13-Jul-2005 -- Our visit was much the same as the other three to this confluence, other than the fact that this part of California had turned "Golden", and was no longer green like in the previous visits. We first drove to the entrance to the ranch to see if it looked like we might be able to get permission to drive to the confluence, but the many "No Trespassing" signs convinced us that that was unlikely. We then drove to the top of the ridge on Lockwood – San Ardo Road. From here it was about 1.2 miles and about 1100 feet down to the valley below, and the confluence. Picture 5 is the track from my GPS overlaid on the TerraServer image. We had been hoping to follow the trail on the ridge clear down to the clearing that lead down to the confluence. Unfortunately, the brush was too tall for us to pick out the little trail that would have kept us on that track. In several places, the brush had grown all the way across the trail, so that I think any access other than on foot might be painful. Once in the clearing above the confluence, we tried in vain to find a way through, and decided to drop down to the lower clearing and access the confluence from there.
Picture 1 is a shot of the confluence. Picture 2 is the view toward the north; through the trees, you can see the little clearing that I was hoping to take down from the ridge. Picture 3 is toward the east, this time through the trees, you can see the clearing that runs along the valley floor. The views toward the south and west are less interesting, so I left them off. Picture 4 is a picture of my eMap at the confluence. Picture 6 is Jack checking out his GPS. Unfortunately, it has no User Interface other that some blinking LEDs, so there was no point in taking a close-up of it.
On the way back up the hill, we came across a sign, just above the clearing at the bottom of the ridge trail, that indicates that the land around the confluence is indeed not on BLM land, but is instead part of the Wilderness Unlimited hunting club, which strikes me as a strange name for a hunting club. I can just imagine their motto: "Join Wilderness Unlimited, we bring the wilderness to you, and let you shoot at it!".
Finally, picture 7 is a look back down toward the confluence, from just below the top of the climb. The clearing in the middle part of the picture is part of valley just to the east of the confluence.