07-Mar-2009 -- As I had been in the area for GeoTech, an annual conference that focuses on GPS, GIS, digital photography, Web 2.0, probeware, and other technologies in education, I thought a confluence visit would be the perfect way to end the trip. The students and teachers I met at the conference were inspiring as always. I have a tradition of visiting a confluence during the annual GeoTech conferences that dates back to January 2004, when I made a trek to this very spot, visiting it again in 2005, and continuing to 2007, when I visited 32 North 96 West in a lonely field, and three days ago to 32 North 97 West in another field. My first visit to the conference was as a graduate student in 1997, 5 years before I discovered the confluence project. This year, I was on my way out of town and had an hour before I needed to be at the airport, so I thought I would see how 33 North 97 West was doing.
Just like the last time I was here, I found reaching the confluence a bit tricky. I drove up from South Dallas on some new roads I had never driven before. The confluence lies in a large office park between some busy streets and freeways, and I missed several turns as I entered Lewisville. I finally made it to Round Grove Road. I was trying to squeeze this visit in at rush hour, but fortunately it was a Saturday. I turned left at the now-familiar sign for the aptly-named Convergence Office Park. This park is a former set of defense contractor buildings and grounds which would have been impossible to visit years ago due to security reasons. The sky was a bit gloomy as I drove past the bare trees and the vacant parking lots, and once again, the whole place had a rather forlorn air. I missed the turn to the street that I had driven down twice before, so this time I entered the office complex from the west. Some people were evidently at work, judging from the several dozen cars in the lot, but I drove right up to the closest parking space where I knew the confluence would be. In less than 5 minutes after parking, I was standing on the confluence, which makes this one of the easiest confluences to reach. I located the point this time about one-half meter from a major light pole.
I am glad I returned, because I made a new discovery: Written in large letters on the building to the south of the confluence were the letters "Convergence." This sign was new since my last visit, surely making this Centered Heaven and unique to this confluence out of the thousands of points in the world. I took some video and photographs, staying about 15 minutes. The proximity to buildings and overhead poles makes zeroing out the unit a bit trickier than at other confluence points. I saw no people, birds, or animals. The temperature was about 55 F (13 C) under a sinking sun and an unusual-colored sky, with no wind. I have now visited 11 confluences in Texas, I believe. A respectable number! I need to get out to West Texas, though, some wonderful terrain out there.
I drove out on the road I had missed on the way in, stopping at a convenience store to fuel the rental car before turning it in at the airport. I then drove through some construction traffic to the DFW airport and had an uneventful time there, which, when traveling by air, is the best time of all!