28-Oct-2001 -- After my unsuccessful assault on 37°N
118°W, I was all the more eager to nail my first confluence.
I realized that, at this stage in the game, it was going to take a
major effort to get to one of the unclaimed confluences (there are now
only 6 left in the entire Southwestern United States, two of those are
on restricted federal land, the remaining 4 are in rugged Arizona
So, after a bit of philosophical reflection, I decided to go back to
basics and visit some of the easier local confluences that had been
first visited a year or more earlier. I figured that I could make up
for not being the first by visiting more of them, or doing something
else to make the visit special, like taking better pictures or telling
a more interesting story. Another possibility is that René and
I could be the first people to visit all 44 California confluences
(now that would be an accomplishment).
So my wife René and I set out on Sunday afternoon for 37°N
122°W. René is a Santa Cruz native, so when I told her we
were visiting De Laveaga Park, she knew exactly where we were going.
It only took half an hour to get there from Los Gatos, and when we
parked at the main club house for the public Golf Course, we were
already less than a quarter mile from the confluence.
With my Garmin Etrex Vista pointing the way, we walked across the 10th
green (which is right next to the parking lot), being careful not to
interfere with the golfers. From there we hiked downhill from an
embankment down to a stand of Redwood trees, and that was it... we
were there. We were a bit embarrassed because we had gone to the
trouble of scrambling down through the underbrush when there was a
perfectly good trail less than a hundred feet away. But no matter, we
had nailed our first confluence!
It was an overcast October afternoon and with the tree canopy it was
going to be difficult to get my "all zeroes shot". In fact it took me
so long that my wife got impatient with me and hiked back to the club
house! After another fifteen minutes I was able to join her.
Fortunately the club house had a mascot cat and René had spent
the time bonding with it.
René and I want to come back to this area again soon, since De
Laveaga Park is less then a mile away from the famous "Mystery Spot",
a local tourist attraction in the woods where strange effects occur
that distort perspective and seem to alter gravity. In particular, I
am eager to see if the Mystery Spot has any unusual effect on my GPS
(yes, I know I'm a nerd, get over it ;-).
Over the next few weeks I'll be visiting some of the other local Bay
Area confluences, and as the desert hiking season gets into full
swing, I may just try my luck on one of the unclaimed ones (wish me
luck). But I did find it quite satisfying to visit an already-claimed
confluence. After all, Columbus wasn't the first to discover America,
he just did it "better" then anyone else and got the credit!
Please visit my web site www.rssnet.org for more information
about my adventures with René, including detailed trip reports and