This confluence visit attempt failed. We were on a long-planned vacation to visit Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. I had identified several degree confluences that appeared doable. I was very optimistic that I could reach 38N 112W that lay about 25 miles north of our campsite near Bryce Canyon National Park. I examined maps and the narratives of previous visitors with particular attention to the most recent visit of Kerski in Aug. 2007. I programmed the coordinates into my trusty Street Pilot and headed north on Hwy 22. Hwy 22 is a narrow, asphalt surfaced road that is also known as John’s Canyon Rd. It winds through pinion–juniper brush covered terrain with beautiful shell penstemon blooming thickly on the road shoulders. Ranch drives, some with stunningly attractive gates, were noted on the east side of the road. There was irrigation equipment running in lush fields of alfalfa. We observed one dead cow carcass in a field. The west side of the road appeared to be primarily public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management and/or the United States Forest Service. A few miles further north, we came upon a heard of 20-30 pronghorn antelope grazing in an alfalfa field. Pronghorns are the fastest animal in North America, but they revealed only a suggestion of their speed as they broke into a run as I slowed for an attempt to photograph them. Continuing northbound I became more attentive to roads leading west as I approached 38N. I arrived at a road that appeared to lead toward the confluence.
Previous visitors had reported no difficulty reaching this confluence and reported a sign requesting only that the gate be closed. That sign was still there. Today, however, there was also a large sign stating: STOP DANGER Do Not Enter MECHANICAL THINNING IN PROGRESS HAZARDS FROM FLYING DEBRIS. I have lived, and traveled in the central and western United States and visited many forested areas. I have never before encountered such a notice nor was I even familiar with the term mechanical thinning. (I learned later this is a method of thinning and mulching lower-growing brush and trees for fire control.) However, in the Western United States agricultural land is often posted and we respect the wishes of the land owners and managers. Also, it is DCP policy to respect posted property. Therefore, I did not enter here.
I continued to drive northbound on Hwy 22 which tracks a bit to the east in this area. After traveling about 0.2 mi. I came to another gate that was similarly marked, but now I was nearer to 38N, but because of the slight easterly direction of the road, I was actually farther from the confluence. My GPS showed the confluence to be about 1.02 mi. from this location. Therefore, I returned to the previously described gate and recorded my closest approach to the confluence as 0.85 miles and made photographs recording that location. It was late in the day and I did not have a way to contact anyone for information about the mechanical thinning activities and obtaining permission to enter. I was quite disappointed in this failed visit having traveled 1200 miles from my home in southeastern Nebraska and having no plans to return here any time soon. I returned to my campground with the satisfaction of having seen some interesting landscape and animals on a beautiful summer day.