10-May-2001 -- Despite its proximity to the stunning Ruby Mountains, this confluence is located amid a set of nondescript hills making up the southern end of the Independence Range (the northern end of which is much more interesting). The town of Elko is about 20 miles to the southeast, and Swales Peak is about 5 miles to the southwest.
I had hoped to drive up Suzie Creek Road to Blue Basin Creek, and then continue to within a half-mile of the confluence. Alas, the road was washed out where it crosses Swales Creek, and I had to hike in from further away. It might have been possible to get to Blue Basin Creek by approaching from Highway 225 at Dinner Station. Regardless, the roads in this area are in very poor condition and should not be driven unless bone dry.
I managed to drive to a point about 2.2 miles south-southeast of the confluence (40°58.34'N 115°58.98'W). By hiking northwest one mile over a low ridge, I was able to see an anonymous drainage, shown in photo #3, that would take me to the site. It entered the hills going west, then turned north, and finally turned back west again. Hiking north from this point up a side drainage lead me directly to the confluence, which is located near a saddle between this drainage and another leading northeast into Blue Basin Creek.
There is a fence line running through this saddle, and I thought it may have been placed on the 41st parallel. However, I could not get my GPS receiver to zero out there. I found the confluence to be about 150 feet north of this fence, and about 100 feet northeast from the flat part of the saddle. There wasn't much (except cowpies) in the area to mark the site - I used my red bandana to mark it for the photographs, and eventually found three small rocks to make a pitiful cairn.
Photograph #1 is taken from the confluence (marked with my bandana), and looks northeast down the drainage leading to Blue Basin Creek. The Adobe Range can be seen in the distance. In photograph #2 I have turned around, now looking southwest towards Swales Peak. The nearby fenceline can be seen running through the saddle. By walking up to the saddle, I could get a better view (photograph #4) of Swales Peak and the drainage I had hiked up.