13-Oct-2018 -- As I was in the region conducting workshops, a keynote address, and presentations all designed around promoting and supporting the use of geotechnologies in education, and as the Degree Confluence Project has been enabled by the use of geotechnologies, and as my flight out of the Knoxville airport had been delayed by 90 minutes, I now had a bit of time, due to this delayed flight, to attempt one last confluence visit for this current two-state trip I was on. I had the good fortune of visiting three confluence points on this 7-day trip already, including this very morning, to a cotton field on the Alabama-Tennessee border, and so if I was able to visit 36 North 84 West, it would make four points visited during the week. What a great week!
And so, given that my flight was delayed, I drove into Knoxville from the west, on I-40, and instead of traveling straight to the airport, I drove north on I-640, west on Highway 9, and southwest on Merchants Drive, while anticipation mounted. After quite awhile in the suburban hills, I was driving northwest on Wilkerson Road. Not wanting to alarm anyone by a stranger pulling up, I drove to the next street where there were no houses, and parked there, and then walked back to the house where I knew the confluence lies. I knocked but there was no answer. I was already well within 100 meters of the point. It was a fine day, about 70 degrees F under moderately breezy and partly sunny skies. I walked northwest to the front of the next house, while still on the street, to where 84 degrees crosses the street, taking a few photos of my GPS unit. I could have called it good right there, but wanting to get a little closer, I knocked on the door of the neighboring house. A man came to the door, and, remembering the previous visitor, even though some visits were quite a few years ago, we had a nice chat. He told me that the whole valley was fairly rural until not too many years ago, when Knoxville grew up into this area. He then invited me to his backyard, and together we walked to its corner. I thanked him profusely the entire time. On this particular day, we determined that the confluence lay 2 meters over the fence, in the backyard of the first house I knocked at, as I suspected it would be. I leaned over as far as I could, over the fence, and took a few photographs. The man telephoned his neighbor, but she did not want to be bothered. Respecting this, I thanked the man again, wished him well, and bade him good day.
I have stood on 36 North many times, probably at least 15 times, from California on the west to North Carolina on the east. I have also stood on 84 West at least five times in the past, from Michigan on the north to Georgia on the south. This was my first time on 36 North 84 West. This is one of the rare suburban points I have encountered, though there have been plenty of urban points I have stood on over the past 20 years. This was a pleasant neighborhood with some decent-sized backyards, rolling hills, and ridges covered with trees. The trees had not yet turned color this fall. From various geo-related business trips, I have stood on I have a nice tidy collection of over half of the confluence points in Tennessee, from near Memphis on the west to one degree east of this point, from last weekend. I am missing only a few in the central part of the state.
I decided to not submit photos of the front or back of either of the "confluence houses", to respect the privacy of the landowners. The landowner I spoke with here was very kind and I do not wish to infringe or impose upon him in any way. I appreciated his willingness to talk with me, a total stranger, and the whole experience confirmed the best of the confluence project--that there are a great many good and kind people out there. Thank you sir for making this visit memorable. I still had some time before my flight departed, and so I drove about a mile east for a nice walk at Victor Ashe Park, before re-focusing on the airport and flying out of the region. Get out there and explore the world!