18-May-2015 -- My final confluence visit during this road trip was to this ‘Forgotten Confluence Point’ - visited for the first and only time in July 2001. Perhaps this point would have been visited more often if more people had realized the significance of this point: It’s halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, and ⅓-way around the world from the Greenwich Meridian. By my count, there are only 4 other Degree Confluence Points on land that rival this one in significance:
- The South Pole
- 45N 0, in France
- 0 120E (still unvisited), in Sulawesi, Indonesia
- 45N 120E (still unvisited), in Inner Mongolia, China
From Bend, I drove north on US-97, then turned eastward, passing through the small town of Antelope. I stopped briefly at the "Clarno Unit" of the "John Day Fossil Beds National Monument”. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend going here unless you had a reason to be in the area (as I did); the only fossils visible from the trail were barely-recognizable fossils of leaves and branches.
I then continued through the small town of Fossil (perhaps I might have found better fossils there?), then turned onto Kinzua Road, which eventually turns to gravel, changing its name to Lonerock Road. I think this is the same road that the previous visitor - James Jamison - took in 2001. However, one thing that has apparently changed since 2001 is that the end of Lonerock Road is blocked by a locked gate, at 44.98553°N 120.03941°W, just over 2 miles (as the crow flies) from the confluence point. The gate was signed “Private Road”, but not “No Trespassing”, so I decided to park here, and continue along the road on foot.
As I hiked along Lonerock Road, my GPS receiver noted several farm roads that might have been a shortcut towards the confluence point. Each of these was posted with “No Trespassing” signs noting that the land was owned by “Wilderness Unlimited”. (I learned afterwards that this is a private hunting club.) So I had to continue along the road as it meandered around, but eventually passed just 0.3 miles east of the point. I then hiked along a grassy, sparsely forested slope, until I reached the point, which lies in a clearing. Several tree stumps were visible nearby, showing that the area had been logged a few decades ago.
My hike to the confluence point was more than 4 miles each way, with about 800 feet of elevation gain.