08-Aug-2008 -- I came across the confluence.org website recently and decided I should try my luck at bagging a few confluence points. I noticed that all the ones in Texas and the USA had already been documented, but I figured it could be a good practice run to visit one someone else had done. Looking around Texas I noticed that this confluence, 34N 99W, hadn't truly been reached before! The previous visitor stopped at the dirt road and was still 0.070" away from the confluence based on the pictures he submitted. This became my primary motivation for attempting this confluence. So, I waited for a weekend that I would be in Dallas with plenty of time on my hands. The friends and family I was visiting all had work today, so what better opportunity than now was there to visit a North Texas confluence? The final and most coincidental reason I had to visit this CP was that my phone extension at work happens to be 3499 :)
I left Dallas shortly before 8 am heading northwest on US 287. The drive was quite uneventful, except for the random bursts of rain I hit. Luckily, the scattered showers I was driving through disappeared by the time I reached Electra, the town closest to the confluence. The weather there turned out to be perfect actually, with overcast skies to shade me from the brutal August sun but without the rain that would have made a confluence hunt miserable.
Judging from aerial maps, I decided the best way to reach the confluence was through a gate about 500 m SW of it, just north of the intersection of highway 1811 and Harrold Ln, the dirt road mentioned by the previous visitor. One thing I was slightly concerned about is explaining to a landowner what exactly I wanted to do there, but I was relieved to find not a human, vehicle, nor building in sight. There were only some power lines running alongside the dirt road. Since the gate itself had no "No Trespassing" signs, I readily took this as my permission to jump over and try to get pictures from the CP. I parked my car along the other dirt road at the intersection and then walked the tenth of a mile back to the gate. From this gate three paths of tire tracks spawned; the northmost of which would bring me within meters of the confluence.
The terrain in North Texas is mostly flat or with small undulating hills, and this area was no exception. Grasses and small bushes and trees seem to thrive on the red clay soil in the area. I noticed a few insects scattering away as I walked along the path, but no creatures larger than that appeared. I soon reached what looked like a well and further down a shallow lake and a fire hydrant of all things. Apparently these folks like their water!
The confluence itself was nothing special, just a clearing with medium grasses and rocks. I snapped the necessary photos and spent a few moments soaking up the view. In the distance you can see the lake and a few man-made structures near it but everything else is just the natural flora of the area. I began to wonder why no one had tried to reach this confluence before (with pictures) as it's got to be one of the easiest. I guess most people who navigate the website just see the red blip and assume that someone's already bagged it.
I headed back to my car the same way I came and was on the road again by 11 am. On the way back to Dallas, somewhere on US 82, there were signs for a fudge shop that operates "Fridays only" so I decided to stop and indulge to celebrate my confluence victory with some tasty peanut butter/chocolate fudge.
Like I mentioned before this confluence was pretty easy and worthwhile. I'd recommend this one especially if you're already making the drive between Amarillo and Dallas and want to make a quick confluence trip out of it.