06-Jun-2003 -- This was kind of a spur of the moment thing. Cheryl and I were going south on I-5 from San Jose to LA for a square dance weekend. As usual, we were stopping at geodashing dashpoints along the way. As we neared Kettleman City, we were getting hungry so decided to stop for lunch. As we exited the freeway, I remembered that 36N 120W was just a few miles from here. I had stopped to try it once before, but a locked gate and tight time schedule precluded reaching the confluence. This time, however, we were ahead of schedule and I still had the waypoints in my GPSR, so we decided to give it a go.
We drove through Kettleman City and took the road leading west toward the confluence. We were once again stopped by a locked gate just before the road crossed over I-5. There was a man working on his tractor nearby. I thought I'd at least ask if he knew who might have a key to allow us to drive further on the road. He didn't speak much English, but we were able to communicate. He said he thought the local sheriff might have a key. There were no signs precluding our entry and we were only a bit over a mile from the confluence, so we parked Betsy (Cheryl's brand new Honda CRV) at the gate and continued west on foot. The road went up and over a modest hill and the temperature was probably in the 90s, but the road was paved so the walking was easy, albeit hot and sweaty. A sign on the back of one of the open gates through which we passed indicated that we were entering what was or is the "Kettleman North Domefield," whatever that might be. The confluence lay a bit south of the road, so as we got closer, we veered left onto the rolling grassland in the direction of the confluence. As you can see from the photos (#1 to the west with my GPS and hat marking the confluence, #2 to the north with Cheryl coming up the hill, and #3 to the east), except for the short grass the hills are yellowish brown and quite barren. There is nothing particularly distinctive in any direction. The confluence itself is on the north facing slope about two thirds of the way to the top of the hill. Photo #4 shows all zeros on my GPSR. Our return trip was made slightly easier by traversing the slope directly west to the main road and then east over the hill back to Betsy.