02-Feb-2016 -- This is what we as old friends do: Meet near to and hike to confluence points. This time we had the opportunity to meet in Wimberley, Texas, one breezy but beautiful winter day, as I was in the area teaching at Texas State University, Austin Community College, and the University of Texas San Antonio. As we have done several times during our meetings in the past, we decided to meet in a town close to a confluence point we had not yet visited. This time we chose Wimberley, a picturesque town in the Texas Hill Country. After we met, we made a beeline to the confluence point as the sun was sinking a bit low and we did not want the photo quality to be compromised by long shadows.
We drove east on Old Kyle Road, and then on the many winding roads in the subdivision characterized by wide open spaces and the vegetation of the Hill Country. If I had not been looking at the GPS, it would be very easy to get lost in these streets. After 20 minutes from departing the town, we were on the lane that the confluence point lies south of. When I was here 10 years ago, my colleagues and I trekked in thorns and other obstacles to reach this road. The road was new at the time and not on any map, which is why we had hiked up and down hills to reach this spot rather than simply drive there. Today's journey was considerably easier: The roads were on the map and we had newer technology at our fingertips.
We stopped at the gate, but unlike a decade ago, there was nobody to call at the house from the call box and dial pad at the gate. And this was a serious gate with serious trespassing warnings. On our phones on the web we found the web page for the house and the tours offered, which we couldn't have done 10 years ago. We left a message, but nobody returned our call. Sighing but not completely disappointed as it was a lovely afternoon, and I was wearing my geography tie, we then decided to walk to the position on 98 West that was due north of the confluence. The confluence was, as I last remembered it as well, in the thick tree cover 139 meters to the south of where we stood. We leaned over the fence--actually through the bars as the fence is too tall to lean over--to take a picture of the GPS at this closest approach. We knocked on the door of the house across the street to make inquiries; nobody home. Out of respect for the landowners, we had to concede that this visit was a "attempt". It was a peaceful spot and time of day and we enjoyed being together and our time there. We both have a nice tidy collection of points in Texas.
After our trek to the point, we drove back to town and walked around Wimberley, visiting some of the town's famous, beautiful, enormous hand painted and decorated cowboy boots. I liked them so much that I created a Story Map that tells the story of the boots. It was a great day and a perfect capstone on a geographically-centered week.