23-Dec-2000 -- After discovering the
project about two weeks ago, I talked my friend Megan
into accompanying me to the two closest confluences to us
in South Central Virginia. There were two successive,
unreached confluences on the N37th parallel, 78 and 79
degrees West, so we thought we'd make a day out of it and
try to get both. I found the web links to the topo and
aerial views of the area to be very helpful in planning
We left the confluence of 37N 79W
hungry, so stopped in Brookneal at a
Subway for lunch. Street Atlas 7.0 routed us 78 miles,
mostly along Route 40 back east to near 39N 78W, so we
settled in for the hour and 20 minutes or so of fine
South Central Virginia scenery, much of it decorated for
As we headed out of Kenbridge towards Blackstone, I
noticed that Street Atlas had routed us around to the
east side of the small road that was nearest the
confluence. A quick check with my Virginia Atlas and
Gazetteer confirmed that we could also approach from the
west directly. So we turned right onto Route 615, and
made our way the last few miles to the point directly
north of the confluence.
The topo map and aerial photo clearly show a dirt road
which goes fairly close to the point, along with a huge
clearing and house directly across the street from the
entrance to this road. This area was different than the
last, as there were dozens of bright yellow "No
Trespassing" signs (photo #6) on
trees and posts every few dozen yards along the main
road. All this land, it seemed, was reserved for the Old
Timer Hunt Club.
We decided that as long as we didn't see anyone watching
us, that we'd go ahead and hit the dirt road. We'd be
out of sight of the house and main road in just a few
seconds anyway. So down the dirt road we went. As we
made our way, heading for the place where the confluence
was a straight 90 degrees to our left, we noticed ahead,
right about where we needed to be, a small pickup truck!
The dirt road at this point was just wide enough to pass,
so I did, and then parked about 20 yards in front. It
was a hunt. I walked back and a nice looking young man
who appeared to be a Senior High School student came out.
I'm sure he wondered what in the world I was doing there!
So I asked if he was hunting.. he said yeah.. then I
opted for the "scavenger hunt" analogy, and asked if he
had heard of Lats and Longs... He had... So I asked if it
would be ok if Megan and I hiked a couple hundred yards
over in the woods to the east.
The rest of his hunting party (howling dogs included)
were off to the west, so he said sure. Great!
So we grabbed the camera, and headed into the woods. No
paths here. Soon we reached the crest of another small
drop off. We estimated from the GPS that the confluence
was about half way up the other side, so we walked a few
yards around to the north, to avoid a deep gully, then
came back south on the other side, and after circling
around a holly tree a couple of times, zeroed it out (photo #2).
Then we recognized the small clearing at the top of the
other side that is visible in the aerial photo of this
confluence, so we felt much better that we were where we
were supposed to be.
We hadn't grabbed the tripod, since we didn't want to
give our hunter friend a chance to change his mind about
us walking in the woods behind his hunt, so we don't have
a group shot this time (photo #3 and 4).
On the way out, our hunter friend had been joined by a
buddy (photo #5), so I asked them
if I could take their picture, gave them a copy of John
Kejr's "Letter to Landowners," with the web address of
the project, and told them in a few days to check out
their pictures on the internet! I'm not sure what they
thought of the whole incident... and I probably don't
want to know!
We packed up, and headed out. It was a great first day
of confluence hunting! Two attempts, two successes!