28-Sep-2019 -- As I had just arrived in the Minnesota and Wisconsin region for five days of keynote address, hands-on workshops, presentations, and meetings around the topic of geographic technologies, a confluence visit seemed like the most appropriate way to begin. And so, not long after arriving at the Minneapolis-St Paul airport, I was driving east out of Minnesota into Wisconsin for what I hoped was a doable confluence point. The easiest would have been 46 North 93 West, but I had visited it already back in 2011. And therefore, entering Wisconsin just east of Hinkley, I had enough daylight in front of me, and it was a glorious early autumn day.
From eastbound State Highway 77, I drove south on Lower Mackenzie Road, a wonderful road winding through the forest, and then east on Zehm Road. I did not realize how much this area was favored by the off road vehicle recreationalists with numerous trails evident and occasional spotting of small convoys of them riding their Polaris and other vehicles. Dolly Road had been improved for a few hundred feet from the earlier Google Street View image, but at the top of the next hill, it turned to sand, and in a short time I stopped, not wanting to get stuck out here. I proceeded east, now on foot, on the same road, to the bend the road takes to the south. Here, while a No Trespassing sign appears on the driveway leading northeast, nothing appears on the faint track to the northwest from this point. It was almost too good to be true, heading almost straight for the point. I followed this for 10 minutes in the trees, and then found the confluence without too much jogging around, only 20 meters to the west of the track. Moss and fallen branches abounded, but the ground was fairly dry and I suffered only a few scratches.
The confluence lies on level ground in a moderately dense forest of young trees; surely this is not the original forest cover. The surrounding countryside is quite hilly and filled with wetlands and lakes, so it is amazing how easy this point truly is. It was early afternoon in early autumn, clear skies, little wind, temperature about 72 F. Wildfires had occurred in this area, and perhaps these trees had grown up since the last fire. I saw no animals, birds, or people. On site, I reflected that I had stood on 46 North a number of times in the past, from Oregon on the west to New Brunswick Canada on the east. I had also stood on 92 West several times in the past, from one degrees south of here, to 31 South on the south end, last year in Louisiana. I now have a nice tidy collection of points in just about every part of the state of Wisconsin, from the southeast along a residential street in Milwaukee to a field in the southwest part of the state, to a very wet wetlands trek in the northeast, to some marshes, fields, and woods here in the northwest.
I spent 10 minutes on the site, and walked out the way I came in. Once back along the road, I made a set of videos that detailed what I consider to be the top 5 saddest songs, which I have been wanting to do for awhile. Why here? Well, out here, nobody is here to cringe at my singing. I will post these to my Our Earth video channel. This was a great trek to a great state, a perfect beginning to my geo-related work trip, and I was thankful to be here. Get out there and explore the world!