Coordinator's note: The pictures for this visit are of a poor quality. If anyone would like to revisit this one, it would be appreciated.
12-Jun-2001 -- My wife, Nancy, our dogs, Bif and Dixie, and myself, Dan Lamar, attempted to locate this degree confluence on the afternoon of Friday, 8-June-2001 . We made it to the 38°N latitude but were about 10" (approximately 245 meters) east of the 108°W longitude, in a wash (i.e., arroyo) with a steep climb up loose rock and scrub oak in that direction. But, because of the possibility of other washes to cross during the climb and the threat of afternoon mountain thunder storms, we turned back.
On Tuesday morning, 12-June-2001, Bif, Dixie and myself once again drove from our home in Montrose, Colorado to Sawpit and successfully completed the trek. (Nancy had to work and missed out on the adventure which was to come.) We scrambled across three more washes as we climbed along as well as across the washes hunting for safe routes. Several times I had to lift one or both dogs up rocky terrain that one knew would turn into a powerful waterfall in a large mountain storm. Because of the surroundings within each wash, the Magellan 2000 GPS device often would not lock-in on three or more satellites. I almost gave up because of the difficulty of the climb for my short-legged companions but took one more compass reading. As we scrambled up the west side of what would be the last wash, I was finally able to obtain a solid reading.
The best part of finding the confluence was that it was only about 10 meters within the downslope tailings of an old boarded-up abandoned mine. We had snacks and water from two water bottles in my hip pack as the three of us sat together in front of the mine entrance and each pictured for ourselves the activities that might have been there as much as 150 years before. The climb down, although faster (about 85 minutes to and 40 minutes from our destination) and more direct, was at least as difficult and dangerous as the climb up. Although nearly deaf and 13 years old, Bif, being part Dachshund, located the best route out of the final wash and to the trail which had ended at least 50 meters before the wash. Though we stopped several times for water on the climb up and back down, the dogs thoroughly enjoyed soaking their well-used pads and wetting their tongues and stomachs in the cold stream that rapidly flowed not far from where we parked our 1979 Honda at the chain which blocked the road to another old mine, the Belle Champion Mine.
As I drove the nearly 95 Km (60 miles) back home tired but satisfied, Bif and Dixie slept very soundly with their own special dreams of an exciting morning hike to an old mine with crazy and ?obsessed-with-locating-the-confluence? Dad.
Maybe another degree confluence will be calling us but not for awhile. Will they remember what one is? I seriously doubt it.