09-Apr-2001 -- Living in the Southeast, I have been able to do several confluence runs. On a recent business trip to Kansas City, I looked for a nearby confluence. I worked hard to finish (despite supplier problems and a late Delta Dash) and squeaked out a couple of hours of free time before my flight home. I headed west into Kansas.
The area approaching the confluence was a little more rolling hill country that I expected. I expected flat land, and I mean flat like Indiana "Amber Waves of Grain" or Florida flat, but it was nice to see the gently undulating countryside. With the wind I had experienced over the first three days, I could understand why there were not many stands of large trees. It is flat enough for the wind to get up good speed.
Just past Topeka, I turned south off of I-70. The area is about fifteen miles west of Topeka, and around five miles south of the interstate. I had the printed aerial photo, and started looking for my side roads. When I got close, I started knocking on doors. It was a Monday around noon, so I guess everyone was working. I turned south down the dirt road to the confluence area. As I drove down the road I was encouraged that there was no fence. But at the bottom of a small hill there was the row of trees from the aerial photo, and also a barbed wire fence. My GPS said due east .13 miles. I continued down the road and found the house of the people that owned the field with the bull and the confluence. Just a cool dog greeted me, so I considered my options. I have crossed some heavily wooded areas to get to some confluence areas. I have also stopped at locked gates. I drove back down the road and stopped at the top of the small rise .18 miles away. I could see and photograph the confluence area without jumping the fence, so I elected to respect the homeowners. I think the bull also had some influence in my decision. He was a good ways away to the southeast just over the hill, but I was 725 miles from my home. And this is his home, after all.
I have a close-up photo of the confluence spot. It is in the center near the trees at the end of the field, just over the hill, and farmhouses are in the distance. You can see the confluence "+" in the aerial photo link on this page. The regular wide view north to NW shows the confluence in the right center, with the road at the far left.
The view east shows more of the field with a small dirt road on the next hill. The view south shows the rest of the field, and the house is far in the distance next to the road (you can see my rental car). The view to the west has the road in the foreground, with the next landowner field and their barbed wire fence. I drove down to N39° 00' 00.0" and took the GPS photo leaning against the fence with the grass of the field in the background.