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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : New York

3.8 miles (6.2 km) WNW of Brackney (PA), Broome, NY, USA
Approx. altitude: 335 m (1099 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 42°S 104°E

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

#2: Shaken camera picture of GPS on ground at confluence #3: Looking northeast near confluence (in low foreground) #4: The green house #5: Old NY-PA state line marker on other side of 26/267 #6: The Mobil station, just to the south and in PA

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  42°N 76°W (visit #2)  

#1: Improvised ex-industrial monument at confluence (bottom left)

(visited by Daniel Case)

16-Jul-2000 -- This stretch of the 42nd western parallel has a pretty good landmark to help confluence hunters: the New York-Pennsylvania state line, which is not far from this and the three to the west. (The border compact between the states says the parallel is supposed to be the boundary, but that surveying was done a long time ago with less exact technology. So three confluences are in NY and one in PA, without rhyme or reason).

I had been looking for a chance to visit a confluence since I first found this page through a link from the county highpointers' site. But most of the remaining ones in my area were too far away for current gas prices to justify a trip to those areas just for them.

However, a weekend in the Finger Lakes put these within my reach. It wasn't at all hard to choose this one, as it's not too far from an interstate, a major city, and a state highway. I had turned the GPS on to acquire a fix at an earlier rest stop, and as I exited NY 17 (the future I-86) at NY 26 on the outskirts of Binghamton and headed south up a hill and then down a long valley, it was thrilling to watch the numbers decline to 42º00.00". When I reached that point I knew the state line was coming up, and sure enough there it was.

Just over it, in PA, there was a Mobil station with a cigarette annex to take advantage of the differences between the two states' tobacco taxation. Could the confluence be there? Wouldn't that be easy if it were? And wouldn't that make a really different picture for the site?

It was not to be so. The topo maps showed the confluence firmly in NY, and my GPS agreed I was not there. So I walked up what was left of PA 267 as it became 26. Not two hundred feet up, and still not there, a woman coming out of a light green house said hi to me. I figured this was my best chance to ask someone, as I thought the confluence might be in her backyard.

I explained to her what I was doing and showed her the GPS, then reading 41º59.99 and four-thousandths of a degree shy to the west. I don't know if she grasped how close I was, or to what, but she must have figured me for harmless and let me go uphill, into a wooded area. She declined an offer to photograph her.

As far as I could go in her backyard wasn't doing it to reach the confluence. I entered the spruce grove and had to duck around some trees, momentarily losing my straight easterly course. Trending to the north as the GPS was still demanding, though, I reached, right at the meridian, a small clearing.

Anxiously I made the final paces north to the confluence, one eye on the Magellan 4000 XL's display. I passed a strange sort of monument, if the person who left it here did it for that purpose ... a discarded industrial air-handler or something of the sort and an empty milk crate.

In the northwest corner, not far away, I finally got the eight zeroes in the minutes column and let out a self-congratulatory whoop. I stayed a few minutes to take the usual round of pictures to go with it.

As I had promised the woman in the green house (the confluence is actually behind the brown house), I was not long in coming back. I told her she was lucky to live near such a unique point on the earth's surface. She seemed to be waiting for someone. When I came back a few minutes later, she was gone.


 All pictures
#1: Improvised ex-industrial monument at confluence (bottom left)
#2: Shaken camera picture of GPS on ground at confluence
#3: Looking northeast near confluence (in low foreground)
#4: The green house
#5: Old NY-PA state line marker on other side of 26/267
#6: The Mobil station, just to the south and in PA
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)