05-May-2007 -- This narrative describes the encounter of the confluence at 44N 72W.
Having found two of the four confluences in the state of New Hampshire this past winter, I decided to capture the other two on a perfect Spring day.
Leaving Boston at 6am, I took three major interstate highways (93, 89, & 91) north to the vicinity of the target site near Piermont, NH; 8 km east of the Connecticut River, the major waterway that drains most of western New England.
Driving east from the river, the land rises to the foothills of the Appalacians. Within 35 km of the river, the elevation is over 1600 m in places. The mountains in New Hampshire are not the tallest of the Appalacian range, but are surely the most rugged and challenging. Glaciation and erosion have left rocky plains to the west of the range. These have been farmed for centuries, and agriculture and dairy is still the basis of the local economy.
Being early May, the ice has left the lakes, but snow could still be seen on hilltops over 1200 m, and the streams were cold & full. The local farms were tilled, there were sprouts of fodder crops seen in some fields. There were sheep and horses grazing on new grass in the pastures.
The confluence was only 50 m north of route 25C. I stepped over a low stone wall; one of thousands that once defined the edges of pastures and fields, and now stretch for miles through the forests.
I entered a young woods composed of maples, hemlock & pine; few of which were more than 8cm diameter. This must have once been a field that has been reclaimed by the forest.
I crossed a narrow power line clearing, and ascended a squat hillside, full of young trees. A plastic jug, wired to a tree suggested that a previous confluence hunter had left a marker at the intersection. Sure enough, the GPS zeroed out as I approached the hanging jug.
I took the required pictures, one of which revealed the highway through the leafless woods. I left the site and continued driving east, crossing over some of the high notches to view the snow covered peaks of the White Mountains.
I then continued south to my next destination; the confluence at 43N 72W.
Finding a confluence is an exciting experience; the long journey to the vicinity, the hike through unreceptive environment; the final iteration of the position, as the numbers converge to the expected zeros!
It's a quite normal human reaction to want to leave some marker behind, some material thing that verifies that you were there. I've seen numerous indicators at other sites left by previous visitors.
Though this satisfies the desire for legacy, an obvious marker at the location denies the next visitor the excitement of discovery.
I saw that plastic jug on the tree 25m before arriving at it; but I knew that was where I would end up.
Please, leave the site as you found it. Savor the experience, but don't spoil it for those of us who follow. Thank you.