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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : California

15.4 miles (24.8 km) E of Shoshone, Inyo, CA, USA
Approx. altitude: 780 m (2559 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 36°S 64°E

Accuracy: 3 m (9 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Sunrise, taken shortly before starting the drive on the gravel road. #3: Looking East, with thumb #4: Looking South #5: Looking West, with shadow ;-) #6: All zeroes, with 3m accuracy, at 778m of elevation #7: Trite, perhaps, but X does mark the spot #8: One of several markers along the dirt road.

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  36°N 116°W (visit #8)  

#1: Looking North

(visited by Jim Carleton)

05-Aug-2011 -- I was driving home after a family visit in Pahrump, and I took Old Spanish Trail home, with the intention of at least checking out the dirt/gravel road that heads out to this Confluence from the paved Trail. Sunrise had occurred about 20 minutes earlier, so the air was very cool, and the road looked in good shape, so I opted to give it a shot.

The satellite image shows what looked like a road that would get me closer to the Confluence than the road I was on, but I never saw it. Numerous carsonite markers on the west side of the road declared the area behind the markers to be a BLM wilderness, with all vehicles prohibited, so maybe the track has been deliberately obliterated.

Be that as it may, when I reached N36º, I parked my Civic and walked the remaining 851 meters to the point. Typical Basin-and-Range: sandier than the Mojave, with lots of creosote and eriogonum. I'd hoped to see a few early birds, and maybe a rabbit or two, but I saw no animals larger than flies, although I had heard one coyote howl before I started my walk.

At the Confluence the immediate area is flat: dried silt and mud, with a sprinkling of rocks and stones. An earlier visitor had etched an 'X' in this; it matched quite well with where I zeroed out. It has slowly eroded over time, likely whenever a little rain hits the area, so I re-etched it, and added a small brown rock in the center.

Not much has changed in the decade-and-a-little since Ross Finlayson's visit, although I would strongly disagree with him that it is "rather boring... in a flat, featureless desert"; it has an amazing amount of details, if one knows where to look. Watching the sun lighting the tops of the Nopah Mountains just before sunrise was supremely beautiful. The numerous spider webs that stretch between plants tell of a thriving insect population, which the local arachnids are only too happy about. Avoiding those webs took some effort. Many holes under bushes speak of larger animals: birds, snakes, mice, bats, rabbits, kit foxes, coyotes... We saw several kit foxes on the drive into Pahrump the night before, as well as bats and a coyote. Dull, barren and lifeless the American deserts are definitely *not*, and I hope to never get tired of visiting them.


 All pictures
#1: Looking North
#2: Sunrise, taken shortly before starting the drive on the gravel road.
#3: Looking East, with thumb
#4: Looking South
#5: Looking West, with shadow ;-)
#6: All zeroes, with 3m accuracy, at 778m of elevation
#7: Trite, perhaps, but X does mark the spot
#8: One of several markers along the dirt road.
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)