18-Nov-1999 -- Another meteor shower, another
confluence! (See 34N
111W) This time we went northwest into the desert to watch the 1999
edition of the Leonid meteor
shower away from the lights of Phoenix, and to visit the confluence
at 34N 113W.
A bright moon prevented us from seeing too many meteors early in the
evening, and so we napped until about 4:30 AM, after it had set. From
then until about 5:50 we got a wonderful show of about 110 meteors, in
spite of some clouds and the glow from the still-too-close city.
After another nap and a bit of hot chocolate, we drove around in
circles for way too long on roads that didn't exactly match the ones on
the map, before finally winding up about a mile south of the
confluence. The general area (photo #2) was sparsely vegetated and
pool-table flat, and so the hike to the spot was very easy. Along the
way we saw a few rabbits and small squirrels keeping their Thursday
appointments, along with lots of evidence
that some cattle had been out and about recently (photo #6). But no
actual cattle. Perhaps they take Thursdays off.
There was nothing especially remarkable about desert right at the
confluence (photos #3 and #4) except a very nice example of a cactus we
couldn't identify (photo #1) and some little plants with bright yellow
berries (photo #3) that we couldn't identify either.
Picture #5 is an aerial photograph of the confluence.
This shot shows the confluence looking towards the southeast (and
down) from about 3,000 feet above the ground. As near as I can
tell, the confluence is just slightly to the left of the center of
the photograph. The light green areas on the ground are dry
grass, the darker green areas are bushes and small trees, and the
brown areas are bare dirt. The three dark spots near the bottom
are manmade reservoirs for watering cattle, and if you look very
closely, you can see a rectangular corral between the round tank
and the bottom of the picture.