13-Apr-2004 -- It was my daughters' Spring Break and time for another California Confluence Adventure! 37n-122w would be the third of seven confluence attempts for this trip. Getting to this confluence proved to be an excellent opportunity to test my wife’s new Garmin StreetPilot 2620. Following our tour of Hearst Castle and after stopping to see the Elephant Seals a few miles to the north, I simply entered 37n-122w as a waypoint, then selected -- Go To -- Faster Time -- and followed the directions.
Northbound on Highway 1, I exited just south of De Laveaga Park. I continued to follow the 2620’s directions as it wound me onto Branciforte Drive and to the entrance to De Laveaga Park - right up to the restrooms captured in picture 3 of Terje Mathisen’s visit #10 to this most visited of all confluences. (I should also point out that his pictures # 4 & 5 will definitely help guide you at key points along the path).
At the trailhead, take the center trail up the hill until you run into a much larger path, turn left and follow it until you are close to the confluence. A large stump on the right shown in my Picture #1 seemed to be the closest point – this picture looks northeast. Picture #2 looks southeast with the stump at the left. Picture #3 looks southwest back down the trail and Picture #4 looks northwest.
Imagine four people all trying to find the same spot using four independent GPS receivers on a narrow trail with a good slope to either side – it’s a bit like playing twister. The ensuing confluence dance, while amusing, soon became tiring (my wife was closest) so I decided to let the resolved positions wander to where the receivers were. I placed all four of them all on the confluence stump and it was only a matter of time before I was lucky enough to capture my two RINO’s with perfect readings as shown in Picture #5.
Picture #6 shows a quad-redundant GPS shot. Satellite coverage was fairly good, with a minimum of six satellites in view (out of the 10 pictures I took). Geometry was fairly good, with some masking to the south. It was interesting to watch the four navigational solutions wander independently. Most likely, I would have been there all night waiting for a simultaneous perfect reading from four receivers!
My daughters quickly located a geocache within the stump and made an entry into the log, exchanging some quarters for a small wind-up car. Picture #7 shows my Geocache girls.
One other note, approaching this confluence from the park side is clearly preferred. There was no golf course fairway to cross, golfers to upset, and no danger of being hit by a golf ball!
Two out of three visits successful so far, onward towards 38n-122w!