07-Sep-2015 -- I was in some serious confluence withdrawal with my last visited point some four months before, and was looking forward to what has become my annual day or two out in the field solely to visit confluence points. This year, the only time available was Labor Day weekend, a holiday in the USA, and even though the traffic would be heavier, the weekend had arrived to embark. I was on my return journey to my starting point, and had 4 confluence visits on my first day, 5 on my second, and I earlier today. Intending to head back to I-25 after visiting 36 North 104 West, I then had second thoughts...why not take back roads and wind up at 37 North 104 West? I had visited it once before but it was "sort of" on the way back.
The roads required quite a bit of time to traverse, but there were some lovely ranches, buttes, and wide open spaces. In early afternoon I went through scenic Folsom New Mexico, and saw Capulin Volcano to the southwest. Continuing into the canyon, I dropped in elevation and crossed the state line into Colorado at Branson, where I took the gravel road to the west. As during my last visit, sunflowers abounded. I drove slowly until I crossed the railroad tracks and started on the dirt road heading directly for the confluence, to the southeast. I slowed way down: The road was very dusty, and I was a bit concerned I would become stuck, having just a passenger car. I drove to the cattle guard marking a long east-west fence. It couldn't be the state line if the point was still in Colorado, but I was not positive. I passed the point where I had stopped two years ago and kept going: The road rose in elevation with one exception: A dip into a gully. After about 10 minutes, I parked just south of the 37th Parallel. Gathering supplies and remembering to don sunblock, I set out. Hiking was easy but I did take care to watch for rattlesnakes and the occasional prickly pear cactus. I angled slightly north but mostly due west, arriving at the confluence in less than 10 minutes. This made this point one of the easiest of the points I have ever visited.
It was nearing mid-afternoon in late summer. The temperature stood at a very pleasant 85 F, just getting a bit hot, with very few clouds anywhere to be seen and very little wind. The confluence was on flat ground, sloping slightly to the west. The longest view was to the northwest, downslope, while the view to the south was just a few miles, up the canyons leading to the mesas and buttes. The vegetation was cactus, grasses, and some junipers, leading to the pines and spruces in the higher elevations. I had been to 37 North in California, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado, and over in Tunisia, and to 104 West from Montana down to New Mexico. This confluence made the fourth along the Colorado-New Mexico border that I had visited. This was my second time at this confluence. I hoped it would not be my last. Some confluences I have visited once and due to insects or thorns or other nastiness, I have no desire to return to them. But not this one: I would rank this confluence among the most beautiful of all the points I have visited. The only challenge I had on the way out was after reaching the road to Trinchera, finding the road that headed north to US 160. Once I found it, I took it to Trinidad, and then north on I-25.
It was a great three days and I had some great moments at this and the other 10 points I visited. Get out there and explore the world!