23-Jun-2005 -- We were near Columbus to co-teach GeoTech Ohio, an institute for educators emphasizing the use of GPS and GIS in universities, parks, museums, and in K-12 education. A confluence visit seemed to be the perfect way to round out a week of investigating the Earth with 30 participants from 8 states. No doubt the readers of my confluence visits always hear me say that, and I must confess. A confluence visit is indeed the perfect complement to any trip, business or pleasure.
The rest of the GeoTech Ohio participants were touring Ohio State University's ice core research lab, and as Ms Palmer and I had been at the GeoTech site nearly 16 hours per day, a visit would provide the perfect short break. We had over 25 GPS units to choose from at the institute, because we had been using them for our wetlands and woodlands studies. We left New Albany Middle School at 4pm and drove west and south from New Albany on State Highway 161, Interstate Highway 270, and Interstate Highway 71 towards central Columbus. We exited on 17th, drove east, south on Summit, west on 14th, north on 4th, and parked in the middle of the block on 15th Avenue, discussing All Things Geospatial along the way. We arrived at the site at 4:40pm local time.
As the previous visitor noted, this is a neighborhood inhabited largely by Ohio State University students. In my study of population change in neighborhoods near the University of Colorado, I found that the student "core" had dispersed over time. Clearly, the same thing was occurring in Columbus, as this neighborhood's homes were built 100 years ago to house large families, not students. Now, they were subdivided and rented for the student population of one of the largest universities in the USA. We parked in front of 288 E. 15th Avenue and noted that the sidewalk leading up to the front door was almost exactly on the 83rd Meridian. We spotted an inflatable pool off to the east in front of the next house, and a garden between the two houses. Soon, we found that the back of the house was much closer to the confluence.
For 10 minutes, I clung to the hope that we would be able to zero out the unit in both directions while outside. By starting to the east and walking due west, Ms Palmer was able to achieve 40 North 82.998 West before the wall. We determined, therefore, that the confluence lies 1 meter inside the wall, which would place it at the extreme northeast corner of the house. This was a 2-story addition built on the back of the original house. We spent time documenting the site in the back alley. This is not the most scenic of confluences, but we had to admit that it was easier to reach than our 2003 Texas Hill Country Trek Through Heat and Thistle to 30 North 98 West. We saw two students entering the house to the east and a landscape worker out front who thought the project was "cool" when we told him why we were there. No one appeared in the "confluence house." The temperature was quite hot at 94 F (34 C) under sunny skies. The good news for Planet Earth are that relatively few confluences are on impervious surfaces such as this one. We spent about 30 minutes at the confluence.
I had been to 40 North several times before, in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, but never before had visited 83 West. This was my second Ohio confluence. We walked back out front and noticed the For Rent sign on the confluence house. Would that not be something special, we mused, to own or rent a property on a confluence? One would feel so "centered."