06-Sep-2015 -- I was in some serious confluence withdrawal with my last visited point some four months before, and was looking forward to what has become my annual day or two out in the field solely to visit confluence points. During the day before, I visited 39, 38, 37, and 36 North Latitude along 106 West Longitude. Today, I visited 35 and 34 North along the same line of longitude, and in mid-afternoon, I was now nearing 33 North. This would be my southernmost point along this line of longitude for this trip: After this point, my plan was to start north along 107 West. From Highway 55, I turned south along US Highway 54, passing through Carizozo and Tularosa. Anticipation mounted as turned west on Radio Road in Tularosa, and then south along Riata Road. I crossed over the railroad track, but then the road deviated from the track, only to return to it later. As I approached a major gully spanned by a bridge, I pulled over in the large gravel parking area along the west side of the road. I gathered supplies and quickly set out.
It was already after 1:00pm, and so I walked briskly, watching for traffic on Riata Road, and then watching for trains along the track to the east. After crossing the tracks, I descended into the side gully that fed into the main gully, or arroyo, to the south. The gully was steep but fortunately I was able to descend and ascend it. After climbing to the other side, I was on flat ground of mostly bare dirt broken by a few desert shrubs. It was approximately 90 degrees F under clear skies and no wind. This would be the warmest of my 11 confluences points over the three day trip. It had been less than 15 minutes after I had left the vehicle when I found the confluence point.
The confluence lies on flat land, near the main arroyo but north of it. It was late summer--early September--a magnificent time to be outside in New Mexico. I had visited 33 North numerous times in the past, from California on the west to Georgia on the east. My treks to 106 West had been fewer--but over the past two days, I had stood on 106 several times, as noted above, and also in the past further north in Colorado and in Wyoming. This point was near some housing, but it was still largely a desert location. No houses had yet reached this point, although judging from some trash around, this was a spot that local young people hung out in. The mountains to the east were interesting geologically and scenic. Given my goals for the rest of the day, which was to visit at least two more points, I spent only 20 or so minutes at the site. I saw no people, no animals, and few birds.
I hiked back the way I had come in. Just after I crossed the train tracks and road, a train thundered by. I was amazed at how fast it was going, given our close proximity to populated areas. It was a great day and I had some great moments at this site. Get out there and explore the world!