19-May-2002 -- There are several reasons no one has submitted this confluence despite its location within 12 miles of an interstate highway. Among them are:
1) Absence of road signs. The gravel county maintained roads have no markers or signs on them. (Travel south from Arkadelphia on Hasley Road; turn left at a sign for Lakeside Baptist Church on Copeland Ridge Road; left again at a sign for the same church on Open Banks Road; travel South on Open Banks Road until you reach a locked gate on a road leading west.)
2) Terrain. The confluence is in the Ouachita River "bottoms;" is in a swampy area cut over for hardwood within the past few years; is overgrown with blackberries and greenbriar vines, switchcane and dense, low bushes and brambles. After 1 1/2 miles of easy walking along a one lane gravel road the final 300 meter trek was mainly through 2 to 6 inches of water and mud.
3) Access. The confluence is on privately owned land leased to a hunting club which has posted signs and a locked gate which precludes vehicle access closer than 1 1/2 mile. Thus a 1 1/2 mile hike is required.
4) Reptiles and other creepy crawlies. In separate incidents, I nearly stepped on a 2 1/2 foot long cottonmouth and a 4 1/2 foot rattlesnake (which hurriedly coiled itself into strike mode and signaled its presence and concern by rattling its 13 rattles) trying to get to the confluence and was afflicted by mosquitoes and other blood sucking insects en route.
I was only to get within (the GPS said) 215 feet of the confluence before the brambles and the rattlesnake convinced me that I could not get closer. Thus, no GPS shots for this one.
On the plus side, I saw two whitetail deer, a bobcat, several snowy egrets, a little blue heron, a great blue heron and heard wild turkey calling to one another in the brush as I tried to get closer.
Recommendation: For those who may attempt this confluence, I would recommend a visit in January or February (after deer season and while snakes and insects are dormant.) Equipment should include waterproof boots of at least knee length. A machete would be a handy tool.