31-Aug-2013 -- It was my favorite time of day--late afternoon, heading for evening, and I was doing one of my favorite things: Being out in the field, heading for a confluence point. I was nearing the end of my two day Great Plains trek, one I had looked forward to for 6 years, and really hated to see it end. The weather was still quite hot, especially that I had been driving straight into the setting sun along US Highway 60, but not as hot as it had been earlier that day or the day before. In fact, the entire two day 105 F degree trek without air conditioning I considered calling "Sweatin' to the Satellites".
After visiting 36 North 99 West, I drove due west on the aforementioned highway, Highway 60. I reached the state line of Texas, and at Higgins, nearly missed my turn. Driving south on Farm Road 1453, the terrain was a bit hillier than I expected. After 15 minutes, I reached Road 2758 and began to drive east. The weather had cooled to the upper 90s by now and the terrain was lovely with the lowering sun reflecting off of the fields. Most of them seemed to be wheat and alfalfa in this area with a great deal of cattle grazing. I passed a sign that said "Oklahoma - 1 mile" - I wanted to take a photograph, but was in a bit of a hurry, so I pressed on. At Road 30, I drove south, down a slope and then up a hill, parking near the top. I gathered supplies, applied one more helping of sunblock, and set out to the east. I hiked southeast, through the field, into the next field, and encountered some cattle. Unknown to me at the time, it was at this point where I crossed into Oklahoma. I found the confluence on ground sloping ever so slightly to the east on the far side of this field.
I saw no people. Aside from the cattle, I saw no animals or birds. There were a few insects. The longest views were to the beautiful mesas to the southeast. The wind, fortunately, was light. I had stood on 100 West several times in the past, from 45 North 100 West in South Dakota to 30 North 100 West in Texas, but it was always a thrill to stand on such a prominent line of longitude. I had also stood on 36 North many times, from California on the west to North Carolina on the east. This was my first time at 36 North 100 West. I had a tidy sum of confluences in Oklahoma now. I wanted to linger, but needed to get home. This was my 8th confluence in two days. I was feeling pretty energized but now had a long way to travel.
I hiked out the way I came in without incident. The total round trip time in the field was less than an hour. It was a prettier confluence than I had expected. This was my favorite time of year and my favorite time of day: Summer late afternoons. Now I truly was a long way from home. Would I be able to stay awake all the way back to Colorado? As it turned out, I did not reach home until 11 hours later, not until 4:00am. I had seriously underestimated the distance traveled. But, aside from difficulties in staying awake, I enjoyed my drive. I drove west from the confluence on farm roads, reaching US 60 again. I then drove southwest and then northwest through northern Texas, through communities I had never before visited, such as Canadian, and Perryton. I drove across the Oklahoma panhandle, and had dinner in the car after stopping at the Subway in Boise City. I continued northwest along the eastern plains of Colorado, and then west into Denver. As I mentioned, I had visited 8 confluences in two days. Each one was unique and interesting and bring back great memories several months later as I am composing this narrative. Get out into the field!