27-May-2023 -- It had been two years since I had the opportunity to take a multi day trip just for collecting confluence points, seeing the landscape, and meeting local people. Finally the opportunity arose. My goal was to connect my Minnesota points to the points east and south and west, in Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas. To fill those gaps would require some planning but could be quite fun and doable. Thus after flying to Sioux Falls the previous day and visiting 3 points, including 2 in Iowa, today my goal was to at least visit the remaining 2 points in Iowa that I had not yet visited, along 43 North Latitude. Once done, I will have visited all 16 confluence points in Iowa!
And thus, earlier today I visited 43 North 93 West, and it was still only about 10:00am when I drove north from US Highway 18 on U Avenue. The gravel road wound up and down hills, really beautiful terrain. I crossed a stream on a one-lane bridge and approached the neighborhood of 43 North 92 West. The entrance to the grounds surrounding the point required me to enter a private camping area. I gathered supplies and set out to the east, up the driveway past the camping sign. A short time later, I found two men working hard, cutting and hauling logs; we chatted about my visit and why I was there. To my joy they granted me permission to find the point, and they warned me to be careful around the quarry as the slope is unstable. I walked south through a field with new trees planted, and reached the top of the rock quarry. I took photos in case I could not descend, but then tried my footing, and after about 10 minutes of gingerly stepping around the rocks and on boulders, reached the bottom of the quarry.
I crossed the clearing there and discovered that the confluence point would be in a thicket of young trees to the southwest, not far from the north bank of the river to the south. I took some photos in the clearing in case my GPS would not zero out under the trees. After 10 minutes in the wooded thicket, I had finally zeroed out at the confluence point. It was a glorious late spring late morning, moderate breeze, temperature about 82 F (28 C). The confluence lies on flat ground, a floodplain of the river, in a small wooded thicket, so the farthest I could see was about 10 meters in any direction. But from the clearing to the north, one can see a bit further, perhaps 8 tennis courts in width. I saw no people, animals, or birds, but there were some flies and mosquitos. I had stood on 43 North many times, from Idaho on the west to New Hampshire on the east, now including all on 43 North in Iowa and an unbroken string from Michigan on the east to South Dakota on the west (14 whole degrees of points, except for the point in the middle of Lake Michigan). I had also stood on 92 West from Wisconsin on the north to Louisiana on the south. I filmed a video and placed it on my Our Earth channel.
I didn't like to leave this peaceful spot, but after a short time, I walked back out the way I came in--to the north, and gingerly up the mountain of rocks at the quarry. I arrived on the upper slope and reported back to the two people I talked with earlier. To my surprise the landowner then gave me a tour of his entire wonderful property, on to the river, and we had a very enjoyable time chatting in his ATV.
I arrived back at the north-south gravel road with the landowner and bade him farewell with my thanks. It was later than I wanted it to be after visiting only 2 points so far today but the time with local people was priceless. I stood there a moment and enjoyed the peaceful scene. From this road are wonderful hilly views to the north, west, and south. The last photo I submitted to this visit shows the one lane bridge to the south. I have now visited all confluence points in the state of Iowa! It took me nearly 20 years to do so and each was a wonderful adventure. Now I set off to 44 North 92 West, in Minnesota!
When the trip was all said and done, here are the final statistics:
Confluence points attempted: 15.
Confluence points successfully visited: 15.
Points where I met the local landowner = 4 of 15 points.
Miles = 1731, Kilometers = 2785.
Campgrounds = 3.
Windy confluence points: 6 of 15.
Beautiful confluence points: 15 of 15.
Kwik Trip convenience store stops = 5. Casey's = 1. Circle K = 1. Flying J = 1.
Points along 43 North 4
44 North 3
45 North 4
46 North 1
47 North 3
Points visited on Day 1 = 3
Day 2 = 5
Day 3 = 4
Day 4 = 3
Points visited in the morning = 5
afternoon = 7
evening = 3
Points visited in Minnesota = 5
North Dakota = 3
Wisconsin = 3
Iowa = 4
Get out there and explore!