07-Dec-2001 -- I stumbled across this program while searching for the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of my home on the internet. This was of interest to me because on NASA's website there is a page where you enter in data to track earth orbiting satellites to view as they pass over. The more accurate the data you enter the more accurate the time in which viewing is possible. After browsing The Degree Confluence Project website and my home state of Louisiana, I realized that out of 13 confluences only 1 had not been visited. This one remaining point was not far from my home. I told some co-workers about the program and showed them the website, we all found it very interesting. Mike commented that he had a GPS but had not used it very much. We are shift workers, and the next night he brought the GPS out and we got familiar with it. We all agreed that this would be interesting to attempt and decided we would try.
A few days later Mike loaned me the GPS and I had an opportunity to drive to the area to see what we would be facing. I determined the confluence would be either on a 2000 acre private rice & cattle farm or on land owned by a large land & oil company. I contacted the owner of the farm, explained the project and got permission to go onto the property. A few days later while back to work, we decided Friday 12-7-2001 we would meet for breakfast and go for it. We all loaded up in Don's 4-runner and being that we were relatively inexperienced with a GPS, we were impressed at how accurately our ground speed on the GPS compared with the speedometer.
Once at the farm we made our way across an overgrown field by driving down some levees. The GPS was counting down nicely, we got to W93 00.000 and were probably within 1/2 mile of N30 when we were limited in our trek by a large canal. We realized the confluence was going to be on the land & oil company property. We back tracked around to a private road which entered the land & oil company property. Signs prohibiting entrance were posted, so we got on the cell phone and were granted permission to do our thing. The key word to this confluence is CANALS. We started our walk 2 more times before being stopped by a canal. Finally we drove to a pump which pumped water from one canal into another and had access to a very long levee running North. Our target longitude was only about 80 yards East and our latitude would surely be within the length of this long levee. We walked North about 1/4 mile when the GPS showed N30 00.000. We then had to walk off the levee to the East about 80 yards into the marsh, made a couple of small circles and got all zeros. The water was about 1 foot deep and covered with marsh grass. We set a couple of marking flags on the spot, set up a tripod & camera and took our pictures. I brought a backup camera and took pictures with both cameras. It's a good thing I did, the primary camera a Nikon 35mm SLR had no film (I won't even try to explain). The backup worked but does not take as good of pictures and I was not as particular with the shots. It was an unseasonably warm day for December even in Southwest Louisiana which is why 5 or 6 snakes had laid claim to the levee.
This area is largely rice, cattle, oil, natural gas, sugar cane, crawfish (yea we eat'm), fishing, and duck & goose hunting. It is about 20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. The actual confluence was about 12.9 miles from my home. Directions: South on LA Hwy 27 past Holmwood, East on Lionel Derouen Rd., South on Fruge Rd. to Hwy 384, East onto private rd., then follow the GPS. We felt privileged to be the first to visit the last remaining unvisited confluence in Louisiana. It was a good outting, thanks for the project. It's a neat idea.