11-Nov-2004 -- I had a standing invitation from Sam Gallucci to visit 34n-117w. It was the closest confluence to his house as well and one he desired a repeat visit to compare his new GPS to where he had previously found the confluence with his older GPS. Veterans Day was a day off for both of us and I would introduce a co-worker, Todd Venema, to the mystique and fun of confluence hunting.
We met at the end of County Line Road in Calimesa. Sam noted a new fence that was not present on his earlier visit. We went through a walkway in the fence designed to keep wheeled vehicles out and we were off on a GOTO towards our destination.
The confluence lies about a quarter of the way up the southern side of an east-west running ravine. There are several ravines to choose from. Between them are ridges with trails along the top. The journey involves about 650 feet of vertical elevation gain. The secret is to try to minimize the unnecessary ups and downs by correctly picking the right one. We incorrectly chose a trail that remained north of 34n and required us to descend down a ridge and back up onto another ridge further south before descending again towards the confluence.
ATV and dirt bike tracks were all over, and riding one would have made this trip much quicker along the trails! We also noted several sets of unidentifiable canine and ungulate tracks in the soft and wet (due to recent precipitation) dirt.
The slope of the terrain at the confluence is fairly steep. As we got closer, and without prompting, Todd intuitively began the confluence dance and then announced that he had all zeroes at his first successful confluence visit. Sam and I confirmed his find and we set up to start taking pictures.
On Sam’s first visit, he didn’t zero out his GPS and his assessment was that his less precise GPS had him in a different spot. From the trail on the ridge to the north of us, we were within 100 meters and the same would be true had we been on the ridge to the south of us.
Picture #1 shows a flower at the confluence. Picture #2 looks west out towards Calimesa. Picture #3 looks north and up the far side of the ravine. Picture #4 looks east up towards the larger north-south ridge. Picture #5 looks south and up the side of the ravine. Picture #6 shows Todd holding the GPS at the completion of his confluence dance. Picture #7 looks towards the confluence from on top of the northern east-west ridge and is taken from a point on the far right of Picture #2. Draw an “X” between the corners for the approximate confluence location. Picture #8 shows the end of County Line Road from where we parked, the confluence is located behind the middle ridge that shows on the far right of the picture. Picture #9 shows Sam’s perfect GPS reading.
Leaving the confluence, we followed the ravine west for a little bit then climbed the ridge and stayed on a different trail (that remained south of 34n) leading almost due west. This prevented an unnecessary climb and descent of the ravine we encountered on our approach. It was an easy downhill hike to our vehicles.
Total hike distance was 2.57 miles accomplished in 1:15. Total time off Interstate 10 was 1:45. Before we got back on the interstate, we stopped for a quick lunch at Del Taco to celebrate our successful confluence adventure!