford, and others, and we felt we made a positive impact on their lives, so we could not complain. Perhaps I could seek permission and be able to visit this point someday when I was back in the area.
Once we took a few photos, we continued on our way to Mississippi State University. On that campus on the following day we had a series of successful and fruitful meetings with faculty, researchers, and facility managers. Get out there and explore!