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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : West Virginia

0.7 miles (1.1 km) WSW of Hartford City, Mason, WV, USA
Approx. altitude: 167 m (547 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 39°S 98°E

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: A slightly different view from the confluence point. #3: Proof by GPS. #4: A nearby pond. #5: Flooded trees we passed on the way to the confluence. #6: Another delightful roadside surprise...an impromptu dumpsite that doesn't appear on our topo map.

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  39°N 82°W  

#1: A view from the confluence point.

(visited by Kate Redmond, Elizabeth Courtney and Tom Hughes)

17-Feb-2001 -- The confluence was located just outside of the tiny hamlet of Hartford, 3.5 miles SE of Mason, WV.

We headed out on a mostly cloudy, blustery day southwest, following the Ohio River downstream. Southeastern Ohio and western West Virginia had just received a lot of rain, so the Ohio and its tributaries were full to brimming, and a good portion of lower-lying land along the river was deluged. The highway followed the bends of the Ohio, and offered us views of the river for most of our drive; we passed the locks of the Army Corps of Engineers and saw several coal barges tacking along the river. Soon we came upon the tiny hamlet of Hartford, W. Va., just down river from New Haven, W. Va. in West Virginia's "Little Connecticut." Following the street map from the confluence website, we approached the confluence from the NE by turning off U.S. 33 onto an unmarked, rutted gravel road that bisected a trailer park (consisting of a half-dozen trailers at most) and a tractor trailer parking lot. We were serenaded by the chained-up dogs of the trailer park and got a curious glance from the locals as we bounced through the ruts and drove "out of town," a few hundred feet up a small hill and around a bend. The road wound into the woods, following a stream swollen with the recent severe rains. Our drive came to an abrupt end when we came to a metal gate across the road and a "Posted" sign. Our GPS receiver indicated that the confluence point was somewhere SW of our current position, beyond the gate.

We stood in the mud by our car, watching rivulets of water run down the hill to the west, across the road, down a steep incline, and into the creek below. The creek to our east was so full the whole gully had become an undifferentiated swamp with trees standing in deep brown water and floating trash. An abandoned clothes drier and some cans were strewn down the slope leading to the creek. We weren't that far from the trailer park and we could still hear traffic passing by on the highway. The GPS receiver indicated that the confluence point was still a couple hundred yards off, too close to pass up.

We conferred for a while and decided that if we could get in and out quickly, we'd risk the wrath of the landowner. We stepped over the gate and jogged down the gravel road. We walked along the creek and then left the gravel road to follow a trail south around a small pond. When the trail ended we were within a few feet of the confluence and walked a few steps over swampy ground and through some brambles to the stunningly unspectacular spot. The trees were gray, the sky was gray, the water in the pond was gray-brown, the wind began to blow and a light snow started to fall. We took our photographs, flailed back through the briars to the trail, hurried back to the road, back over the gate, back to our car, and left.


 All pictures
#1: A view from the confluence point.
#2: A slightly different view from the confluence point.
#3: Proof by GPS.
#4: A nearby pond.
#5: Flooded trees we passed on the way to the confluence.
#6: Another delightful roadside surprise...an impromptu dumpsite that doesn't appear on our topo map.
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)