11-Feb-2001 -- (This was the third of three confluences that Frank and I hit in a single day. The first two were 41°N 77°W and 42°N 78°W, respectively.)
The drive to 42°N 79°W started slowly, since we were in a pretty remote spot at 42°N 78°W
, but with Frank navigating we found our way to increasingly major roads, finally reaching 17W and a "proper" driving speed of 65mph. Before we hit the major roads I had to stop for gas, where my 1991 Honda CRX caused quite a stir; apparently folks in that area don't see many "fancy foreign cars". (Next time I'll take the Lotus!)
Route 17 and the early afternoon sun conspired to give us many beautiful vistas as we drove steadily westward toward the Allegheny Reservoir. After reaching Cold Spring and our turnoff of 17 the rest of the drive seem to go quite quickly, as again we were treated to great scenery, this time of the Allegheny Reservoir (though the reservoir itself was mostly frozen and the water line very low). 42°N 79°W lies a very short distance down a public road off the "main" highway that runs along the western edge of the reservoir, and while it was a "back" road it had been plowed, so there were no last-minute surprises like at 42°N 78°W. We also noticed a number small cabins along this road.
According to the aerial maps, there was some sort of trail to the north of the point which was quite close to it, but when we passed the point off the main road where it connected, it was only a small break in the metal barrier; not something we were going to drive on! So, it was just easier to drive as close as we could along our originally planned path.
After parking the car at a very conveniently placed turn-around (about 5 meters from the PA-NY border, which had a large gate across it; apparently the Allegheny National Forrest starts at the PA border) we hiked up a fairly steep hillside to get to our final confluence of the day while there was still enough daylight to document our efforts. The confluence itself was yet another undifferentiated piece of second-growth forest, but at least this time I saw some wildlife, including a 6-point buck, while walking in. There were also some paint marks on a number of trees, as you can see in the photos, but we can only guess at their purpose.
We got back to the car and on the road just before sunset, at which point Frank had me pull over next to a bucolic farm and we used up our last few exposures taking pictures of horses lit by a pretty winter sunset.
Final tally for the day: 669 miles round trip, covering 1.5 degrees latitude and 3.5 degrees longitude. Consumables: 18 gal. gasoline, 2 hoagies, 3 Wendy's burgers, 2 liters "Water Joe" plus many bottles of regular soda and iced tea.