This confluence has been visited four times by 11 people, with three of the parties
thinking they were first! It is interesting to note the inaccuracy of each
confluence visit, even though they all had GPS's.
This visit was by Ray Sumner and students from his Long
Beach City College geography class. Visit
27-Aug-1999 -- Elinormarie Morrissy, Putting the Story Together:
Dr. Sumner had each student take charge of reporting on part of the
experience. I agreed to take everyone’s reports and put them together
into a report to be placed on the Geography and Degree Confluence Project
websites. My fellow participants' impressions follow below.
Char Cowrey, The Trip and the Rocks: The ride was very
interesting for Hacienda Heights is nestled in a rocky canyon. Throughout
the trip, it was amazing to look out the window and see the layers of rock
that had formed over millions of years.
When we finally got there, the sounds in the canyon were quite
remarkable. If you sat really still, you could actually hear the cracking
of the canyon walls. I walked to the side of the road to take a closer
look at the rocks. Some of the rocks had a glitter to them while others
seemed to be almost transparent. The colors of the rock varied greatly:
some were dark grey, almost black and others were white.
Scott Morrissy, Using GPS to Locate the Spot: We arrived in the
vicinity of the confluence, which was located in an unincorporated area of
Los Angeles County known as Hacienda Heights. The area immediately
around the confluence is very hilly, with some locally steep terrain. We
utilized a Global Position System receiver to pinpoint the confluence, which
was a short walk from where we parked our van. Due to the steepness
of the terrain, our loaner GPS had difficulty acquiring and maintaining a
good lock on at least 3 of the overhead satellites. I walked the receiver
unit to the spot I thought was the confluence when the receiver lost its
lock and the readout indicated we needed to move to a location a few
meters away. That turned out to be a short climb up a very steep hill just
north of Oak Canyon Road.
Jaqui volunteered to make the climb with the GPS receiver. Dr. Sumner
then took a few pictures, including one of Jaqui on the hillside holding the
GPS unit. After assisting Miss Jacobs back down the hill, the GPS then
indicated the confluence had moved about 10 to 15 meters south of the
hillside on the other side of the road. This showed us that the GPS was
still having difficulty maintaining its satellite lock. The last reading was very
close to the site where the original party that had come here had located
Jaqui Jacobs, A Scary Climb: It was a pretty scary experience
in Hacienda Heights for me. To find the correct degrees of 34N and 118W,
I had to climb up a very steep canyon with loose dirt and weak weeds. I
volunteered to make that risky uphill journey so that we could have a picture
of the Global Positioning System receiver in the correct spot for the website.
As I began to climb, I realized that there was limited footing and those
weak-rooted weeds were very tough to grasp onto. I just prayed that that
lithosphere and a little bit of the biosphere would not fail me on the way up.
Well, I got there and it was worth it. The picture got taken and I didn't fall.
I should have knocked on any wood I could have found because I still
had to figure out a way to get down. I looked down and realized that I had
climbed a lot higher than I thought. Needless to say, I had to slide down.
To make a dusty story short, I made it down with a little help from Dr. Ray
stopping my fall. The good news is the picture was taken, I was okay and
the GPS was still intact. It was definitely an experience not to be forgotten.