15-Jun-2001 -- The William M. Meeker Memorial Confluence.
This confluence was visited in memory of William Meeker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Every time that Chris visited the town of Meeker, she would always get him something with the name Meeker on it for her dad. He had a fine collection of Meeker T-shirts, baseball caps, picture frames and other items, and now, in his memory, he has a confluence just 5 miles from town.
40N 108W lies in an open valley called Powell Park in a region of Western Colorado called the Piceance basin. The region is well known for its oil shale, coal mining and ranching. The White River cuts through a gap in The Grand Hogback – a 50-mile long sharply uplifted ridge – and then flows westward through the park. The confluence is about 2 miles south of the river in an unirrigated alfalfa and hay field.
To reach the confluence, we exited highway 13 just north at County Road 33, just south of the White River Bridge. We then took a left turn at county road 67 and headed south, past a power substation toward the confluence. Our initial idea was to attempt the confluence from the east, but we decided against it when we noticed that that route would require us to park near a rancher’s shed and equipment. Instead we continued south, onto Road 123. After crossing through an unlocked gate at 39° 59' 53.9"N and 107° 59' 15.0"W we came across three horseback cowboys on a ride. We reached for our letter to landowners, but did not need it as they just waved hello. We followed the trail around, past the ruins of a barn to the bottom of a hill and another gate. At this point we were almost due south of the confluence so we parked and set out on foot.
After crossing through a barbed wire fence we headed gently down hill toward the mark. Scattered clouds provided us intermittent relief from the unusually warm sun. We choose to follow the west side of a fence, and crossed a small sage brush-lined drainage. As we neared our destination, it became clear that the confluence was on the other side of the fence, so we crossed through and quickly found the spot.
Our pictures show the scenery from the spot. The Grand Hogback, Powell Park, and the surrounding hills are easily seen.
On the trip back we stayed on the east side of the fence to have one less fence crossing. As we crossed through the drainage, we startled a deer that quickly bounded away. At the top of the hill we located a survey marker where the east-west fence met the north south fence. After taking pictures of wild flowers, we headed into Meeker in search of more Meeker souvenirs. This time, instead of for Dad, we shopped for his three grandchildren who carry the Meeker name.