While camping in North Platte Nebraska I (Doug Savery) wanted to visit some confluences in the area especially in the Nebraska Sand Hills region. This area consists of grass covered sand dunes, wet meadows, and shallow lakes and encompasses about 18,000 to 20,000 square miles in the central part of the state. At some point in its history, it was an area of actively drifting sand dunes. It is estimated that the region has been stabilized by the grasses for about 8,000 years. Even the drought years of the Great Depression of the 1930’s were insufficiently dry to destabilize it. Currently, the region has a thriving economy based on beef cattle production supported by the rich grasses on the hills and great hay producing areas in the wet meadows. When center pivot irrigation systems came into use in the 1970’s, attempts were made to farm in the region. However, these attempts failed and ranching remains the mainstay of the economy. Despite the healthy economy, the region has experienced declining population over the past 80 years. The confluence of 42N 101W lies near the center of this region.
I approached this confluence from the south leaving the campground in the city of North Platte and driving north on Hwy 83 and then proceeding northwest and north on Hwy 97. I crossed 42N and came to a single lane asphalt road and turned east toward 101W. I drove on past 101W and noted two horses in the pasture and ranch buildings even farther east. I turned around and went back to 101W and parked my vehicle. A herd of approximately 100 Black Angus cattle was noted in the pasture to the north side of the road. They all approached my vehicle and apparently expected to be fed. I saw no houses nearby and the land was not posted. My GPS showed the confluence lay 0.38 mi. to the south. The horses were far to the east of the point I crossed the fence and I did not encounter them in the pasture. I hiked south across the gently rolling landscape. The windmill reported by other visitors to the confluence was visible and so were the trees and fence line to the west-northwest. The fence line curved and I needed to cross the fence to reach the confluence point. I found the confluence point on the west-sloping side of a hill where the GPS was easily zeroed out in this wide open country. From the confluence point I made the required photographs and returned to my vehicle. I encountered no people and no other animals than the horses and cattle previously mentioned. It was a pleasure to successfully visit this confluence and enjoy a beautiful afternoon in the unique Nebraska Sand Hills.