27-Jun-2005 -- 27-Jun-2005 – This confluence visit started as a trip from Laurel, MD to Cooperstown, NY to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame. A colleague pointed out to me that a confluence point at 41N 76W was just off Route 81 at a place we would pass along the trip. When I informed my son, who was accompanying me to Cooperstown, that we would be visiting a confluence point along the way, he smiled and opined, "Just when I thought you couldn’t get any nerdier..."
I have had a GPS Garmin Etrex receiver for about five years and have a lot of experience with it. However, the trip provided an opportunity to test Microsoft Streets and Trip software which allows me to connect my laptop computer to the GPS receiver and follow my position on a map in real-time.
The information provided by Eric Althshuler for Visit #3 was right-on-the-money. I traveled north on I81 and took the exit for SR93 south. Less than a mile later we made a left turn on to Airport Road. About two miles later, we made a left on SR 309. By way of a landmark, there is a Sheetz gas station at the southwest corner of the Airport Road – SR 309 intersection. About a half a mile north, we took a left, toward the west on to Old Turnpike Road. The road has small shoulders and we initially drove past the confluence point without stopping because there was another car following closely behind us. Less than a quarter-of-a-mile farther down the road, we came to the corner of Old Turnpike Road and West Foothills Drive. There was a shoulder there large enough to park the car. One of our pictures shows the computer screen after we parked. We disconnected the GPS receiver from the computer, locked the car, and proceeded on foot back east on Old Turnpike Road to the confluence point. The time was about 3:15 PM EDT or 19:15 UTC.
On the short trek to the confluence point, an elderly gentleman in a pickup truck asked us if our car was disabled and if we needed a ride. Without taking the time to explain the exact purpose of our trip (we figured it would take too long), we politely thanked him and said we did not need assistance.
Like Eric Althshuler’s visit, we found the confluence point in the bushes at the end of a long driveway. One of the downsides of a visit in the summer, besides the high humidity, is that the foliage reduces the strength of the GPS signals and makes the display coordinates fluctuate. The photo of the GPS receiver was taken in the driveway immediately adjacent to the bushes surrounding the confluence point. There is also a picture of my son and a picture of me, holding the GPS receiver. The altitude was about 1160 ft above sea level. All our measurements were made using the WGS84 datum.
Besides the picture of the confluence area and of the north, east, south, and west views from the confluence point, we also assembled and labeled a 360-degree panorama from the perspective of the confluence point. The car in the picture was not ours and probably belonged to those living in the house associated with the driveway. The driveway was long, so we did not bother the occupants of the house with our activities.
All-in-all, the trip to the confluence point was a quick and interesting diversion. It must be one of the easiest confluence points to visit. After the visit, we drove back to the Sheetz rest stop and split a 12-inch turkey sub.