22-Oct-2001 -- What is this American obsession with being Number 1? As the number of unvisited confluences within the continental US continues to shrink, we will have little left to do but revisit documented confluences.
On the afternoon of 22 October I was on my way up US Highway 285 to Monte Vista, Colorado for a week of work. I had designs on 38° N./107° W., an undocumented wilderness confluence, but more on that later! About 50 km south of the Colorado/New Mexico I happened to remember that 37° N./106° W. had been visited once, and that it was within a a few hundred feet of the highway on BLM lands. So I got the GPS receiver operating, put in a waypoint at the confluence and watched the mileage steadily decrease at 55 (the speed limit) mph or so. It turned into a race with the sun. I stopped briefly 10 miles south of the state line to photograph San Antonio Mountain's shadow creeping up Ute Mountain, 17 miles away across the Rio Grande Gorge, with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background (Picture #2). By the time I reached 37° N./106° W., clouds were obscuring what remained of the sun. Nonetheless, the pictures I took show the confluence and its views similar to those of 22 December 2000, but without the snow on San Antonio Mountain. What's wrong with being #2?