21-Aug-2012 -- I retired on April 9th. On April 10th my wife and I drove to Dahlonega, Georgia, so that the next day we could begin our most ambitious confluence hunt to date: a 13 state, 1785 mile walk to visit New Hampshire's most northwestern whole integer latitude - longitude crossing. We had decided to follow the most scenic route possible, so that meant for most of the way we would be hiking on the route of the famed Appalachian Trail (which this year celebrates the 75th anniversary of its completion). Our hunt thus began on top of Springer Mountain on April 11th. 132 days later, we completed our goal - the DCP's longest walk to visit a confluence point!
The story of most of our journey can be found on the www.trailjournals.com website. To find it, enter our trail names "the Troverts" in the Search block. Suffice it to say it was an amazing trip. We also set a DCP record by losing 29 (me) and 35 (my wife Cynthia) pounds along the way (which means at the confluence point we weigh less with our fully loaded backpacks on [including two liters of water and four days of food] than we did at the start without them). We have seen temperatures from 36° F. to a heat index of 112, been in a lightning storm where a tree was struck less than 20 meters away, and have been hailed on at least four times. With our combined elevation gain, we could have gone from sea level to the top of Everest a dozen times (thankfully we've had more oxygen than on that climb!).
Anyway, to complete the account: At the road crossing of the Appalachian Trail across NH 25C, we left the woods and turned left (west). The AT is 4.1 miles from 44N 72W following NH 25C. As weight on this trip has been so critical, this was our first confluence hunt without using a camera or a dedicated GPS: we relied entirely on our iPhones. When we got within 50 meters of the point, we left the paved road and dove back into the woods. We crossed a low stone wall and then a powerline. Trust us, that is not the first time either one of those things has happened in the past 17 weeks! Then we were standing at 44N 72W, an imaginary point in some nondescript New Hampshire woods. As always though, the feeling was very satisfying! Our only disappointment was failing to record all zeroes with our iPhones. Other than that we found they worked great.
After a few minutes of celebrating, we decided since we had come so far, we might as well try and finish the remaining 403 miles of the AT. Not wanting to walk any further than necessary, it was time to hitchhike back to where we got off the trail...