28-Jan-2001 -- She said:
It was cloudy. The weather predictors had said there would be
scattered showers. Jeff and I had planned to find the confluence
located at 31°N 95°W today. The GPS Unit was indicating
pretty good satellite coverage before we left Houston. We decided to
Jeff had already gotten all our maps together, as usual. We had a
pleasant, uneventful drive to within 0.8 miles of the confluence. It
didn't even rain on us on the way there.
We had to park the truck on the side of a dirt road and take off
walking into a heavily wooded area. For a few minutes it looked like
that 0.8 miles was going to present some difficulty. It didn't. Within
a few feet we found ourselves following a public utility easement.
Either side of the easement was heavily wooded. We didn't have to go
there. When we reached the confluence it was off the easement slightly.
It was also the only clearing off the easement. Jeff just walked right
up to the spot. We saw the zero's we were looking for within minutes of
reaching the area. Then the clouds rolled in. The GPS unit had us
several feet off the spot. We checked the probable error and it was at
33'. It seemed that we weren't having such good luck after all. Jeff
went ahead and dropped a lighter at the spot we had and I took off to
find the new spot. It rained on us. The face of the GPS had water
drops on it and I kept drying it off. I was really worried about Jeff's
digital camera. We waited out the rain. The clouds backed off. I
resumed my search for "the spot". I found it. And, found
myself standing directly above the lighter Jeff had dropped within the
the first few minutes of reaching the area. Jeff got the picture of the
It's been a good day.
For our second confluence we picked one that had not been tried
before; the one at 31N x 95W. Both mapblast and topozone said we could
drive to with in easy walking distance but the final mile or two were
unimproved road according to topozone so we hopped in the Trooper this
When we left Houston the temp was about 68 and the sky
overcast making the drive North on US59 a pleasure - the fact that it
was Superbowl Sunday helped keep the traffic light. We hung a left at
the junction with Texas 287 while Anne's GPS was telling us we were a
bit over 10 miles East of the confluence.
A bit over nine miles later, we found the dirt road we were
looking for (picture 2). Taking a left, and following the ruts, we
eventually came to a electric utility right of way that the GPS was
pointing directly up. We parked the truck, marked it, and started
As soon as we got into the right of way, we saw that we could
have driven on it's access road, but we were only about .7 miles from
the confluence and continued afoot. While the right of way was clear,
there was medium dense woods on both sides. That is dense until we came
to the actual confluence (picture 1) where we found a small
Holding the GPS I walked into the clearing, got a reading
that was very close, and dropped a marker. Then handed the GPS to Anne
so she could find the zeros we wanted (picture 3). While she was
working, a light rain started but she persisted until she could announce
success, at that point I got a shot of the GPS (picture 4) and setup for
the 'group' shot (picture 5).
On the way back to the truck, I got this picture of the right
of way facing South (picture 6).