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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Idaho

8.5 miles (13.7 km) ESE of Richfield, Lincoln, ID, USA
Approx. altitude: 1335 m (4379 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 43°S 66°E

Accuracy: 7 m (22 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Looking north from 43N 114W #3: Looking east from 43N 114W #4: Looking south from 43N 114W #5: Looking west from 43N 114W #6: GPS screen #7: Train crossing Owinza Desert Road #8: A rough section of Owinza Desert Road #9: A not-so-rough section of Owinza Desert Road #10: late summer confluence color

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  43°N 114°W (visit #2)  

#1: General vicinity

(visited by Woody Harrell)

25-Sep-2003 -- While traveling in Idaho between Minidoka Internment National Monument in Jerome and Craters of the Moon National Preserve near Arco [two of the newest units of the U.S. National Park system - www.nps.gov/miin & www.nps.gov/crmo], I made a detour to visit 43N 114W. All the necessary information for planning a visit is provided by the Goff’s in their January 2001 trip, and I followed the same route they described. My intent was to document the site in late summer/ early fall to contrast their snow covered images [Photo 1]. My assumption was that without snow, the leg on the Owinza Desert Road would go much quicker. This turned out to be an invalid assumption…

At the end of September, temperatures at this confluence average a high of 70 F and a low of just above freezing. Only one day in three is cloudy and only one day in six has measurable precipitation. A little high cloud moved as the afternoon wore on, and there was a fairly steady breeze, but I picked just a great day to be outside.

But back to Owinza Desert Road. For the first half mile after turning north off of Idaho State Route 24, this road is deceptively well maintained. Then the road crosses an elevated railroad grade [Photo 7 shows one of two trains that passed while I was there]. The next half mile of road is bad enough to make you want to rethink the whole trip, and at least make you wish you had a little snow to help cover up a few of the rocks on a very rough road. Then the surface improves and the road starts heading almost directly towards the confluence, and one is tempted to say “well, this isn’t going to be so bad after all.” Again, such a statement turns out to be not an accurate assessment. The road would worsen until just before you considered turning back, then would improve enough to suck you in to going a little further, and so the pattern continued. Photo 8 shows a typical nasty stretch of road [Trip highlight: As I was putting the camera away and getting back in the car, eleven pronghorn antelope bolted across the road here just ahead of me.].

Early on there was indication the Bureau of Land Management had recently conducted a "controlled burn" in the area, during which they had suspended grazing. A little later the road skirted large lava outcroppings, and sometimes even got a little smoother [Photo 9]. Over the 24 mile roundtrip, I encountered one lone pickup truck heading the other way.

I gave up on the road about three quarters of a mile from the confluence, and had a very pleasant, almost level, walk directly to the site. I was disgusted to only later realize I lost the tenth zero just as I snapped Photo 6. As noted by the Goff’s, 43N 114W sits in a slight depression, which limits views to the cardinal points [Photos 2, 3, 4, and 5]. Photo 10 shows some seasonal vegetative color near the confluence [Choosing between this one and one of the man-size rock cairn at the parking location for the final picture was a tough choice, but as the Goff’s had already shown the rock pile, I went with the picture of the late summer flowers].

I have been surprised to learn even when intrepid explorers have already taken most of the mystery out of your quest, there is great satisfaction and enjoyment in having your GPS unit beep to indicate you are approaching an integer confluence for the first time. Go to this one on a nice fall day, and you could do a lot worse…


 All pictures
#1: General vicinity
#2: Looking north from 43N 114W
#3: Looking east from 43N 114W
#4: Looking south from 43N 114W
#5: Looking west from 43N 114W
#6: GPS screen
#7: Train crossing Owinza Desert Road
#8: A rough section of Owinza Desert Road
#9: A not-so-rough section of Owinza Desert Road
#10: late summer confluence color
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)