27-Jun-1999 -- On Sunday Ed, Ada and I were driving in Pennsylvania
right past my previously failed confluence. Ada's kindly husband Herald
had provided her with a GPS for her birthday earlier that month, and we
were all interested in seeing if we could succeed where I hadn't. It
was a terribly hot and humid day, and the sun was blazing when we drew
up on the side of Route 80. This time we decided where to stop by the
GPS rather than tenths of miles.
We emerged from the car and headed
across country. Again, we arrived at the tall fence, but the Confluence
Gods were smiling on us and had arranged for a couple of trees to fall
on the fence, so climbing over was easy. We waded through fern and
lowbush blueberries (fortunately ripe and abundant), following the GPS'
lead downhill. It took a while, and of course the GPS wavered, but we
decided we had arrived when we came to the edge of a pleasant stream in
the woods, across the railroad right of way that I had located the last
time. There we paused to take pictures, and then trudged back up the
hill. A 45 minute round trip, and we were on our way again, heading
into the blessed coolth of a rainstorm.
09-Mar-97 -- (unsuccessful) Here's an excerpt from Kate's e-mail about her attempt:
"Hmm. So I parked my little blue rental car approximately at 78
degrees longitude on a very narrow shoulder and left the hazards flashing
and with great care and accuracy set forth with the little compass that my
sister-in-law had dredged up and the theory that I knew what a three-foot stride
Hmmm. A thick hedge of thorny looking trees lies straight in front of me.
So I sidestep and go forward and sidestep back. Down a steep hill. Okay, so
maybe my strides are averaging two feet, I'll adjust my count. Oops.
Big tall fence. Yeah. That is pretty darn common next to interstates.
And Kate Kerman is not exactly a white-tail deer, which these are
supposed to discourage. Should I climb it? Visions of a broken bone
and me lying in the woods until Arthur figures out that I should have
gotten back and sends the troopers in search of the rental car, possibly
blown off the road by large trucks, dissuade me. Well. Maybe I could
go around. So I drive 9 miles to the next exit and take route 53 back
toward Moshannon and Snow Shoe. I find what seems to possibly be the
railroad right of way (obscured somewhat by what looks like a favorite
gathering spot for dirt biking and four-wheeling) and take a road that
goes fairly near it. I turn right again on another road which seems to
be going the right way and am encouraged to find what is definitely the
right of way. I follow the road a bit further and it ends up in a
appalachian-looking farm with a couple of houses, three dogs and a
cheerfully grimy man who seems by the smell of it to be burning a pile
of trash with a pig in it. "Is this a road or a driveway?" I ask.
"Well, it is a road but it turns out to be a driveway, and you can turn
around up there."
By now the dusk is sullenly settling in the valleys and I could
go wandering down the right of way and look for the right combination of
bends and twists to signal that I am in the right vicinity, but again,
the notion of getting lost in the hill country of Snow Shoe, PA is
really unappealing, especially without a decent map, so I drive on....
I at least have an idea of how I would go about finding the spot (when I
have Ed and a survey map along and a full day to devote to walking a
couple of miles down the right of way)
And I enjoyed my little foray from the Victorian brick house
with the Pomeranian, invalid Grandma and croupy Arthur. Another time
perhaps success will be ours."