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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Texas

4.5 miles (7.2 km) SSE of Escobas, Zapata, TX, USA
Approx. altitude: 138 m (452 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 27°S 81°E

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

#2: Gate to Devon Oil Lease #3: Jeff at the confluence #4: GPS at the confluence #5: Anne at the confluence #6: Border Patrol check point where we got searched

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  27°N 99°W  

#1: Panorama from the confluence (west didn't come out)

(visited by Anne Sipes and Jeff Hupp)

11-Mar-2001 -- On Feb 11th we had headed for south Texas with maps and directions to two confluence sites. One of them was 27N 99W. We tried for the other one first. It was posted no trespassing. We headed for 27N 99W.

There were several roads in the area. They were all fenced and the gates were locked. There was one unmarked road that we could get in. It was fenced. The gate was open and there weren't any no trespassing signs. There was an older guy in a trailer watching the property. I don't think he understood what we wanted. He did decide we were harmless and let us go on in.

I had noticed we had gotten below a quarter of a tank of gas a ways back on Highway 16. I wasn't terribly worried about it. We were in the Saturn and I get really good gas mileage. I also have a reserve that is suppose to get me another 30 miles after the gas light comes on. It really didn't seem like it should be a problem. The real problem was, it was getting late and we hadn't gotten a confluence yet. I navigated the dirt roads as far as I could. We did find a locked gate before we got very close to the confluence. The gas light came on too.

We stopped 3.8 miles from the confluence and set out across an overgrown pasture on foot. It was too close to dark. We weren't going to make it to any confluence sites that day. We agreed that we would be able to get this one another time and got back to the car. On our way out we let the guy watching the property know that we would be back. It was dark within minutes of getting on the road.

The road signs told us it was 26 miles to Freer. I did the math and decided that we would run out of gas about a mile out of town. We knew there was a Border Patrol check point between us and town. We thought that it was possible they might be able to help us. Somewhere in all this I noticed that we were in Hogg County. I think that's where the Texas Chainsaw Massacre occurred. I told Jeff that if we ran out of gas and were assaulted by psycho killers with chain saws I would not scream helplessly before I died. He agreed that screaming helplessly was not in my nature. Somehow all of that was not very reassuring.

We made it to the Border Patrol check point. They were friendly and didn't mind telling us where the next gas station would be. They said about five minutes. I thought no way. We drove anyway.

Making it to a gas station was our second greatest success that day. The greatest success was we had fun.

Sunday, March 11th, was a rainy day in Houston, Texas. Jeff had checked the weather sites and found that it would be a much nicer day in south Texas. We decided it was a good day for a confluence hunt.

This time we took the truck. Jeff had gone out on map blast and acquired the lat. and long. of the intersection of Doris Gray Road and Highway 16. He wanted to be sure we had found the right road. That worked out great. It was the same road that we had found earlier. This time we were sure of it. The older guy and his trailer were gone. The gate was unlocked and there still weren't any no trespassing signs.

Jeff thought we might be able to get much closer to the confluence. He was right. He drove us to within .83 miles of the confluence. The weather watchers were right too. It was a gorgeous day in south Texas. Jeff took the GPS and walked right up to the spot. He said .03, .02, .01, ummm, Anne, bring the camera. I was trying to get a picture of Jeff finding the confluence. He was too quick. I got a picture of Jeff at the confluence instead. He let me hold the GPS for the picture of the zeros and got pictures of the area. It looked pretty much the same in all directions and the same seemed to stretch out forever. We rested for a bit and enjoyed just being there.

(Jeff jumps in here with a bit of the technical details.) The best approach to this confluence is via the Devon Energy oil exploitation lease who's access road intersects Texas HW 16 at 27' 2.965" North X 99' 2.482" West. {Picture 2} The gate is latched but unlocked, several gates that lead to oil tanks on the site are locked but you don't need to go there. The closest point accessible by non 4-wheel drive is 0.83 miles from the confluence at 27' 0.727' North X 99' 0.056' West, but aggressive use of a 4 wheeler could get you closer on the service road for the electrical right of way that runs about .4 miles north of the confluence point {just visible in the panorama}. The area is broken ground with scrub grass, attempting this point is contraindicated in hunting season as there are many hunting blinds in evidence on the approach. Bring heavy shoes and a willingness to hike a bit, the trip from the .83 mile point takes about 40 minutes and there are several opportunities to break your ankle along the way.

On the way out we had to go through the same Border Patrol check point that we had gone through before. They asked us where we had been and we told them the truth. We said we had been taking pictures of a confluence to post on the internet. They were friendly enough and asked what a confluence was. We explained. They suggested that we pull over. We knew they thought we were strange. We grinned at each other. I started laughing. The officer decided that Jeff needed to get me out of the truck. It was really very amusing. He asked Jeff if we had been smoking a little marijuana. Jeff said no. We smoke cigarettes.

They had us stand away from the truck and started going through the truck. He wanted to know if Jeff's laptop case was the camera. Jeff said no it's a laptop computer and offered to show it to him. The officer didn't want to see the computer. He did want to see the camera. Jeff got the camera from between the front seats for him. The officer was having a little problem with us. We were obviously amused and our story, while it didn't make sense to him, did seem to keep checking out. He decided to bring out the drug dog. I thought that was a real good idea. The dog found the truck very boring. The officer very patiently directed the dog to sniff every nook and cranny of the truck. The dog would obediently sniff and express his disinterest for the officer. It was quite a show. The second officer asked us if we had gotten any good pictures and asked for the name of the website. Jeff gave him the url. Maybe he'll read this some day. If he does I hope he knows the inconvenience was minimal compared to the entertainment value.

It was a good day and the dog was friendly.

Anne and Jeff


 All pictures
#1: Panorama from the confluence (west didn't come out)
#2: Gate to Devon Oil Lease
#3: Jeff at the confluence
#4: GPS at the confluence
#5: Anne at the confluence
#6: Border Patrol check point where we got searched
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)