22-May-1999 -- The confluence is just a little west of Durham's downtown, and an
easy ride from nearby Raleigh. Since this was the first one we visited, we kept
the team small: Laurie Edgerton, Sean Korb, and me (Jason Sullivan). We had
sensible shoes, a GPS, and a compass.
The drive to the site (or the closest point to the site) was pleasantly
uneventful, although the distance and ETA figures added a certain air of
excitment. Paved roads took us within a quarter mile of the site (somewhere
inside of Duke Forest). Our luck seemed to be holding, a large clearcut area in
the forest made it easy to get within a tenth of a mile.
Plunging into the forest at the edge of the clearcut, we were further aided by
(wonder of wonders) a trail! Going in the right direction! Certainly our good
fortune was holding. We sped on, and the distance to our goal continued to
The trail got us within about five hundreths of a mile. Pretty close to the
100m limit. A quick hop off the trail soon proved that the error of our GPS -
with the trees and the terrain and the "built in" error of the satellites - was
enough to keep me running in circles for the entire afternoon. Aside from an
old horse skeleton, there was nothing notable about this particular place in the
middle of the woods. Picking a point as likely as any other in the football
field sized error margin, we stopped and began taking pictures.
At this point, we wished we had brought something to drink.
A quick series of pictures was taken, and we hiked out the way we came. A
through check for ticks was made (we found one, and disposed of it), and we
headed for the nearest convenience store.