30-Dec-2000 -- On Christmas I received a GPS receiver, and on the
following Saturday I went to my first confluence. The
closest confluence that had not been visited was along the
eastern shore of Lake Ontario near Watertown, New York.
This wasn't the physically closest unvisited confluence,
just the one with the shortest transit time.
Armed with the letter to land owners, some stellar topo
maps generated from NYSDOT digital raster data (updated in
the 90s, not the 50s), street maps, an aerial photograph,
and all the miscellany of camera and hiking gear I always I
have with me, I set out. The sky was leaden, and a light
snow was falling as I drove west. Four hours of driving
placed me along the road near the confluence, with my GPS
unit claiming I had a mere .15 miles to go.
I followed a deer track through shin-deep snow out to a
small clearing. This was located between a few houses and
a small river with a screen of trees hiding both from view.
In the clearing was an old metal barrel, shot full of
holes, and a small table obviously used for holding a gun
while it was sited in. Both were covered in snow. I
meandered about until I arrived at exactly 44°N 76°W (WGS84
coordinate system), a spot right next to a low-lying
snow-covered bush. I took a few photographs. Out of
curiosity, I went to the barrel, which turned out to be
within a few feet of 44°N 76°W in the NAD 27 coordinate
The trip back was uneventful, excepting that a major
snowstorm was in the works and the return trip took six
hours instead of the expected four.