19-Nov-2016 -- It was a magnificent late autumn day, sun shining brightly with not a cloud in sight, and I was returning to the Albuquerque airport after visiting 4 universities and 2 schools this week, promoting teaching, learning, and research with geotechnologies (GIS, GPS, and remote sensing). I thought a confluence point would be the perfect capstone, particularly since I had begun the week in the same manner, visiting 36 North 107 West. Though still sore from scaling over the cliff and through very rough terrain to reach that point, I thought that 35 North 107 West would be much easier to reach, since it was in such close proximity to Interstate Highway 40. Up to this morning, I had been eyeing the confluence point one degree to the south of here, but in the interest of making it to the airport on time, I chose this one that was near the highway.
And so, I drove north on I-25 from Las Cruces to Albuquerque and then west on I-40. As at least one previous visitor had done, I drove along the frontage road to the north of the interstate highway after exiting east of the confluence point. However, I did not park underneath the highway due to the sticky mud and debris that was present there. I had a very challenging time walking underneath the highway, and when I bailed out of the center zone, which was extremely wet and muddy, by walking along the rocks that had been brought in to shore up the bridge, they proved to be quite slippery as well. But when that was accomplished, I was now on the south side of the highway, and began walking west-southwest. Immediately I noticed a rancher on horseback rounding up cattle to the south. I left the frontage road at a gate about 400 meters along the frontage road, and then walked along a four-wheel drive road in a southeasterly direction. When this road began bending too much to the east, I struck off in a southerly direction. I walked carefully to avoid the numerous spiky cacti there with an eye out for snakes. It was bright and not windy, with a temperature about 60 F, near noontime in November.
I was now climbing out of the wash formed from runoff with the GPS reading about 12 minutes; 0.66 miles (1062 meters) yet to go to the confluence, when two men rode up to me on horseback. After I explained my mission, they stated that I needed to obtain permission from the Laguna Pueblo Tribe to visit the point. They were kind but it was clear, and rightly so, that my trip was over at this point. I thanked them and turned back to the north. As I walked, I felt wistful only for a few minutes. My mood changed when I counted my blessings: It was a beautiful day, I was out on the landscape, and I had not been fined or worse. It was a great day. After filming a few videos adjacent to I-40 about transportation geography,, I reached the vehicle with two miles covered in 45 minutes. I drove to Albuquerque and had another nice walk along the Rio Grande with the cottonwoods changing color here in late autumn for another 45 minutes before heading to the airport.
The bottom line for all future visitors: To visit this point, you need to request permission from the Laguna Pueblo Tribal Government. I hope to do exactly this and return to this beautiful spot someday.