17-Mar-2004 -- Tacos, Tires and GPS by Adam Lebrecht
It was the morning of March 17, 2004. I awoke with a plan. A plan to explore 2 latitude/longitude confluence sites with a friend, Aaron Stichter. The first confluence site had been found before. It is close to the road and for the most part, easy to find. The other site, well… adventurous would be a better word to describe it.
A confluence is defined as a flowing together; a meeting place (often of rivers).
In our case a degree confluence is the exact spot where an integer degree of latitude and an integer degree of longitude meet, such as 43°00'00"N 72°00'00"W.
So, at 6:30 in the AM, Aaron shows up and I see the “improvements” he had made to his trusty Nissan Pickup. To better “fit in” in Mexico, he decided to attempt to bondo the dented rear fender, apply a bug guard to the hood and a Mexican flag sticker to the rear window. With these improvements a full tank of unleaded and mind numbing beat of Peter Frampton’s “(do you) feel like I do” coming from the speakers, we were off.
The first stop was the confluence of 32 Degrees North x 111 degrees west. We proceeded from Phoenix east on I-10 to I-19 south and finally to Pima Mine Road. After traveling ¼ mile on Pima Mine Road, our GPS arrow pegged left and said we were 400 ft from the confluence. We stopped the truck, pulled the brake and did it by foot from there. We crossed 2 barbed wire fences which obviously were not there to keep people out as they were NOT electrified. With a fear of trespassing behind us and only 200 feet of cactus infested scrub brush in front of us, we pressed on. 3ft, 2ft, 1 ft… we were there. With a little maneuvering of the GPS to get everything zeroed out, we had our confluence. While Aaron took pictures, I thought to myself about how easy this actually was. To be honest, it was a little like watching Shaquille O’neil conjugate a sentence. Takes to long and when it’s over, you realize it wasn’t worth the wait.
continued at 30 N 111 W