07-Apr-2002 -- We'd only had our GPS receiver for two weeks when we discovered the Confluence web site through a posting on the Usenet newsgroup misc.writing. Since we had already discovered geocaching (www.geocaching.com) we were excited by the possibility of visiting a geocache at a confluence and all of that within a few miles of our home.
My wife and I set out by car from our home in Silicon Valley with a little concern because we had consulted four different maps and each of them gave a different idea of what the roads were like in the area. Still, we'd found more difficult places without either a map or a GPS, so we decided to carry on.
The day was perfect for confluence hunting, with no cloud cover, but a light breeze and light traffic. We made good time driving to the general vicinity and getting off highway 1 onto Morrisey Blvd. As expected, Park road didn't continue into the park and Upper Park road didn't seem to exist, but we quickly found our way to the parking lot by the softball field.
After a quick stop for a restroom break, we were on our way up the trail. Finding the confluence turned out to be an interesting lesson in the strengths and weaknesses of GPSes, especially when dealing with steep hillsides. On two occassions we got "within 50 feet" and found a stump that we thought looked like [one] we recalled from photos of other visits to the confluence.
But on each attempt, no matter how we moved around near the stump we couldn't get much closer. Each time we wandered around we would eventually lose the satellite reception. Each time we found the reception again we appeared to be farther off.
Finally, on our third try we were able to find the right trail leading to the stump on the edge of the trail that allowed us to reach a waypoint that read N37.000 W122.000 on our Etrex Vista display. Later, when we got home and read the track log we found that we had reached the waypoint reading to five decimal places, +/- 0.00002 at a time when the GPS believed that it had +/- 7 meter accuracy.
Once we were able to do this, we took some photos.