19-Jul-2010 -- Since I started geocaching in 2002 I've been on the lookout for interesting caches to go to, interesting places to see. Awhile back I heard of the Degree Confluence Project, and would spend hours looking at various confluences in my home state of NY, and around the world. I had always hoped to visit at least one confluence in my lifetime.
The planning for the trip to the confluence point 44N 72W happened rather suddenly. I was planning on visiting a friend in Bristol, Vermont, and from there I was going to make my way to Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. I decided to see if there was a confluence point along the path I might take to Mt. Washington, and sure enough there was a rather easy one, this being 44N 72W. The confluence point being a rather easy walk in the woods of maybe 150 feet off a quiet country road.
Monday July 19, 2010, the morning I left Bristol, Vermont turned out to be cloudy, and at times rainy. The drive to the confluence point was about 90 miles as plotted on the car GPS. As the miles were dropping away on the GPS towards the confluence point, the adrenaline level in my blood stream kept rising. I was definitely noticing that my body seemed to be buzzing. This was going to be my first confluence point. I was going to stand at one of those special spots on the face of the Earth. Finally, I arrived at Route 25C northeast of Piermont, New Hampshire, and I pulled off the side of the road. The weather here was cloudy with a bit of drizzle.
I fired up the handheld GPS, marked the car's location, grabbed my knapsack and a tripod as I was alone and would need it to take pictures. I entered into the woods, as it turned out a little to the SE of the confluence point. The going was bit rough to get past all the trees in the way. Unlike the last visitor's pictures, this was a leafy green forest full of trees, which while small in diameter, still made for a zigzagging path to the confluence point.
It took maybe 3-4 minutes to get close to the confluence point, and as it was still cloudy, slightly rainy, and under tree cover, the GPS was having a bit of time settling in. The coordinates were tantalizingly close, but it took a while for the GPS to hit the magic numbers. At the moment I snapped, up went the flash and unfortunately caught part of the GPS with a flash bounce. Well, at least the numbers showing the GPS at 44° 00.000'N and 72° 00.000'W were plainly visible. I tried to move a bit this way and that to get another reading, but it never settled to the zeroes again. I grabbed the N, E, W, and S views as well as me in another photo. I made note that the white plastic jug referenced in the prior visit was no longer hanging on a tree, but had either fallen off or been removed.
I packed up the tripod and camera, took one last look around and savored the fact that I had found my first confluence point. On the way out I took a more direct southerly path to the road, and it was then I saw the low stone wall spoken of in the past visit.
I've done and seen a lot of interesting things in my life (3 total solar eclipses, multiple comets, and I've been on top of Mauna Kea), but this ranks right up there in the coolness factor.