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Everything posted by seventhings

  1. RE: MOAPA The surface mark is GR0724, MOAPA LA PLACE
  2. I have several "favorite stats" like FTFs, Mason-Dixon stones, etc. Among my favorites are righteous DNFs that others have logged as "Found". For example: GR0726, Pipe Cap I 1 and GR1898, T-station MOAPA Will
  3. Kurt - September in DC! We'll keep the light on for you. Will
  4. Thanks, all, for your observations. The item in question looks exactly like the product illustrated by ArtMan (though I thought it was smaller in diameter than 3/4"). The stamping "STEPHY" appeared to be etched or ground, not field-stamped. The text is very well-aligned, shaped and spaced). The object is (I'm 99 percent sure) stainless steel (thus negating the possibility that it was "stamped" and, thus, leading to my judgement that the "stamping" was etched or ground). The object appeared to be (felt) solid or, at least, relatively thick-walled (though I used neither hammer nor vise-grips to test this judgement. I suspect that it is a geodetic control point, owned by the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory of the USGS & University of Utah. m&h - what makes you think I didn't?? Will
  5. On Tuesday, May 19th, I went in search of bench mark disk M158, PID = PY0091 (CGS, 1960) in Yellowstone National Park, Park County, WY. The station is described as set in the top of a rock outcrop, 86 feet west of the west end of stone guardrail, and 18 feet south of the centerline of a road. I did not find the station; see: PY0091 However, seven feet west-southwest of the described stone guard rail, I found a one-half inch diameter stainless steel rod projecting two inches from a large rock. The rod has a rounded top and center-punch – similar to, if not identical to, the 200 or so rods that I’ve found under logo caps, except for its un-capped monumentation. The rod is stamped STEPHY. The odd rod is in neither the Geocaching nor NGS databases. I’ve searched the USGS, Cascades Volcano Observatory and Yellowstone Volcano Observatory web sites, but can find no info on the rod or the stamping STEPHY (unless, of course, the rod is some obscure tribute to Stephy Tang, lead singer for the Hong Kong pop group “Cookies”). But, I’m not particularly skilled at finding such info, nor am I overly motivated (that is, I am both stupid and lazy). Rod STEPHY Rod STEPHY area - looking east It’s certainly an odd rod and, given its proximity to the un-found PY0091 (which, I think, was destroyed when the road was widened), may be a geodetic control point. Has anyone ever seen a rod monumented in such a manner?
  6. holograph - Many thanks for your great work on the stats and maps. Will p.s. With respect to the coloring-in of counties (GEOCAC NGS recovery reports by county), have you ever compiled a list of how many counties each GEOCAC reporter has? Or, better yet, a compilation of "number of first GEOCAC NGS recovery in county, by GEOCAC reporter"? w
  7. m&h - I had a similar situation last week with respect to GV5086, survey disk DESHA RESET (DESHA set in 1934, the reset monumented in 1960) at the St John's Methodist Church in Essex Co., VA. The NGS datasheet has RMs 1, 2 and 3 in the boxscore, but RMs 3, 4 and 5 surround the station. DNF RM2 and did not search for RM1 (time constraint, cultivated fields and no info other than the Geod. az.) Interestingly, the stamping "No. 4" and "No. 5" on those two RMs looks original (that is, not over-stamped numbers on the original disks for RMs 1 and 2), but both RM disks contain "1934" (the date of the original DESHA) as well as "1960" (the reset date). The main station has both dates, as well. RM3 has only "1934". All of the four disks are stamped "DESHA", but none of the four disks are stamped "RESET". Fortunately, the two heretofore undocumented RMs 4 and 5 were close to and easily visible from the main station. Will see GV5086
  8. Fred - Could you provide just a bit more info - did you manage to get the disk's cooridinates? If you don't have coordinates, could you describe its location? Something like "One the east side of the road, about 1.5 miles north of the Painted Desert Visitors' Center and about three-quarters of a mile north of the Tiponi Point overlook." Will
  9. t8r You are correct, sir. Finding all the parts of a tri-station is very satisfying, and the AZ part is especially so. Few AZ's have their own PIDs, and those without PIDs are (usually) less well-described than marks with their own datasheets. They are, for most intents and benchmark hunting purposes, just like marks with SCALED coordinates. The tri-station, itself, is fairly easy to find if you have a clear sky. The RMs are not much more difficult because you can (well, I often do) use FORWARD to calculate a position that is alomost as good as ADJUSTED. But the AZ is is as good as a bench mark disk. Will
  10. Why SCALED marks? Because marks with ADJUSTED horizontal coordinates are too easy. Finding a mark with SCALED coordinates is just over three times more satisfying than finding one with ADJUSTED horizontal coordinates. "Datasheet" is, when used in the context of hunting for (attempting to "recover") a monumented (set in place and documented for inclusion in a database) benchmark (be it a bench mark, triangulation station, tidal station, or whatever name you wish to give), a term of art rendered as a single word (like they do on the NGS web site). Or is it "website"? Will
  11. I've seen a few similar things, but they have looked more like conventionally melted lead. I agree with mloser - probably a field salvage job by a subsequent survey party, but I have no clue as to what the compund may be. Will
  12. I use a Canon PowerShot A85, 4.0 megapixel. With a little trial and error, I found that setting the camera to "small photos" - "medium fine" quality yields photos of between 90k and 125k. They upload quickly and without distortion. On occasion, I've screwed up the settings and ended up with much larger photos - that is, from 400k tp 2.0 mb. When I upload these larger photos to Geocaching, the re-sizing function pixilates the daylights out of them (even to the point where the stamping on a disk is rendered unreadable). Trial and error has also taught me that I get the best photos of disk from a distance of about two feet in "Macro" mode and with the 3x optical zoom lense zoomed about two-thirds of the way. Trial and error has also taught me that photos of disks are generally (four times out of five, more or less) better without using the flash (when the "Auto" mode of the camera senses a flash is needed). However, for that one time out of five, under low light conditions I will take a few photos with and a few without the flash just to be sure I get one decent photo. I do not mess with the photos before I upload them. ("Yeah, we know!") Will
  13. Jim - Great work, as usual. Thanks ++ Will
  14. Kudos to CallawayMT and m&h, and many thanks to holograph. Will
  15. Excellent point, Kurt. As I approach 2,000 recovery reports to the NGS, I am still a bit nervous about inadvertantly inducing an error that will either inconvenience a professional user of the database or, much more likely, induce derision for the GEOCAC agency among those professional users. W p.s. I guess now I should definitely remove the large sledgehammer from my benchmark hunting toolkit.
  16. Type A personality? LOL ++. For anybody with more than 1,000 NGS recoveries in the past four years, a little honest introspection would suggest that "Type A personality" is a phase through which we have long-since passed. Obsessive-compulsive disorder may be a more fitting diagnosis. Will p.s. In the interest of full disclosure: this from the brother-in-law of a Professor of Psychology, said brother-in-law being a source of endless interest and amusement to said professor.
  17. DixieDawn - Welcome to benchmark hunting. At the risk of repeating much of what has been said, above .... Since the published coordinates for CG0838 ar "SCALED", a difference of 230 feet between those coordinates and the position of the station as measured by your handheld GPS is unremarkable. SCALED coordinates are generally 50 - 150 feet off, but the deviation between the published coordinates and the actual position may be several hundred feet. For this reason, handheld GPS coordinates are very weak evidence that the station found is the station sought. Most rods are encased in metal sleeves with a round, hinged metal lid. Usually, the designation ("G 430" in this case) is stamped along the top rim of the sleeve. Unfortunately, CG0838 appears to be encased in a PVC sleeve without any identifying mark. So, in light of the above, how you determine if the rod that you found is, in fact, G 430 is to confirm its position relative to the references listed in the description. If the rod you found is, in fact, (about) 100 feet south of the centerline of the road, (about) 50 feet south of the centerline of a dirt road, three feet north of a fence, one foot west of a witness post, and about six feet lower that the road, I would say you have a righteous find. Judging from your excellent photos, I would say that the rod you found conforms to the description of G 430 with respect to the fence and the witness post. Personally, I would not log it as found unless it conformed to the other elements of the description as well. Were I in the vicinity of the rod you found, I would also walk east for 200 - 300 feet to see if I could find CG0351. That would provide yet another level of coroberation. Cases like this are what make benchmark hunting so enjoyable. If your rod had a sleeve with "G 430" stamped on it, you would have enjoyed the satisfaction of finding something listed in the database. But having to do a little field work to "build the case" to support a conclusion that this particular rod is G 430 with a probability greater than, say, 95 percent provides an order of magnitude greater satisfaction. Regarding your handheld coordinates, you can create a waypoint, as described by PFF, or you can include them in your post: "Handheld coordinates are NXX-XX.XXX W0XX-XX.XXX." Good hunting, Will
  18. holograph - The maps and stats are great. Thanks for all the work. Will
  19. p8check - I often use a metal detector, but not as often as I thought I would when I bought it. Usually, when I balance the improved benchmark finding capability that a detector provides with the added bother of carrying yet another thing along with me into the woods, I opt for the "fewer things, lower find-rate" alternative. In my experience, a metal detector is most valuable when the mark I'm searching for is not far from where I parked the truck (so, the detector is handy), and the mark is in an area of thick multi-flora (the really annoying stickery, vine-like stuff that infests the lower-lying areas of the Eastern US). I hate diving into that stuff to find a mark; I'll let the detector do the finding so I can minimize my business with the flora. There are two other limitations to metal detectors. First, they are generally banned from any area of historical significance (like anyplace there was a battle during the Civil War (aka in NC as "The Recent Unpleasantness" or "The War of Northern Aggression")), and are even banned by local authorities from many areas that have no historical significance at all. The other limitation is social. It seems members of the general public have no compunction whatsoever about approaching someone with a metal detector and dealing with the operator as if or she were some sort of mildly challenged uber-nerd. Of course, the same thing happens when you say that you're hunting for benchmarks, so I guess there's no net loss of social standing. Will
  20. Sean's Mom - There are a number of benchmarks out there that have been incorrectly found by a large number of people. Sometimes the wrong thing is found (as in the case you describe), and sometimes a mark that is unfindable by conventional methods (because it has been paved over, for example) is found because people get to the general vicinity and figure "Hey, that's good enough!". I don't think I've ever seen an eight-mile miss on a mark with adjusted horizontal coordinates, though. That's got to be a new record. What can you do about it? For all intents and purposes, nothing beyond what you've already done. If you recognize an incorrect find as an isolated error by one of the benchmark hunting regulars, you should send him or her an e-mail. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, you'll get a prompt "thank you" and the error will be corrected in short order. I've sent a few such e-mails and gotten a few, as well. However, if the error was made by a Geocache-centric benchmark hunter of opportunity, it's not likely that your efforts to correct the record will meet with any success. If I don't recognize the names of the people who logged the unrighteous find, I'll make an appropriate log, but I won't send an e-mail to the perps. Will
  21. jc_hook - If someone has looked for a mark in the past and failed to find it, it is reasonable to assume that the probability that you will find it is lower than if someone had looked for it in the past and found it. Though the probability is lower, it is usually not 0. (Or, you can't know the probability is zero until you've taken a shot at it.) One of the more satisfying aspects of benchmark hunting is finding a mark that someone else has failed to find, especially if that someone else is from the C&GS, NGS or USGS. Now, when I set out to hunt benchmarks in an area, I often will pass on marks that have been searched for and not found, especially if my time in the area is limited. However, that practice notwithstanding, I will usually make an effort to find at least one or two that have previously been "not found". If I have the opportunity to linger in an area, I will search for every mark in that area that has been the source of frustration for a previous hunter. In the past few years, I have (usually) passed on marks that have been found by other GEOCAC hunters (usually, but not always): too easy. Every experienced benchmark hunter has one or more finds on his or her list that were previously unfindable by someone else. These are very satisfying finds, especially if the frustrated party was from one of the professional agencies. To find a mark that the US Power Squadron failed to find is satisfying, but not nearly as much as finding a mark that an NGS person couldn't find. Will
  22. RE: AZcachemeister's post immediately above: I agree. After holtie22 & NGS Surveyor's explanation of what "traverse" means in surveyor-speak, it seems that the point that was to become the "center of the base" preceded establishment of the base or erection of the tower. At first, I thought the station was destroyed because the tower would be used to locate the center of its base. Now, however, it seems that neither was the tower the station nor was the tower necessary to find the center of its base. p.s. I also think that the station exists independent of the concrete block with the pulley, regardless of where the block & pulley are located. If you've got four intact footings, you have (the original) "base". And, as every base has a center, you have a station (even if you don't have a mark).
  23. Excellent explanation from NGS Surveyor (w/ supporting concurrence of Z15). Thanks. Well, that raises a question of a higher level of abstraction: If the station was established as the "center of base" using a method identical to or similar to that so cogently described by NGS Surveyor, it follows that the station was/is/may very well always have been absolutely independent of the tower (as first suggested by AZ Cachemeister), and the station's existence is substantively unaffected by the current, non-standing status of the tower. [Conveniently disregarding, for the moment, the problem of the Marker = Tower entry on the NGS datasheet.] But we are benchmark hunters. We look for an object or symbol (chiseled cross, for example), that exists prior to and independent of our effort, and, generally, we don't claim to have "found" anything until we are sure we have found the object or symbol described in the datasheet. So, the question is: "Can you find a benchmark by running strings between two opposing pairs of concrete footings for a tower that no longer stands, and noting the point of intersection of the two strings?" Well, there's precedence. I direct your attention to HV1861 NW 1=NATL ACAD OF SCI. This is one of several "no-mark marks" in Washington, DC; it requires a tape or ruler to find. It does not exist as an object or symbol until the tape or ruler (and, maybe, a little soft-point pencil) is applied to the hunt. If you can find a "mark" by measuring with a ruler, then why not by icrossing a pair of strings. Therefore, I change my mind. I think NorthWes should run a few strings, confirm the coordinates of the intersection thereof within the tolerances of a handheld GPS, and log five more finds. I would, furthermore, NOT report these as found to the NGS until I had explained all to Deb Brown. Since the Marker = Tower, she may prefer that these five tower be treated as so many plain-vanilla intersection stations, and reported to the NGS only if and as DESTROYED. Will
  24. RE: Traverse Could mean moving horizontally in a direction, like crossing a river or measuring distance along the ground with chains. Could also mean moving horizontally by changing angles, like when a machine gun rotates about its vertical axis to change the direction of fire. In the sense used here, I took traverse to mean (something like) a surveyor set up his or her theolodite, sector or other angle-measuring device, fixed it upon a known point in the distance, swung it around to sight on the tower, and measured the angular distance between the two sighted points. Unfortunately, do not have sufficient command of the vocabulary - need a surveyor. Will
  25. I agree with Paul, but for other reasons (than Paul gives). Paul's analysis correctly applies to about 99 percent of tower/mast/spire intersection stations, but NorthWes' tower appears to be a different and uncommon animal. I suspect that the tower's characteristics (color, height, legs) were included in the description to assist in finding the station, but the station, itself, is the center of the base. That the tower is gone does not automatically lead to the conclusion that the station is destroyed. But, practically speaking, I think that it does lead to that conclusion. The description states that the station is the "center of the base". It does not say that the station is the "center of the large block of concrete with the pulley thing on it lying at or near the intersection of lines connecting the centers of each pair of opposite legs" . The "center" in this case may be a point that does not have a physical "mark", like a disk, chiseled cross, punch-hole, etc. And, even under the absolute best of conditions, a hobby grade GPS cannot "find" a point that is not marked with a physical feature. Now, if the bases of the tower's four legs all survive, it should be possible to "find" the "center" with two pieces of string. However, the center of the base of the tower, though located on or near the ground, is still an intersection station - it was meant to be found by sighting (on the tip of or on the apparent center of) the tower from a great distance. It was not meant to be used by running strings (or employing some other similar method) between pairs of legs. Therefore, if the only practically valid method of finding the station is gone, then, I think, the station is gone. The station may not have been the tower, but, absent a tower, the "station" has no meaning. I agree with NorthWes' original 2006 log of "Destroyed". Will p.s. Let's see, that makes it 2 - 2. Edit to add "Let's see, that makes it 2 - 2."
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