15-Apr-2003 -- Confluence Visit
We have vacationed in Cabo every few years since 1995. I looked at the confluence home page and found that there was an unvisited confluence that appears on the map to be just a few millimeters outside Cabo San Lucas (on the map anyway). We decided to try and visit it our first day of vacation, having completed a 10 day backpacking trip at the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in Cimarron NM during the summer of 2002, where we carried 50 lb backpacks 100 km, 25km on the final day. It seemed like it would be a picnic compared to Philmont.
We began our day at 9:30am and drove west on Highway 1 toward Cabo San Lucas. We drove north out of town, checking our GPS. We stopped at a few dirt roads, a cement plan, a utility company, and a private drive that we thought might allow us to walk through the thick prickly bushes that dominated the terrain and that we thought may lead to the confluence. We started to drive up a road, but a very large cement truck came toward us and we decided not to try and drive in on a one lane road if there were Mexican Cement trucks coming the other way.
Most of the roads we wanted were gated but we found one and began walking. After a few minutes we decided the road was not going where we expected it to. We walked back to the car and continued down the road.
We found a very wide river bed with a small stream running down the middle. At 10:10 am we drove down in the river bed and parked and then began walking from there. At that point the confluence was 10 km away. We walked up this river bed and crossed three barbed wire fences and in some places we climbed up rock cliffs and some parts were wide open deserts. The stream headed in a straight line to the confluence up until 2 km away.
At that point, the river bed headed in a different direction than the confluence, which appeared to be near a large hill that was at least a 1000 M up in the air from where we were standing. We began bush-whacking through terrible cactus and other thorny bushes, ducking down to the ground where the clearance was sometimes less than 1 M from the ground.
After a half hour of bushwacking through thick thorny bushes and up the fairly steep hill, I said “Do you hear that?” Less than 5 M in front of us and above us a pickup truck drove past on a road. Worried that we were trespassing on private property, we hid in the bushes. We crossed the road and we were about .5 km from the confluence point, which was around on the side of the hill (see photo).
We arrived at the confluence at 1:10 pm, about 10 minutes later. We had two GPS units and placed them on the ground. The confluence seemed to jump around in a 5 M area. It took about 15 minutes for us to locate a point where both of them indicated the point at 0 Min and 0 Sec for both latitude and longitude.
We took all of our pictures and left the confluence around 1:30 pm. We hiked back, the first 1/2 km back through the cactus and thorn bushes, then down the road which led to a point 100 meters from where we had left the riverbed and started our bushwacking adventure. After that it was cake, it was all downhill following the stream and we arrived back at our car at 3:30 pm. We returned to our hotel and arrived around 4 pm.
We never did locate the road that the previous visitor (who was unsuccessful) said that he found which took him to within 2 km. We decided we would return someday, but only if we could get permission from the cement plant to drive to within 400 M of the point.
Distance from Car to Confluence: 10 km
Elevation at Car: 320 ft
Elevation at Confluence: 1250 ft
Total Elevation Increase: 930 ft
Trip Time to Confluence: 3 hrs
Trip Time from Confluence: 2 hrs
Time Spent at Confluence: 20 min
Nearest Road to Confluence: 500 meters
Ages: Andrew 16 years
Rick 48 years
Weather: Clear 72 F
Stream had running water 50% of the time