It was Memorial Day weekend and time for another epic confluence and geodashing trip. Sam Gallucci and I would team up again to visit as many confluences as possible in a constrained amount of time. Our goal was to successfully visit at least 8 confluences and 20 geodashing points on this trip.
This confluence lies not too far from Hall Creek in the Carico Lake Valley bounded on the west by the Shoshone Mountain Range and to the east by the Toiyabe Mountain Range.
Based upon Jack Frickey’s description of a “reasonably good desert dirt road” and a quick look at TerraServer imagery, I thought this would be one of the easier confluences of our trip. It was also the confluence that I had spent the least amount of time of planning. I plotted a quick route following a road that NG TOPO street overlays depicted as leading almost directly to the confluence. My MapSource TOPO also showed the same road.
We turned off NV-305 at the first planned point. This road looked a bit rough. We thought that it might just be overgrown and decided to take the ATV’s. The road quickly deteriorated from bad to worse. After only a few minutes, I decided to get back in the Tahoe and continue south to investigate the other road that we saw on NG TOPO! and MapSource. I did find a much nicer road a couple miles south but after returning and looking at where the signs said the road went (due east), we thought it would be a long way out of the way.
We thought we still might be able to intercept our planned road – it was just over the ridge -- so we got back on the ATV’s and tried traveling up the dry river bed. But, almost two hours later, we were back loading up the ATV’s on the trailer. We had lost a lot of valuable time from our planned schedule.
Sam and I decided to take the southern road I had found earlier in an attempt to salvage this confluence. We ended up accomplishing a large decreasing counterclockwise spiral in Carico Lake Valley around the point. We passed the abandoned Hall Creek Ranch and saw most of this beautiful green valley full of antelope and cows, but not much else, before finally stopping 1.09 miles northwest of the point.
Virga defined the skyline and the clouds were subsiding. We hoped that it would not rain and make the road muddy and possibly impassible. We decided to attempt this confluence by mountain bike. About a third of the way there we ran into a 100 meter wide linear swamp obstacle: the intermittent stream labeled as Hall Creek was running and was knee to ankle deep with muddy water that didn’t smell very pleasant. Sam did not have a second set of footwear and unsuccessfully attempted to find a way around this obstacle. I pushed my bike through the water and finally reached hard dry land where I was able to pedal the rest of the way to the confluence.
This shows the general confluence area. While North looks up Carico Lake Valley. East towards the Simpson Park Mountains. And South down Carico Lake Valley. West towards the Shoshone Range. A perfect GPS confluence reading. My method of transportation being walked across the muck. A one-horned bull we saw on the way out.
It took 48 minutes for the 2.25 mile round trip by bike/foot. It took most of the water in our solar shower to clean up – I had to put my muddy footwear and pants into a large plastic bag inside the Yakima cargo box on top of the Tahoe.
We hoped that the road south connected to the highway otherwise it would be a very long backtrack. Luckily, it came right to NV-305 and it took us less than 30 minutes to get there from where we had parked.
It should not have taken 5 hours to visit this confluence. Insufficient route study and preparation for this confluence on my part ended up delaying us enough to prevent us from visiting my two remaining confluences in Nevada.
A quick after-the-fact look at Google imagery of the area compared to the TerraServer imagery of the same point (although different scales) illustrates why you should look at multiple sources before determining a route. NV-305 runs vertically through the center of the Google image. At the center point of that image is an unseen “road” that is depicted on several paper and electronic maps. On the TerraServer imagery – zoomed in – the road is clearly visible and runs next to a prominent dry riverbed.
Two other roads in the Google image are clearly visible running east. The southern one will take you the long way around and the northern one at N39 55.150 W117 08.020 will take you to just outside a mile from the confluence. This is the road future visitors should take to visit this confluence.
It was time to shift gears to geodashing and score as many dashpoints as possible on our trip back south.
Another great confluencing road trip!