11-Aug-2001 -- The confluence of 41N and 117W lies in the middle of the Northern Nevada desert. Good roads are few and far between there. On the other hand, there are passable (with a 4WD high clearance vehicle) dirt roads that do crisscross the area. In planning this visit, I mapped out a route using these "roads" across the desert that took me from the StoneHouse Interchange on I80 east of Winnemucca some 15 miles to within a quarter of a mile of the confluence spot.
About a half mile into my planned route I encountered a gate with the dreaded "No Tresspassing" sign. So much for my plan. Well, that's why I have my navigation system on my laptop with the GPS feeding real time data. It's easy to "wing it". Back at the StoneHouse Interchange, there was a road that led to a power plant in the right general direction. Taking that and some other desert dirt "roads" I finally got back to my original planned route. The next challenge came when I reached the location where the map said turn right on a road that led 5 miles north to about ¼ mile from the confluence. The reality of the situation was that this was a fence line in the open desert with dry grass and sagebrush, not any kind of a road. I'm sure someone drove a truck along it when the fence was built, but it's doubtful anyone had been there since. Not being very excited about walking 5+ miles in the heat of the day in open desert, I thought I'd see what Emma, my 4WD Explorer, could do to help. She performed admirably; she got me all the way to the confluence spot driving cross-country across the 5+ miles of open desert. At the confluence, I took a couple pictures of the "scenery", flat open desert as far as you could see in every direction, as well as one of the GPS with all zeros. Using my tripod, I got a photo of Emma and me (after all, Emma was the real hero of the day). Returning the way I came, I at least had Emma's tire tracks to follow.
Unfortunately, my photography for this trip was less than stellar. The two scenery pictures were apparently overexposed and didn't turn out at all and the photo (#3) of the GPS is barely readable. One can, however, get a feel for the environment from the picture of the "good" road (#2) and the one of Emma and me (#1).