12-Nov-2017 -- As I had just arrived in Florida for workshops, keynote addresses, and meetings with students and faculty at the University of Central Florida and at the University of Miami, with several primary and secondary education workshops in the mix as well, and as these events were focused on geotechnologies, and as I had already visited the two other easy central Florida confluence points, a visit to 29 North 82 West seemed to be the logical starting point for the week. And so, after arriving at the Orlando airport, I was soon on the Florida turnpike heading north and then northwest. I seem to have done that quite a bit over the years--flown somewhere, and my first stop is a confluence point. It is a great way to see the landscape.
As I neared the point, the landscape became an eclectic mixture of the old and new in Florida--still plenty of funky food shacks and small bungalows, but some massive and gated new communities, some with shopping facilities right on site. I could see some vegetation damage from this Fall's terrible hurricanes, with some large piles of palm leaves and shrubs that people have been piling up. The traffic, as I suspected, was incredibly busy along US Highway 441, which, interestingly, is the same road that passes by the confluence point 1 degree south and 1 degree east of here, 28 North 81 West, traversing as it does from the northwest to the southeast in Florida. I would visit that point at the end of my Florida trip, so these two points made great end-points. I slowed as I neared the turnoff. I made certain that I signaled in plenty of time for the traffic behind me to see that I wished to turn into the business where the confluence point was located.
It was a Sunday afternoon in mid-November, and the business, as I suspected, was closed. I exited the vehicle and walked up to the fence to reach the location closest to the confluence point. I could clearly see that the confluence point would be on the pavement directly in front of me, inside the gate. If one wanted to actually zero out the receiver, one would need to come back to this establishment during regular business hours and ask permission. I had stood on 29 North a few times before, in Texas. I had only stood on 82 West twice before, at the two confluence points in a line to the south of me, at 27 North 82 West and at 28 North 82 West. This point is among the easiest of any points I had visited, which is evident in the number of visits this point has had. Despite the urbanization here, when one thinks of the swamps and thorns and wetlands where this point could just as easily have been located, it is amazing that this point happened to fall on pavement. Yes, there is much pavement in this part of the world, but still much natural terrain -- at least for now.
The temperature stood at about 65 degrees F under cloudy skies and light winds. The highway noise is about the most noticeable thing about this confluence. After being on the site less than 10 minutes, I left the area, not wanting anyone to get nervous and think I was trying to break in. However, my adventure was not quite over: Since this point involved no walking, and since I had been sitting for hours on the airplane, I then drove to Lake Apopka to take a hike along the north shore. The hike was wonderful as it was a totally different environment than what I was used to. Despite the alligator warning signs making me a bit nervous, it was a great way to begin my week in Florida. I drove to my hotel and then worked on final preparations for the workshops I was to teach that week. Get out there onto the landscape!