09-Oct-2004 -- This would be the first of six successful confluence visits over this three-day weekend. It would also be my third confluence multiple (where one number is evenly divisible by the other) – my first being 41n-123w, visited just over a month earlier and my second at 39n-117w, was visited as one of six accomplished in less than twenty-four hours just two weeks earlier.
I drove up US-395 and turned east onto Hackstaff Road towards Doyle and then southeast onto Homestead Road. I saw the old bus at the start of the road and the road up the hill was very rough and rutted as noted by Joseph Kerski. Using 4wd, I was able to average 7mph going up the hill and save myself over 1500’ of vertical elevation gain to where I parked. I stopped about ¾ miles away (direct) and hiked along a line of constant elevation (indirect) to the confluence point.
When I reached the small grassy area identified on my map as Willow Springs, I passed within 10 meters of the only tree around and startled a large cow lying down in the shade. This cow was between me and the tree and there were no other nearby obstacles to put between us. Luckily, the cow determined I was not a threat, allowing both of us to continue what we were doing. The general area is as described in the previous visits.
At the confluence point I zeroed out my receivers and set up for pictures. The view from up here was outstanding and there were some puffy cumulus clouds in the distance. Nevada was to the east, California to the west. “Roll Me Away” by Bob Seger played in my head:
Stood alone on a mountain top,
Starin’ out at the great divide
I could go east, I could go west,
It was all up to me to decide
Just then I saw a young hawk flyin’
And my soul began to rise
And pretty soon
My heart was singin’
Picture #1 looks southwest across Long Valley. Picture #2 looks north. Picture #3 looks east. Picture #4 looks south, the Fort Sage Mountains are in the foreground and Seven Lakes Mountains in the distance. Picture #5 looks west toward the Diamond Mountains. Picture #6 shows my GPS location.
To the south, I could see the roads and path taken by the first visitor. It looks like hiking north up the 120w meridian may also be a relatively easy approach (except for the elevation gain) but if you can drive up the dirt road you’ll avoid a lot of climbing!
Round trip hike details are: 2.46 miles in 1:19. Total time from US-395 was 3:40. Onward to 40°N 121°W!