the Degree Confluence Project

United States : North Carolina

3.7 miles (5.9 km) SW of Brasstown (Clay), Cherokee, NC, USA
Approx. altitude: 645 m (2116 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap topo aerial ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 35°S 96°E

Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Michael & Nicole Lares, Robert and Allen Lacy on confluence #3: Looking south from the confluence #4: Looking north from the confluence #5: Looking east from the confluence #6: The GPS

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  35°N 84°W  

#1: Looking west toward the confluence

(visited by Allen Lacy, Robert Lacy, Michael Lares and Nicole Lares)

17-Mar-2001 -- My son Robert and I looked at the topozone map, which seems to indicate that the confluence is in the Nahtahala National Forest. Furthermore the topozone map, mapquest, mapblast and the map in Garmin's Mapsource CD indicate that a road goes almost to the confluence. So on March 10, 2001 we decide to try to get to it. We turned off of the main road to a paved road, which became a dirt, but well-traveled road. We drove down the road and came to a fork, which is not on any of the maps. We were sure the right side was the one we want but there was a "No trespassing" sign on a tree by it. Since we didn't know if the confluence was on this person's land, we tried various roads around to see if any of them would circle back to it. We even attempted to cross the woods at one point but we soon started down the steep side of a mountain and which led into very dense forest and were 0.6 miles from the confluence. We became concerned that when we get closer that we will come upon some more "No Trespassing" signs and have to climb back without getting to the confluence. We then decided to go back to the road with the sign. We didn't think the owner would mind if we just drove on the road to ask permission to go to the confluence. But just around the next curve in the road we came to a gate across it with "No trespassing" and "No Hunting" signs. It was 1/2 mile from the confluence. So we thought this one is going to be only an attempt. However I noticed a phone number on the signs.

So Monday March 12, I called the number and talked to the owner, a Mr. Michael Lares, who showed interest in the project even if he was a little unsure about what it was. He said he appreciated us not trespassing and that we could come up there this coming weekend. He told me he has a GPS would like see the confluence as well. He had never thought about the fact his land had a confluence on it. I give him my phone numbers and email address.

On Friday March 16 I called Mr. Lares to verify Robert and I could come Saturday. We talked a little bit and then he asks more for more information about the Degree Confluence Project. I verbally gave him the URL, but we both agree it would be better if I emailed them. So I send an email with the URL of the project, URL to Robert and my visit to N35 W83, and the URL to Topozone map of N35 W84 and URL to the terraserver aerial photo.

He emailed me back saying for us to come up at about 3:00 PM and bring a chainsaw. A tree was across the road to the back part of his land where the confluence was. He said a 4 wheeler would have no trouble and a 2 wheeler could make it if you didn't stop. I told him I would bring a chainsaw but I would have to get a new chain for it Saturday morning.

So Saturday morning my wife June and I got a chain for the saw. Once home, I installed the chain. Then June had me cut down three dead trees to "test" it. Once Robert got there, we left taking the GPS, camera, tripod, water, chainsaw, and map. We got there right at 3:00 and the gate was open. We drove down the road which went along a little stream. At one point there are some little gnome statues in the stream by a small waterfall. It seemed appropriate for gnomes to be overseeing the way to one of the magical places where a GPS can show zeros. We went on and found a big truck on the side of a hill/mountain. We got out and Mr. Lares introduced himself, and said he was talking to the man about work he needed done. He told us to go on and he and Nicole would be back there later. We went over a mound of gravel in the road and through a mud hole in a turn. Then there was the tree across the road. So I got out the chainsaw. Robert and I cleared the road with no trouble. When we went until the GPS said the confluence was to the right of the road, it seemed to point up a steep slope. So Robert and I walked along the left side of the slope seeing if wouldn't be as steep further along. It wasn't and we climbed up to the ridge. But when we get to the ridge, the GPS pointed down the slope. As we came down we could see the truck we came in. We finally wound up in a briar patch about 200 feet from the truck. If we had gone to right instead of left of the steep slope, we would have gone straight to the confluence. We took picture #6 of the GPS. I never got a picture of all zeros, it would get close then I would take the picture and while my camera was recording, the zeros would appear, then go away before I could take another picture. I then put the camera on the tripod and got a picture of Robert and myself standing on the confluence. About that time I heard Michael and Nicole. We yelled and waved our hats. They came up. Michael said from the maps he knew the confluence was in this briar patch. He turns on his Garmin Map 12 GPS. Once his GPS acquired the satellites we described what we are doing to Nicole. She wanted to get a picture of the GPS with the all zeros showing. She made Michael stand behind her with the camera until the zeros the showed up. Once she got that, Michael said he was going to put some sort of marker at the confluence. I then used the tripod to get picture #2 of all four of us on the confluence. The front row is Michael and Nicole Lares the landowners and in the back is Allen (myself) and Robert Lacy. Then Michael put his camera on the tripod and took a picture of the four of us. We then walked down the slope back to our vehicles, and once were about 30 yards from the confluence, I had Robert turn around and take picture #1, which is looking west to the confluence. This picture is the one I think give the best impression of the area. It shows the mountains, the briars, and the trees in the area.

Once are back to the road, we talked a little while about such things as there being wild boar in these woods. After a pleasant visit with Michael and Nicole, we left.

 All pictures
#1: Looking west toward the confluence
#2: Michael & Nicole Lares, Robert and Allen Lacy on confluence
#3: Looking south from the confluence
#4: Looking north from the confluence
#5: Looking east from the confluence
#6: The GPS
ALL: All pictures on one page