the Degree Confluence Project

United States : Oregon

12.1 miles (19.5 km) W of Shaniko, Wasco, OR, USA
Approx. altitude: 1025 m (3362 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 45°S 59°E

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

#2: Hiking cross-country (the confluence is on the slope near the exact center of the picture) #3: Ian, Niniane and Jennifer at the confluence #4: The view to the north #5: Alan at the confluence

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  45°N 121°W (visit #1)  

#1: The view to the east

(visited by Alan McConchie, Jennifer McMillan, Ian Pieragostini and Niniane Wang)

27-May-2000 -- For my 25th birthday (which, this year, fell on Memorial Day), I decided I would give myself the gift of my first confluences.

Three friends and I departed Seattle on Saturday, May 27, 2000, and headed for Oregon and a three day weekend of confluence hunting.

First up: 45N, 121W, located conveniently near a highway in arid Eastern Oregon just east of the Cascade Range.

We approached the confluence from the south, heading up US 197 from its junction with US 97. The rolling farmland had given way to the sagebrush and scattered small trees of range land. Shortly past mile marker 60 on US 197, we pulled onto a short (about 100 feet long) dirt road to the west. Not only was this an easy, safe place to park, it was also a break in the barbed wire fence which flanked both sides of the highway. Our maps and GPS told us the confluence was on the west side of the highway. This was fortunate, because unlike the fence to the east of the road, the western fence did not have any "No Trespassing" signs. It was difficult to tell, but on our map it looked as though the area to the west might be within the Deschutes River National Recreation Lands. This gave us enough confidence to hike directly to the confluence.

Where we had pulled off turned out to be nearly a mile north of the confluence; we ended up hiking that distance south, paralleling the highway the entire time, rarely more than a few hundred yards away from it. At a few points we got a brief view of a dramatic canyon to the west, at the bottom of which lay the Deschutes River. This land was definitely cattle range land; dirt was nearly saturated with cow hoof-prints from the last time the ground had been muddy. All around us we heard crickets chirping. After crossing a very small creek that led into the canyon, we easily found the confluence on the side of a small hill overlooking the highway.

Only upon our return, walking along the highway, did we notice a few ticks on our clothing. In retrospect, we should have expected them, but we'd spent too much time living west of the Cascades to worry about such things. We brushed them off and found a few more back at the car, luckily catching all of them before any had a chance to bite. On the walk back, we also spotted what appeared to be a small rattlesnake crossing the highway. On our hike we'd seen numerous small holes which could easily have been rattlesnake nests, and we all guessed in the back of our heads that this was probably rattlesnake country, but didn't give it that much thought in our enthusiasm for reaching the confluence. We returned to the car, feeling quite lucky and appreciating the gentle lesson Mother Nature saw fit to teach us city folk. Next time we go confluence hunting east of the Cascades, we'll be more cautious.

 All pictures
#1: The view to the east
#2: Hiking cross-country (the confluence is on the slope near the exact center of the picture)
#3: Ian, Niniane and Jennifer at the confluence
#4: The view to the north
#5: Alan at the confluence
#6: GPS shot
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)