17-Feb-2001 -- We left Fulton, Missouri around 10:30 am on a sunny Saturday morning. Our goal was 38N 91W, deep in the Mark Twain National Forest of Missouri. After checking out the maps and aerial pictures for the confluence, Jon decided that an approach from the southwest would be the easiest. We could park under the large powerlines, walk down the clearing for a while and head east over a small hill when we reached 38N. However, after turning down the small dirt road towards the parking spot, we ran into a lot of no trespassing signs. This was supposed to be in the middle of the National Forest. Then we decided to try coming down from the north, again running into posted land. At this time, Dave took over the navigation duties and consulted the DeLorme Map for Missouri. He chose a good approach from the southeast side that looked like it would get us to within 1/2 mile. Since it had been about 2.5 hours since our first attempt, we were getting ready to get it over with.
We headed down some dirt roads, fire trails or someone’s driveway, we weren’t sure. We kept on getting closer and closer to the confluence point, and the road kept on leading us in the correct direction. The topo maps did not show the road continuing on as long as it did, so we were surprised when we drove to within 500 feet of the confluence. Here, we parked next to Billy Joe Jim Bob’s old Pontiac Firebird in need of repair and various other piles of junk
and a couple of abandoned trailers and headed east towards the confluence using compass and the GPS. Sheila, the GPS dog, was quick to pick up the scent
of the confluence, so we followed her down a small hill to a wooded valley. After wandering around for a bit, we finally got a lock on 38N 91W with all zeros
showing. When we snapped the picture, the GPS changed to 59.999. Due to the thick tree cover, getting the GPS units to settle down was a bit tough. We marked the confluence by clearing away some leaves and putting some sticks in the ground.
After taking a few pictures, we headed out. We checked out the fine Firebird one more time and some of the neat toys left nearby including a tricycle, a rotatiller, and some sort of water buffalo type trailer (perhaps for making moonshine?). We turned around and headed for the main road. On the way back, near one of the abandoned trailers, we found a tree placed in our path, blocking our way. We all got very nervous and quiet as we stared at the log. Jon thought of The Blair Witch Project, Dave thought of Deliverance, and Jody thought he was going to be in some sort of trouble with the law. We stared at the log, waiting for Billy Joe Jim Bob to come out and beat us all to a pulp, then discovered we had taken the wrong fork in the road on the way out. After breathing a sigh of relief we got out of there and headed home. Round trip, 10 hours for a confluence only 120 miles away from home.