25-Dec-1999 -- While visiting my parents in Orlando for the Christmas holiday, I decided
to try and find some of the confluences in Florida. I figured it would
be a great way to kill time, since my brother wouldn't be around to go
drinking with me.
Around 1230pm on Christmas day, I piled into the car with my
mother and father. My mom's got a relatively
new Honda CRV. It's a cool truck, even though it's only running a
four cylinder engine. It's capable, but underpowered.
We headded south on FL-417 from their house, and caught I-4 towards
It was a nice drive. There were very few people on the road, it being the
holiday and all. My mom quickly learned how to use my mapping software,
and was navigating. Unfortunately, my mapping software doesn't do such
a great job at naming exits. My dad, in the back seat, wasn't much help
with his old map, so we just guessed at our target and ended up
pulling off of the Interstate
at Kathleen Road, just past Lakeland. There, we cut south east
before we hooked-up to West 10th Street. We went through
the outskirts of Lakeland, here. All the houses were modest and the
people were honest.
I cut south on North Wabash Avenue, and it turned into US-92. I followed
that a bit east until we found Gay Road, and took that South on FL-572.
Gay Road crosses over some CSXT tracks, so I stopped and popped
some pictures. The area around the railroad tracks was very favorably
lit, and I'm thrilled with the shots I took. I'll have to enlarge them!
My mapping software indicated that a new highway was planned to cross right
over the confluence. Luckily, the highway was completed and the confluence
hadn't been disturbed. We followed FL-572 and then parked behind a tiny
commercial building south of the overpass. (You can see the setting in
Pitcure #4.) My dad chickened out: he wanted to stay with the car, so
his punishment is that he's not shown in any of the pictures.
With the camera, compass, and GPS, my mom and I trekked under the bridge.
Since the highway was brand-new, the underpass had all
the accoutriments: nice sidewalks, crosswalks at the exit ramps, and
everything. It was a walk in the park!
At the other side of the overpass, we were getting really warm. The
intersection of Waring Road and North Frontage Road was only a few dozen
yards from the confluence point. You can see the intersection
in Photo #3. The confluence lies
just to the west (the left) of that intersection; Waring road leads south,
back under the toll highway.
We hiked west on the sidewalk and found
that the confluence is located in a fenced-off area markred with no
trespassing signs bearing a
Florida Department of Transportation
logo. Picture #2 shows my mom facing south, with her back to the fenced
area containing the confluence.
I don't think it would've been hard to hop the fence and find the exact
spot, but I was a bit wary of the pond. It was probably
loaded with alligators and man-eating iguanas.
So, I hoisted my camera over the fence and snapped a shot. In Photo #1,
we'd guess that the confluence is just on the other side of the pond,
near the duck. (The duck isn't quite so visible in the JPG version of
the picture -- heck, he's pretty hard to pick out in the color print!
But he's really there.)
Photo #5 is the obligatory GPS shot, with our closest reading. It's
nearly invisible because I always forget something when I go to a confluence
site: this time, it was again the polarizing filter for my 24-80mm lens. But, the reading we
got at the sidewalk was at 27 degrees 59.978 minutes north, 81 degrees 59.992 minutes west.
This confluence is quite near Itchepackesassa Creek. Say it with me:
We returned to the parking lot and found that my dad had locked himself
in the car. After some coaxing, he let us in and we all drove home to have