the Degree Confluence Project

Mexico : Sonora

2.4 km (1.5 miles) SW of Caborqueñas, Sonora, Mexico
Approx. altitude: 559 m (1833 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreeMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 31°S 68°E

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Quality: good

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  31°N 112°W (visit #1) (incomplete) 


(visited by Michael Slezak)

30-Jun-2003 -- I visited this site 2days after visiting the point just east (31N 111W). The landscape here was very different. It is almost all flat- seemingly forever. Much of it is farmland (though the majority was unplanted-brown) which has apparently been claimed from the desert thanks to large pipes which can be seen dumping tons of irrigation water into distribution tanks / canals.

From the town of Looking for a road to get me off the main highway into the confluence area, I had to ask a lot of people for directions. I actually enjoyed interacting with the locals especially since most of my time was spent alone in sparsly populated to desolate areas. Some local police were finally kind enough to lead me to the road and get me going in the right direction.

Getting closer the roads turned into a complete rat maze of straight roads surrounding huge farm-type parcels and srubby desert. But many of the roads were dead ends. I struggled endlessly well into the night going in circles and ending up at frustrating dead ends, but little by little making progress through the rat maze to the confluence. The only good map I had of the local area was a Mexican Topo but all the roads had changed and it was totally flat so the map wasn’t too useful. So to navigate I was relying on GPS only.

I finally gave up and made camp a mile or two (3km) from the confluence point figuring I was within hiking distance. But it was mid-summer in the Sonoran Desert, what if I ran into obstacles and out of water?

Began hiking early the next morning. Navigating to this point would be almost impossible without a GPS because the area is so flat. It is in cattle country with various tall bushes and occational cactus, the ground being mostly sand and dirt. There are barb wire fences and dirt roads here and there also. Theoretically, you could drive to this confluence but you might get lost forever (or at least till you run out of gas and water) in the rat maze.

Success! Got to point, did confluence dance, took pictures etc.

Hiking back I ran into local cowboy Francisco Fracamonte at his ranch outpost (shack, water, corral). He had a huge pool-like tank of water fed by a huge hose which I used to completely soak myself to cool off. The area is so hot, dry and dusty that it makes you appreciate the precious nature of water.

Back at the Jeep, I rested a while before packing up to hit the road. On the way out it was more major frustration of dead-ends, driving in circles (more correctly, polygons) until I finally found a paved road leading to a civilized highway. That same evening I visited 31N 113W for my 4th successful confluence of this trip.

I had never been to Sonora, Mexico before this trip. But I realized that confluence hunting was a fantastic way to visit and taste the true flavor of what a place is really like. It gets you way off the beaten path to see the real landscape and the real people, how they live and work. And that is the essence of the confluence project—a random sampling of the eart h

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