18-Oct-2016 -- As I was in the area conducting a career exhibit and presentation at Mead High School, and as I visit this point every five years or so to witness the changes that have occurred in this rapidly urbanizing area, I decided to visit this point on my way back to the office. Much has indeed occurred since my last visit. I parked on the north-south road that is just east of the point, on the shoulder, as I did during my last visit.
There is so much traffic on Baseline Road, which is the east-west road with a centerline of about 20 meters north of the 40 degree latitude line, that I had to walk east to reach the traffic light on Huron Street. Even so, I had to take great care to make sure that turning vehicles could see me. No other pedestrian was in sight; and no sidewalks existed; this was definitely a landscape dominated by the automobile. As I had driven here from the west, I had noticed entire square miles of housing that had not existed even during my last visit, and certainly not during my first visit back in 2002. Back then, I had taken my children here. I definitely do not recommend taking children here now--there is far too much traffic, and much of it oblivious to pedestrians. In the 15 years that had elapsed, I had assumed that the confluence point would someday be in someone's backyard of their residence, but a large sign indicating the new home of the University of Colorado's north health science center campus today told me otherwise: It was conceivable that the point would be on the north end of a hospital wing. It may be behind the hospital wing, as I assume that someday the road will be four lanes wide and the wing I assume will not be constructed too close to this road. But the point definitely will not be an agricultural field for much longer. Depending on the funding for the health sciences center, it could be a few years, but change is definitely all around this point with a children's hospital already constructed to the north and east, a retail center on the other side of I-25 to the east, and houses to the north and west of the point.
Just west of the point, the barbed wire fence has collapsed, so it was fairly easy to walk into the field today. I say "fairly" easy because it was still choked with tall thorny plants. It is a very noisy point, lying just south of the state highway, and I could see the farthest to the south, where the land sloped away from the road. Colorado was experiencing an exceptionally warm autumn, and the temperature stood at over 70 degrees F in the middle of October. It was clear with a modest breeze. I spent about 10 minutes at the point, mostly in an attempt to zero out my cell phone GPS apps, as I did not bring my GPS receiver with me today. This point makes it crystal clear that the Earth is a dynamic planet and shows the value of repeat visits in the Degree Confluence Project.
After I visited the point, I walked to the new housing development about a half mile north of the point. It was already quite extensive, and interestingly, they had left the last barn from the old agricultural days, surrounded now by houses. I surmised that they would turn it into a community gathering place, which was somewhat comforting, and it had recently been painted. But I couldn't help but feel a bit wistful at the rapidly disappearing agricultural landscape in this region. Still, it was a great day to get out into the field, even if the "field" was rapidly changing to anything but.