After a failed attempt at another confluence (near Payson) earlier in the day, there was just enough time to high-tail it to a confluence near Meteor Crater.
We drove a little past the crater. On both sides were official NO TRESPASSING signs. Given that we were going to have to traipse across a few miles of posted badlands to reach the confluence, it seemed like a good idea to find a place to park where the warning signs weren't visible. Having done that, we began the trek. I just hoped the lip of the crater would still be visible from the confluence.
|After a couple of miles, I stumbled upon a marker along the 35th parallel. It was left in 1917 by the Continental Land Survey team. We were still a ways from 111 degress longitude, so I don't know what they were measuring. Anyhow, we didn't mess with it. Not that we were inclined to mess with it, but there was a $250 fine for doing it in 1917 & with the current draconian federal laws, who knows how much they'd ream you for today?|
|Something else I stumbled upon -- actually, came within inches of stepping directly on. I was being careful, but the 52 mph winds made it necessary to turn around to speak.|
|When I turned back around, there it was. He was kind of cold, so he wasn't eager for a confrontation. It wasn't easy to get him to come out & pose for pix. Even so, he rattled only a couple times & struck only once.|
|Rattlers are pretty hard to spot in the brush, even when you know they're there. Can you spot the rattler in this photo?|
|Here's a detail from the same photo.|
|I'd like to have had longer to visit with our new pal, but you can see by the shadows in these photos that the sun was getting low in the sky. We were burning daylight and it was still quite a ways to the confluence. We also had to think about getting back -- which we didn't want to do in the dark.|