23-May-2016 -- This Degree Confluence point is in the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, in a remote region of southern Oregon (just north of the Nevada State Line), far from any significant towns. It’s not surprising, therefore, that this point had been visited only once before - by Neal and Candi Weathers - almost exactly 15 years ago. Because I knew that I was in for a long drive, and even longer hike, I wanted to allow plenty of time, so I camped the night before at the Virgin Valley Campground, just off Highway 140.
Early the next morning, I turned off Highway 140 at 41.90337°N 119.18993°W, and headed north on a doubletrack 4WD road. At 42.00269°N 119.15060°W - shortly after crossing into Oregon - I took another doubletrack that branched off to the right, heading eastwards towards the point. This road got rougher and rougher, until it ended at a fence, with a sign marking the Wildlife Refuge. I parked at this spot - 41.99381°N 119.08219°W - 4.25 miles from the point.
I began my (8.5-mile round-trip) hike by descending from a rocky escarpment, then continuing along gently rolling terrain, filled with sagebrush. The “Sheldon Wildlife Refuge” lived up to its name; during the hike I saw several rodents and jackrabbits, and at one point a curious coyote came within 100 m and watched me as I walked past. About 1 mile from the point, I passed just to the south of a small gully. At this point, the terrain changed a little, becoming more rocky.
The Degree Confluence point is located in rock-strewn terrain, among sagebrush. I was disappointed to see a rock cairn with a ‘geocache’ box at the point. I didn’t expect this at such a remote location. However, it turns out (according to the date in the geocache’s log book) that the geocache was set up by the Weathers (the first visitors to this point). Since then, the geocache was visited several times in the '00s - but apparently my visit was the first since 2011.