18-May-2001 -- This point is in the desert. Its in the Colorado River basin, so all its water (what little there is of it) would eventually make its way into the mighty Colorado. However, it is very close to the Great Basin, some of whose flora are seen, although much reduced in size and concentration.
I had attempted this confluence before, but was unsuccessful because I had approached it from the west (see 39°N 110°W
) After checking maps (All Topo Maps
: Utah) I decided to approach from the south. This turned out to be the right decision.
The day was rainy and windy when I left home, but I was undaunted. I traveled east and then north to Moore, Utah, then east again on a dusty all-weather gravel road, then north on a secondary road. It wasn’t long before I came to a washed out section, so I parked and made preparations to ride my mountain bike. I could see a large dump truck a few hundred meters away. It started to move. I soon was in a conversation with driver and passenger. They were hauling bentonite clay to nearby Ferron, Utah. We talked of common acquaintances, of the GPS and of the impending rain. The driver loaned me his jacket.
The biking was generally easy. I passed a small herd of cattle. It seems like I rode for about an hour. When my notes said “park and walk” I looked up. A camp! With several tents and vehicles! Apparently I wouldn’t be the first to this confluence. Nevertheless, I struck out, walking my bike and watching the GPS.
The confluence was very close to, but out of sight of the camp. The GPS reported an EPE (estimated position error) of 4 meters and an elevation of 1,801 meters. I made a rock cairn and took photos. Then I went to the camp.
There was no one there. I called out; there was no response. I noticed two large vans with Ohio license plates. Lettering on the doors said “Marietta College.” There was also a small pickup truck with Washington state license plates. There was a small storage-type trailer with a dinosaur painted on the side. The camp was at the base of a mesa.
I walked around a bit. As I came around a small hill I saw a group of people a few hundred meters away. I could hear the sound of a small internal combustion engine. I was about to hike to them when I saw a vehicle approaching. I met two young men who had been to Ferron (for supplies, I guess.) They were members of the camp, which was an archaeology expedition searching for dinosaur fossils. When I told them I was looking for a confluence point, the response was, “Confluence? What’s that?” So, perhaps I was the first one after all.
Well, it was time to head back to the car. I encountered my first rain during this leg of the trip. It was fairly light, but enough to make the dirt sticky. Soon the bike was a flying dirt machine. All was well at the car. I decided to drive further east on the county road. I soon had a grand vista so I took a couple of photos from N 38° 51.861 W 110° 54.855. It was a great day.