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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Pennsylvania

4.0 miles (6.5 km) N of Waterford, Erie, PA, USA
Approx. altitude: 369 m (1210 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 42°S 100°E

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: The Swamp #3: Sinking into the Swamp #4: The Entire Gear #5: Geocache/GPS Stash

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  42°N 80°W (visit #1)  

#1: The Geeks

(visited by Henry C. Schmitt and Daniel Klein)

21-Sep-2000 -- What is it with me and wetland confluences? On each of the previous three that I did, it rained the night before, ensuring that the wetland would be substantially more than merely "moist". And so, true to form it rained the night before Henry and I set out for N42W080 in Pennsylvania's rolling hills near Erie. It was the last day of summer and aptly overcast when we turned into the grass parking lot at State Game Lands #109, just off of State Highway 97.

A dirt emergency road (no vehicles) leads from the parking lot to an old bridge from which you can see the confluence. It is about 350 feet to the confluence from the bridge (see picture #2, to the left of the frame), but we didn't want a mere "attempt", so we continued on the road and then bushwhacked through the woods and swamp to get closer. Some of our walking was on what looked like a deer trail, but at points, if we had had a machete, we would have whacked the bush to get through. As it was, we were glad for long pants and long sleeves.

We finally broke through the underbrush and hit the swamp again. Pretty soon our boots were full of water (see picture #3), and when we got within about 280 feet (within the magic 100 meter success zone), we declared victory, and took our photos (the water was now mid-calf deep and was getting deeper). The confluence is that small copse of trees behind us in picture #1, and photo #6 is the three mobile GPSs we brought with us.

Are we geeks, or what? Photo #4 shows the interior of the van, which has two Garmin GPS-III+s, a Macintosh PowerBook running GPSy, an ancient Magellan Trailblazer (not even an -XL), a Carin-520 in-dash navigation system, and a Datus PNA-7000 navigation system. Why? Because we could :-)

We also left a GPS stash at 41.99981N 79.99862W. Rather than leave it in the swamp proper, we left it in the crotch of the 5-trunked beech tree seen in picture #5. The beech tree is 460,150 on picture #2. In addition to the logbook and a pen, I also left a Sendmail laser/knife and a "Droopy Dog" toy.


 All pictures
#1: The Geeks
#2: The Swamp
#3: Sinking into the Swamp
#4: The Entire Gear
#5: Geocache/GPS Stash
#6: The Portable Gear
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)