05-Apr-2006 -- I was in Washington D.C. for a business trip. This confluence lies approximately 8 miles NNE of D.C.
With every confluence visit, I learn something valuable about confluence hunting. This trip, the lesson is: “Don’t take a cab to a confluence point.”
Since I was almost completely unfamiliar with the D.C. geography and normal D.C. rush hour traffic conditions, I let the cab driver talk me into taking Loop 495 around the D.C. area, instead of heading for the confluence point by the most direct route. After all, he authoritatively declared: “This will be much faster!!!” I went along with his suggestion.
However, it quickly became clear this little one-way cab trip would cost me about 3 times the fare I had anticipated for the entire round-trip. I did not have enough cash on hand to take a cab back to my hotel.
Nevertheless, we (the cab driver and myself) continued to the confluence point. Used Exit 31 off 495, turned south onto 195 (University Blvd E.), and then right (west) on Piney Branch Rd. The confluence point lies within the Flower Branch Apartment Complex.
I made the cab driver wait approximately 5 minutes while I found the point and took pictures. This is certainly the least amount of time I spent at a confluence point. As mentioned by the earlier visitors, the actual confluence point seems to lie directly within an apartment building.
I had a map of the Metro system (D.C.’s version of the subway) in my backpack and figured out: (1) there was a Metro stop within a mile and ½ of the confluence point; and (2) the Metro would take me to within 2 blocks of my hotel. I directed my now very curious cab driver to drop me off at the Metro stop. Despite his inquisition as to why we came to some apparently random apartment complex, waited 5 minutes, and left, I didn’t have the patience or desire to explain to him the Degree Confluence Project. Especially since I was still annoyed he convinced me to take the long route.
I actually enjoyed learning how to navigate the Metro system. It ended up costing 10 times less (no exaggeration) and was 3 times quicker than the original taxi ride. I’m now a fan of the D.C. Metro system.
This is by far (to date) my most easterly confluence visit. Despite my cab fiasco, the confluence point was very easy to find with even a mediocre map.