26-Nov-2004 -- Thanksgiving Day 2004 was mild and wet in the greater Philadelphia area, with enough intermittent rain and wind to threaten the annual Center City holiday parade. Out in the suburbs to the southwest, there was even occasional thunder to be heard. However, the passage of a cold front during the night, with temperatures dropping from a high of 62 degrees F. to just below freezing, promised a beautiful day for confluence hunting on Friday. I was in the car by 6:00am, and encountered little traffic as I skirted the downtown area and crossed the Delaware River on the Betsy Ross Bridge. With the coming of daylight, there was not a cloud in the sky. My timing gave me two sunrises, with the sun first coming into view as I crested the top of the bridge span, then quickly disappearing below the trees on the horizon as I returned to ground level, only to reappear by the time I reached the hundred year old Riverton Country Club. I parked near the entrance to the greens maintenance area, and walked the cart path towards the fourth hole.
The greens crew was busy with leaf blowers, preparing the course for the coming day. From the first passing tractor operator, I received permission to take a few pictures, after assuring the driver I was not from ‘The Media’. He added, “Please stay off the grass until after the frost has melted,” which happened as soon as sunlight hit the ground.
As this was the fifth visit to 40N 76W, there is not a lot of description of the area still to be added. Although many people have visited a confluence, this may be one of the few places on earth where someone has actually hit a golf ball exactly on top of one. With the 100 year history of the golf course, it would be interesting to know how many shots have landed within a meter of the CP. In hindsight, I should have brought a golf ball to stage a photograph with the ball marking the exact spot.
I was long gone before the first golfer of the day showed up on the fourth tee. Back on the main road, just south of the CP, the high ground revealed a lovely view of the Philadelphia skyline. As I approached the Betsy Ross Bridge from the New Jersey side, I found emergency vehicles responding to an overturned van blocking all approaching lanes of traffic. Even on a light commute day, driving to urban confluences is not completely risk free…