18-May-2000 -- It was a cold, wet, dreary day back in May
when I finally gave in to the urge to go confluence hunting. Emily wasn't nearly
so thrilled, but she demonstrated the patience for which she is renown and agreed
to come along. We got in the car, I threw my water resistant hiking boots in the
trunk, and our trip began heading north from Ann Arbor.
The confluence was just off a surprisingly busy rural road. As we approached,
several trucks came and went from a nearby processing plant owned by Hyponex
(think mulch, peat moss, and topsoil). The farmland in the area is identified as
'peat fields' on the 22-year-old topographical map, which would make sense. On
the day of my visit, however, the field containing the confluence appeared long
abandoned. Two rusty pieces of farm equipment stood guard on either side of the
entrance, and a stern "NO TRESPASSING" sign warned hunters to keep
off. Seeing that nobody was around and nothing appeared to have been planted,
I disregarded the sign and stepped over the barricade. Emily made the wiser
decision, to stay in the car.
Just off the road stood an old building, barely visible off in the distance to the
west in the panorama photo. Tire tracks overgrown with weeds ran the length of the
field, and as these were on slightly higher ground, I followed them away from the
street and toward the confluence. I was mildly paranoid about tresspassing, and the
drizzle continued to fall, so I gave up walking and started to jog in my soaking wet
boots, which I discovered gives one a fantastic cardiovascular workout.
The confluence point itself was a few yards off this path, in an unremarkable
patch of soggy weeds. As I snapped my pictures using Emily's camera, I reveled in
the knowledge that one more confluence had been documented, while at the same
time swearing that next time I got the urge to go confluence hunting, I'd hold off for
a sunny day!