12-Nov-2019 -- As I was in the area to conduct a geotechnologies set of presentations and workshops at the University of West Georgia and then at Clemson University, and as the confluence project is enabled by these same geotechnologies (GPS, web mapping, Geographic Information Systems), I considered a confluence visit to be the perfect capstone. Plus, this was the day before GIS Day (www.gisday.com), so the timing was perfect.
I was on my to Clemson today, beginning at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, and while it took over an hour to drive through Atlanta, I eventually made my way into South Carolina. The rain stopped, the skies cleared, and I drove up an absolutely beautiful road, State Highway 130, through the forest and mountains. The trees were in their full autumn colors, with a modest wind that was blowing the leaves skyward. Near the North Carolina border, I turned right, entering the Duke Energy facility access road that was open to the general public. If these folks had not kept this access road open, this point would not be able to be visited, due to the hydroelectric plants operating in this area. Thus, I thank the Duke folks. This winding road drops steeply in elevation, and I passed the confluence point first so I could see the overlook about a mile down the road to Lake Jocassee. The overlook, trees, mountains, and setting here make this confluence one of the loveliest I have ever visited. I drove back up the road, parking a short distance from the powerlines, where there was a tiny shoulder. I gathered supplies and set out.
After a few minutes, I realized that today, at least, the confluence was actually in the middle of the road. That meant that about 20 minutes before, I had driven right through it in the rental vehicle. I took care making the video and photographs, eyeing for traffic the whole time. People tend to drive quickly due to the steep slope of the road, so I was cautious. This point reminded me of the confluence-in-road I had visited in New York about 8 years ago, and the one on the on-ramp in Oregon that I had also visited. It was a sunny pleasant autumn day, midafternoon, about 71 F (22 C) under sunny skies with modest wind. About a month ago, I visited my first South Carolina point, at 35 North 81 West. I now have visited two, with this visit. As the confluence really was in the center of the road, I spent only 10 minutes on site.
As I walked back to the vehicle, I reflected on this point. I had been to 35 North several times, from North Carolina on the east to a spectacular hill climb in California on the west. I have also visited 83 West but only a few times, in Ohio last year, and in Tennessee, also last year. They have all been unique, varied, and I have enjoyed them all. This point, unlike many I have visited, actually turned out easier to reach than I had expected, and I was glad to be here. Once back at the vehicle, I stopped on the state line to get a few additional photos. I then had a lovely hike at the nearby Whitewater Falls, across the border in North Carolina, which I highly recommend. I then drove to Clemson University and walked around the campus, preparing for my workshops the following day.
Get out there and explore the world!