22-Aug-2015 -- A couple of years ago, whilst working on polio eradication in northern Nigeria together, a colleague told me about the Degree Confluence Project and relayed some of his efforts to be the first to document uncharted points in the dodgy middle of nowhere. More recently I purchased my own first GPS unit. Remembering the Degree Confluence Project, I harboured designs on being the first to document at least one of the remaining confluences. Since they are few and far between locally, I decided to practice with the nearest point to home. I wouldn’t be the first… but it would be my first.
So on a balmy August Saturday, I drove 30 miles or so north with my wife in tow. The location turned out to be in a very nice neighbourhood – lovely homes, well-tended lawns – and right on someone’s driveway. Well, I knew this setting out, since it was already documented by previous confluence hunters. Warily stepping onto the driveway with GPS in hand, it wasn’t long before a resident appeared at the door: “Confluence?” (it was barely a question), “Yeah,” I grinned “… that okay?” - “Fine”.
The four cardinal photos took moments but trying to get all the zeroes took an age, the north or west alternately flipping to .001 or .999. Finally I got the shot. I finished with a general area pic (the confluence point is on the left edge where the grass meets the driveway). Hopefully one day I will bag a virgin point somewhere and have a more exciting tale to go along with it.