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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Colorado

12.4 miles (20.0 km) SW of Weston, Las Animas, CO, USA
Approx. altitude: 2767 m (9077 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 37°S 75°E

Accuracy: 6 m (19 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: View north from confluence #3: View east #4: View south showing very steep slope #5: View west #6: GPS position #7: View west from top of ridge, confluence is steeply down hill to right #8: View south from top of ridgeline above confluence #9: Herd of elk on the road back down #10: Looking south towards confluence hill from bottom of valley

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  37°N 105°W (visit #4)  

#1: View north from ridge above confluence

(visited by Shawn Fleming)

28-Aug-2014 -- I was on a trip to visit my daughters over Parent’s Weekend and decided to leave a day early to visit this confluence.

I had called the Tercio Ranch several months earlier in the year wanting to visit over a weekend. I had a pleasant conversation with Charlie Womack who let me know that a weekend visit would not be possible and to try back later in the year. Not wanting to be a burden I said I would call again in August. When I did, the ranch was getting busy for hunting season and there was a good chance that they might not be able to accommodate my request. I drove up and spent the night in Trinidad and on Thursday morning I called again. It was possible but only if the visit would be quick since the ranch was getting ready for hunting season and I would have to be accompanied by one of the ranch hands from the Ranch to the confluence.

I met Mr. Womack at the Tercio Ranch and told him of my goal for the day. I was introduced to Carlos Large who would be my guide and accompany me. He hopped in my Tahoe and off we went up a beautiful valley and a fairly well maintained dirt road until we were on top of a ridge above and east of the confluence. We stopped just over 100 meters south and about 150 feet vertically from the confluence. It would have been possible to score from the top of the hill just slightly off the road but what would be the fun in that? The top of the ridge was mostly clear with a lot of downed trees from the fire in 2002. We hiked down the very steep slope with a mixture of fresh growth and burned trees that we needed to hold on to for support at times as we descended along a serpentine path to the confluence.

At the confluence, we were in a dense stand of young aspen trees and previously burned conifers. The view to the north and up the valley was outstanding if not for the dense trees. The steep slope can be seen in the pictures at the confluence. Additional pictures were taken at the top of the hill and we started back continuing west along the road that we had come up. This way back was longer but Carlos said we would likely see a bunch of elk and sure enough we saw two large groups on our way back.

We made it back to the ranch just under an hour after leaving and I dropped Carlos off and thanked Mr. Womack for the permission and opportunity to visit this point while they were busy setting up for hunting season.

Total round trip time from the intersection of Highway 12 and CR-13 at Stonewall was 1:30 with 50 km driving. The round trip hike was 20 minutes and 427 meters. About 15 minutes of the total was spent at the Tercio Ranch prior to and after the trip.

What an incredibly scenic valley and great confluence adventure!


 All pictures
#1: View north from ridge above confluence
#2: View north from confluence
#3: View east
#4: View south showing very steep slope
#5: View west
#6: GPS position
#7: View west from top of ridge, confluence is steeply down hill to right
#8: View south from top of ridgeline above confluence
#9: Herd of elk on the road back down
#10: Looking south towards confluence hill from bottom of valley
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)
  Notes

E-mail from Dan:

Hello,
I stumbled across your site while searching for a map of Vermejo Park Ranch (I can't find mine). I have hunted at VPR for the last several years and have some info that may help you, or not.

First, the people who work at VPR are some of the best you could ever hope to meet. Second, entering the property without permission would not only be illegal, it would be very, very dangerous as hunting of one form or another occurs on the property nearly year 'round. The guides know where people are supposed to be or not be and keep in touch with each other and ranch headquarters by radio. Rifle bullets carry a long way and if they don't know you're there - well you get the point. Third, El Paso Energy doesn't have legal authority to allow you on the property. El Paso employees can only enter the property for work relating to their gas wells and are not supposed to be there otherwise. (Ted turner did not/could not buy the gas rights to the property when he bought it or El Paso would not be there. The damage El Paso has done to the property is horrific. You should have seen it several years ago before they started tearing it up.) Lets see... fourth (fourthly?), Cerroso canyon is on VPR property. If I remember right, at some point the public road dead ends into a locked gate. Next, VPR extends North into Colorado a pretty good way. I think the western boundary of the ranch runs along the ridge line of the Sangre de Cristo mountains along Little Castillo Peak.

Last, to repeat myself, the people at VPR are good people. I'm sure if you ask in advance and explain your project they will try to help. Due to liability issues they may want someone to accompany/guide you. There are a lot of dead end roads on VPR, old logging and mine roads that have been closed, abandoned rail lines that have been removed, and hunting roads that just exist to get you into the middle of nowhere. I've hunted there for ten years and still don't understand how the guides find their way around. Good luck.