02-Oct-2004 -- If you like cotton, the confluence of 33º N 112º W is for you. It’s been 3 weeks since we were there and I still have a prescription to clear up the rash I got while finding this particular confluence.
The trip started innocent enough. Once again, the trusty Nissan P/U (w/ Mexico stickers), highly caffeinated drinks and my right-hand man, Aaron, were involved. From Phoenix, AZ, we headed south through the Gila River Indian Reservation on 51st Avenue/ Belt Line Road. While on this road, we made the following observations:
1. “Adopt A Highway” cleanup efforts are not off to a very good start on the Reservations.
2. Reservations are fun places to launch fireworks
3. Go to the bathroom before you leave as there aren’t a lot of rest areas on Reservations.
This leg of the trip also gave me more evidence on my theory that all early-mid 70’s Plymouths have a top speed of 34, burn huge amounts of oil and never have hubcaps.
Soon, we turned South on Maricopa Road towards the town of Maricopa, which resides in the county of Pinal… not Maricopa. As we approached Maricopa, we noticed several new, LARGE and quite nice home tracts going up. These oasis’ confused us as other than a convenience store and feed/ used toilet store, there really isn’t anything going on in the town of Maricopa. I guess these builders go by the “If you build it, they will come” belief.
As we continued down this road, our GPS informed us we getting near our destination of 33º N 112º W. Soon, our arrow pegged left right when we got to Farrell Road... which was convenient. We traveled down Farrell Road until the arrow pegged left once again indicating we were 400 short feet from our destination. Because we were separated from our destination by a huge, concrete irrigation ditch and several hundred feet of cotton, we stopped the truck, laced up our sneakers and did it on foot. As we walked, we quickly found a rotting 2x4 to in which to cross the irrigation ditch. Although dramatic, we made it over. Now, we had a whole bunch of thorny cotton to go. We started walking, crushed some cotton plants and did the “confluence do-see-do” trying to get everything zeroed out. Finally, we got it, snapped a photo and sighed the proud sigh of a job well done. As we walked back, I noticed how itchy and scratched up I was from the Cotton plants. Since I’m a man’s man, I sucked it up until I got home where I took an herbal bath surrounded by scented candles and soft music.
On our way back, we stopped at the convenience store in Maricopa and filled up with some pretty inexpensive gas. While pumping the gas, I saw a man walking down the highway with no shoes or shirt on. He was waving at cars frantically (perhaps he thought they had his shirt) and shouting. Another store patron thought the man was funny. I thought he was either addicted to black-tar heroine or having an angina attack. Either way, it’s not my bag. From there, we headed back the way we came full of stories of heroism and adventure from our visit to 33º N 112º W.