20-May-2002 -- After visiting my second confluence of this trip yesterday, 42N 100W, I drove to Valentine, Nebraska and stayed in a hotel. I awoke early and hit the road to Kilgore, Nebraska, the nearest town to this confluence.
On a dirt road a few miles from the confluence, I flagged down an oncoming vehicle. I told the lady who was driving what I was doing there and asked if she was the landowner. She said she was and did not want me on her property. She was afraid that if I put pictures of the area on the Internet, all sorts of strangers would begin flocking to the area. I told her I understood her concern, but that I would probably be the last person she’d ever see in connection with the Project and that I had driven a long way to visit this confluence. Although she was against the idea, she said I should ask her husband who wouldn’t be back for an hour or so from moving cattle. So I waited for her husband to return at a nearby corral where ranch hands on horseback were preparing to move another group of cattle. After an hour, I decided to drive on closer to the confluence to verify that it indeed was on their land. As it turned out, it wasn’t.
I stopped by a house directly south of the confluence and met Mark Luther. Mark and his family live on a ranch that has been in his family since the late 1800’s. In addition to running the ranch, he runs a body shop located near his home. He was a very pleasant man and was really interested in the project. He offered to drive me back to the confluence in his 4-wheel drive truck, which saved me a lot of hiking. We were able to get to about 400 meters from the point before reaching a barbed wire fence. The spot was on an Indian reservation, but the land was leased to someone and it wasn’t posted, so we crossed the fence and hiked the rest of the way.
The confluence is located on pastureland in the rolling Nebraska Sand Hills. Although the ground is almost desert-like with low, scrubby vegetation, there is plenty of water in the area. Mark said the water table is only about 20 feet down. It was a bit chilly and the skies were overcast, so the pictures don’t show just how beautiful the area is. After taking the pictures, we drove back and Mark showed me a collection of old farm tractors he had. I was amazed by how well preserved they were even though they were sitting out in the weather.
After thanking Mark for assistance and saying goodbye, I headed on toward the fourth confluence of this trip,