24-Aug-2014 -- Being the carbon-conscious Coloradoan I am, I had been thinking for a while about attempting a confluence completely on bicycle. 41N 105W, about 27 miles from where I live in Fort Collins and the closest confluence as the crow flies, seemed to be the one to shoot for.
Previous visitors reached the confluence via ranch roads from the east but I was hoping to pass through Soapstone Prairie Natural Area (a wonderful park overseen by the Fort Collins city park system, amazingly... our own [austerer] Garden of the Gods) from the south. By taking the Pronghorn Loop from the Entrance Station over to the Plover Trail (see Photo #2), I was hoping to reach the ranch manager's residence where I would ask permission to cross their land the remaining ~1 kilometer to the site over a sharp ridge and just into Wyoming.
I awoke at 5:15am on Sunday and was on my bike by 6:05am on a surprisingly cold August morning - 49 deg. F - and with just enough civil twilight to see. I covered the 26.5 miles (7 of 'em washboard dirt/gravel) in two hours, seeing a beautiful sunrise and feeling a warm-up of 20 deg., reaching the entrance station to the park a bit after 8am. But to my chagrin, a piece of paper tacked to the window (Photo #3) informed me that my only trans-park route to the confluence, Plover Trail, was closed due to flooding in June/July, something I hadn't seen posted on their website. Rats.
I'll attempt this confluence again sometime in the future, although perhaps I'll drive up there and mountain bike the rest of the way instead, as the trails seemed from my entry vantage to be a little rough anyway for the road bike I was on despite its gravel tires. It was still a wonderful ride, and best part was I was back by 10:20am to enjoy a full, beautiful, productive Sunday at home.