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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Utah

2.9 miles (4.8 km) NW of Elberta, Utah, UT, USA
Approx. altitude: 1540 m (5052 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 40°S 68°E

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

#2: An Unexpected Gate #3: Evidence of an Earlier Visitor #4: A Lizard Shows the Way #5: Finally! We found it.

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  40°N 112°W (visit #1)  

#1: A view from the confluence

(visited by Geoff Fritz and Risa Smith)

30-Sep-2000 -- Our first confluence target was a fairly easy one.

The confluence is located near the end of Elberta Slant Road, off of State Road 68 just north of Elberta. We came through Elberta from the west, having escaped miles of dirt roads in our quest for our first Utah geocache. The mountain scenery through Eureka on US Route 6 was spectacular. A select few trees on the mountains were yellow and bright red/orange.

As we headed out of the mountains, my wife and I were somewhat bothered by the fact that the open land had become private property. There were plenty of fences and No Trespassing signs. Elberta Slant Road ran parallel to one such fence, and I was beginning to think that we'd have to give up on our hunt. But, as luck would have it, right at the location where our map said we'd have to leave the road, there was an open gate! Better yet, there was a road leading through the gate.

After about 1/2 mile of really bumpy dirt road, the GPS was pointing directly west. Our target was about 0.2 miles away. So we got out of the car and pressed ahead on foot. Unfortunately, we met a fence a mere 200 feet from the confluence. I decided that I wasn't going to be denied my prize after getting this close, so my wife and I squeezed through the barbed wire top of the fence and continued on.

Closing in on the mark, we spotted a very deliberate pile of rocks. It looked like someone had been there before us. Upon closer inspection, we found the coordinates written with small stones right above the pile. However, my GPS was telling us we were still a few feet away. Maybe this pile was created before Selective Availability was turned off.

So we went looking for the real location. We quickly spotted yet another pile of rocks. This one was much closer to the mark. A small lizard was lazily enjoying the afternoon sun. I wasn't able to get a very good picture, as I didn't want to frighten him by getting too close with the camera.

It took me about ten minutes, but I eventually zeroed my GPS to five decimal places (click image for a close-up). We didn't stay too long, as we were both very tired, very hungry, and maybe just a touch uneasy about being on the wrong side of someone's fence. So we waded back through the waist-deep (and wonderfully fragrant) sagebrush and got back into our very dusty car.


 All pictures
#1: A view from the confluence
#2: An Unexpected Gate
#3: Evidence of an Earlier Visitor
#4: A Lizard Shows the Way
#5: Finally! We found it.
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)