12-Oct-2006 -- I am involved in a number of games and activities that use a GPSr. Two of them, Geodashing and GeoVexilla (go to gpsgames.org for more info on these and several other activities), had spots in the Antelope Valley that I wished to reach this month, one of which was less than a mile from this confluence. As there is also a geocache just a few feet away, it seemed to be the perfect timing for my first attempt at a degree confluence. The fact that there have already been a number of successful acquisitions of this spot made it a lot easier, as I knew that it shouldn't be that difficult to get to :-)
After grabbing the GeoVexillum to the north, and determining that there was apparently no safe way to get directly from there to here, except by walking (and I didn't have time for that), I wound up back on Highway 58. After passing the access "road" that I wanted, I did a couple of U-turns to get back, and finally found myself heading southward on Nurallia Road, a wide, unsigned, graded dirt track that runs more-or-less along the eastern border of Edwards AFB. I'm still uncertain of the spelling, and I tend to think of it as "neuralgia", anyway, although any such that I might have been experiencing would have been from an earlier attempt at a geocache, on a very bumpy single-track far to the south. As I got close to zeroing the 35th degree of latitude, I looked for, and found, the track heading west that would take me to the confluence. To the east of here was a locked double-gate, with "WARNING" signs on each side: an entrance into Edwards, about two-thirds of a mile due east of the confluence. Photo #10 shows this gate.
Leaving this gate behind me, I soon arrived at the general area, and parked my Honda Civic just about smack-dab on the 118th degree of longitude. A short walk of a hundred or so feet brought me to the Cconfluence. The reflector mentioned by at least one earlier visitor is still there, and my fifth photo shows both the reflector and the spot where I determined zero to be. I did the "dance" that all geodashers know well, done while trying to zero-out on the exact spot: up, back, left, left, right, up, right, left, back, and so on and so forth.... It must be quite hilarious to anyone watching who has no idea what the deal is. After getting the GPSr to settle in for a minute or so (Error Factor was 18 feet), I decided that I was as good as my Garmin was going to get me, and I took two shots of it: I posted the better one. I got an elevation of 2,530 feet above Mean Sea Level.
I then took the requisite four cardinal-point shots. As it isn't directly stated whether we should use "true" or "magnetic" bearings, I chose magnetic. I have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel, and was using the 18mm-55mm Zoom lens, at maximum pixelation, which is well over the minimum required. The GPSr shot was taken at full close-up, but the other five shots were taken at or near 18mm, so the difference between magnetic and true is neglible, as far as what would be visible is concerned. I did no enhancing on any shots posted, although I did do a little cropping on a couple of them. The original files are quite large: generally over 4 MB; when I saved them for this site, I reduced them to between 800 and 1,000 KB. The N, E and S shots are very straight-forward, but the W shot was taken directly into the sun, which was maybe 90 minutes from setting: I had arrived at 5:26 PM PDT. I used the brim of my hat to block the sun, and you can see it (my hat) on the upper-left corner. That's my shadow on the left side of the East-facing photo. My car can be seen through a large creosote bush in the S shot.
My other shots are...
7) a shot of a freight train on the tracks to the south. I took this shot while driving on "Neuralgia Road".
8) a close-up of a nearby creosote bush, which still had a few seed pods on it: they're the fuzzy white bits. Creosote (Larrea divaricata) is a very hardy and fire-resistant plant in the family Zygophyllaceae. It has a number of uses, including medicine and in treating wood;
9) a closer shot of the reflector that someone left at where they had determined the exact confluence to be;
The drive out was fairly easy; I headed west and then north on the first decent-looking dirt road that I came to. It led me straight to the highway :-) This was a pretty easy deal, which likely explains why it has had a fair number of successful acquisitions despite being so far from much of anything at all. I'm sure that some future confluences will require a bit more of me ;-)