02-Jan-2000 -- Why do confluences like utility rights-of-way? Or is it
vice-versa, that utility companies like confluences?
Whatever, this one, which Kay and I visited, January 2,
2000, is just off an Entergy Corp. high voltage powerline
easement. The views from the site consist largely of high
voltage lines and steel support towers. If you prefer deer
stands to power lines, one of those is in view as well.
Having satiated on football and black-eyed peas on New
Year's Day 2000, we decided to locate this confluence which
is about 50 miles northwest of Little Rock. We took the
scenic route northwest out HW-10 to Perryville and then went
west on HW-60 to Alpin, a wide spot in the road. We turned
north on a gravel road, marked as the Casa-Alpin road. A
timber company owns all the land in the area but leases
hunting rights to L and F Hunting Club which has marked
trees and rocks with purple paint every 50 feet or so along
the road (in Arkansas that means the land is posted and not
to be hunted or trespassed upon by non-members.) All of the
side roads had locked gates with signs warning that
trespassers would be prosecuted. Hunting season was over so
we felt reasonably safe that the club members would neither
mistake us for deer nor mind too much if we hunted a
confluence on their lease. Besides, we weren't trespassing.
We were on a confluence mission!
We had located the confluence on a USGS map before we left
home. When the GPS said we were close, we parked on a
turnout near where the power line crossed the road and
walked a downgrade ESE along the easement. We did our best
to ignore the hum and crackle of the electricity coursing
through the lines above our heads. A slow drizzle began.
The GPS pointed north for the confluence so we left the
right-of-way after walking it for about 300 yards. We
bushwhacked about 75 feet to a point along a treeline the
GPS felt at home with and proclaimed it the confluence. We
took a few photos to record the visit and trudged back
uphill under the lines. We noticed that a pretty good
marksman, we assume an L and F member, had sighted in a deer
rifle on one of the metal "Danger: High Voltage" signs on a
tower we passed near. The sign was liberally peppered with
a number of holes, proving, once again, that good-ole-boys
of the indigenous Arkansas redneck strain) will be