02-Jun-2004 -- This confluence trip turned out to be a not too easy one, after all. Weather report the evening before had predicted numerous tempests and rainstorms, but in the morning weather was fine with sunshine and agreeable temperatures. So against my original intentions I started off for this confluence hunt. Sky was blue with only a few clouds when I drove across the Ostalb.
As my predecessors had suggested, I had ordered a map of trails at the municipal administration of the community of Rosenberg via internet already weeks before (twice!), but nothing had been sent to me. So first I drove to the Rosenberg town hall in order to acquire one of these maps, as the prior confluence visitors had already indicated that there are a lot of forest roads to be expected in the extended environments of the confluence area. At the town hall nobody was there. Building closed. Opening time only until 12. Now it was past 1 o’clock p.m. Something like a very slight thunderclap could be heard from afar.
So I had to rely on my conventional 1:200.000 road map. I drove to a parking site about two kilometers south-east of a hamlet named Spatzenhof at the edge of the forest that seemed to cover the shortest beeline to the confluence point (1,35 km). From there on I started walking, as the forest road leading east into the direction of the CP was closed for motor vehicles. Meanwhile a front of rather dark clouds had appeared at the western sky. The first few hundred meters along the narrowing forest road which was gradually featuring deep tracks with puddles and muddy chuckholes were still agreeable in some degree. Then sudden gusts of wind hit the trees around me. When I had reached a 500 meter distance from the CP, the cloudburst started with a sudden power. Within minutes there was no sense in trying to proceed any further, as heavy rainfall completely soaked me wet. Frustrated I returned to my car.
When the storm and rainfall decreased a little bit, I decided to make a second approach from the south and tried to get near the CP by car by passing through a hamlet called Röhmen and a sawmill short behind it. Though I paid attention, I could not notice any prohibition sign and soon entered a forest area again. I made several attempts to walk when the forest roads became too narrow or weren’t drivable any more for an average passenger car as mine, but no chance, I was not able to get closer to the CP than about 700 meters. Then there were no forest roads nor paths into the right direction to be found anymore. Moreover the terrain was declining towards the CP and had become very slippery in the meantime. At this point, I thought I had to give up.
Driving back north on the K2627 towards the village of Kammerstatt, I realized another road entering the forest towards the CP from a north-western direction, and again there was no prohibition sign (in fact, I am sure that it isn’t allowed to enter these forest areas by motorvehicle, but anyway, meanwhile the circumstances and the missing sign encouraged me to do so in spite of everything).
The game of searching and not finding the CP was started over. Just before I was convinced that I would never reach the CP during this trip anymore, I realized that I had somehow managed to come closer to the CP than ever before. Even more, there was a presentation board at the side of the forest road that claimed to mark the CP, but was nevertheless about 150 metres away from it. The closest distance to the CP that could be gained by using the forest road was about 75 meters. As I had herewith fallen short off the 100 m limit I decided to turn down any further efforts to get closer to the CP for this time, because this had meant to penetrate the very dense and wet thicket of bushes, dead branches, radixes and trees.
Annoyingly and to my strong disappointment the electronics of my camera began to malfunction (weather conditions, even user error, if anything?) and refused to switch back from the macro setting I had used to shoot the GPS display. Sorry, all pictures of the confluence area therefore are slightly diffuse.
Conclusion and advice for further confluence hunters: bide your time, as far as weather and territory conditions are concerned, use a hiking map (if the officials in Rosenberg do not react, maybe those at the mayor’s office in Bühlerzell will do), and be prepared to pervade an area abundantly covered with vegetation.