03-Aug-2016 -- As I was at the University of Kansas, en route back to Colorado, a confluence visit seemed like the perfect thing to do. Never mind that it was "only" about 150 miles out of the way: To a geographer, everything is "on the way" to everything else! And so, I drove north and west on some wonderful country roads to arrive at the confluence of 40 North 96 West. From this point, it was a drive to the west along the state line, then north into Nebraska, west on the state highway about 12 miles into the interior of Nebraska, where I passed through wind farms and cornfields, to a north-south dirt road that would bring me south to just a mile east of my goal. I drove south to the state line, which was not surprisingly an east-west section line road in this area. I arrived in the vicinity about 90 minutes after departing the vicinity of 40 North 96 West.
I turned west along this east-west road that was built right on top of the state line. I parked in the hollow a few hundred meters east of the 97th Meridian, then walked west, and then south into the field. Why a hollow? There is no need to attract attention if one does not need to. Fortunately, as I suspected from the satellite image, the field to the south was not planted in crops. It was in moderately high prairie grass with a few rocks. I was fortunate in another way, because the field just to the northwest was solidly in corn, which would be more difficult, and also because I avoid trampling on farmers' crops. I was also fortunate that this point was not 60 more meters to the south, because a large pond is located there and judging from the surrounding incised terrain, it looked to be quite deep. After about 10 minutes, ambling down a moderate slope, I reached the point. It was midday in mid-late summer. The temperature stood at about 94 F (34 C) and the air was moderately humid. It was great to be here; the view to the southwest was especially grand. I saw no animals nor any birds.
I now have an unbroken string of confluences along 40 North from Utah on the west to Missouri on the east. It truly brings the geo-tears, because this string stretches all the way from 109 West to 95 West. This was my first time on this particular point, which I have long wanted to visit, to complete this string. I have also stood on 97 West a number of times, from Minnesota on the north to Texas on the south. I now probably have at least 15 points in Kansas. Even though this point is on 40 North, the intended northern boundary of Kansas, the actual boundary of Kansas is 70 or so meters north of here, along the road. The point therefore lies in Kansas. But I could definitely see Nebraska off to the north, up the slope.
I hiked out the way I came in. I then needed a bit longer of a walk, particularly with my long drive ahead of me, so I walked west another mile. The road came to an end in a cornfield but not before crossing a magnificent double railroad track. I filmed several videos there as a sign was on the track labeled "State Line" without any indications of which state line it was. It was a very interesting sign to a geographer. I walked back to the east and then filmed some fascinating prairie grouse; very small and active; they tried to fly away when I approached but could not quite get airborne. I wasn't sure if it was because of their young age. I then drove south into the deeper parts of Kansas, but still in the northern tier of counties, and then west along US 36 all the way into Colorado. On this route, I passed, through many wonderful towns and fields. I've been this way before but it never fails to delight. Get off the interstate highway and travel this route sometime! It was a great day to be out on the landscape.