Jump to content


+Charter Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by patw

  1. My previous tally was WA, CA, ID, NY, PA, NJ, RI, VT, NH, ME, NC, GA, FL, KY. We just completed a 7,700 mile, 57-day odyssey from Portland, OR to Port Jervis, NY via San Diego and Daytona Beach. We were able to add AZ, NM, TX, LS, AL, MS, WV and MD to our total, which I now make out to be some 22 states. Frankly, it was a real bummer trying to identify, process and log some 270 photos at one sitting once we got home. ;>) We also added 5 new initial points for a total of seven logged (WILLAMETTE OR/WA, BOISE ID, MT DIABLO CA, PHOENIX AZ, ST STEPHENS AL TALLAHASSEE FL. NAVAJO NM is not included in the GC listings and LOUISIANA is in the middle of an impenetrable swamp (unless you're at the tail end of a 60 day drought as was C. Walter White when he managed to visit it). We also logged the ZERO STONE in Texas but that is not one of the 38 initial points of the GLO rectangular survey system. This summer we'll add a couple of the central states and more initial points.
  2. OK, I yield to the expertise of these dedicated and more knowledgeable enthusiasts from the field. The question remains: How can we amend this oversight? This is not a mere local benchmark that has been lost in the bureaucratic shuffle. This is a icon of our heritage.
  3. I thought that our list of bench marks was generated from the NGS data base *after* April 1999 and, therefore, should have been picked up by our list.
  4. This is truly a frustrating omission from our bench mark listings. The Navajo Initial Point, AI5439, is listed in the NGS data base but is not included in the geocaching listings. This is one of the 38 initial points of the GLO survey of public lands. I recently visited the site in an attempt to log a number of the initial points and, while we arrived too late in the day to make the ascent, I am sure the mark is in place, stable, and usable as no construction has occured within a mile of the adjusted coordinates for several centuries. The original IP was established in 1869, long after the prehistoric village had been abandoned. The NGS data sheet records it as recovered in 1999 by the NGS. The 1999 description is very detailed and does not hint of the mark having been destroyed or not found. C. Walter White, in his book, Initial Points of the Rectangular Survey System, relates how he rediscovered the mark (which had been given up for lost) in 1992 through wundermous survey detective work and includes photos of the site. I make these comments, not as any criticism of the terrific work and labors involved in generating our list, let alone the outstanding service it provides our community, but rather in the hope that the oversight can be corrected. It would make a wonderful target for a hunt as the nearby Four Corners and the New Mexico IP could be visited in the same trip.
  5. Yes, Jeff, I did receive the information in time. Thanks for the effort and display of community spirit in making the effort to provide it. Shirley and I are now enroute from Portland, OR, down to the LA area via Rte 1, across to Florida on I-40 and I-10, and then up to rural NY State, some 6600 miles. We have made notes on six of the 38 Initial Points which we hope to recover on this trip and so far have initial points at Meridian, Idaho, the Willamette Stone in Portland, OR and HS5150 at Mt Diablo, CA. (We have some 400 waypoints in the gps for both caches and bench marks, mostly bench marks.) Unfortunately C White's book on the 38 GLO IP's did not arrive before we took off but we just figure that will be the spring board for yet another IP search this summer. We may try a tentative thread on our progress if there is interest. Thanks again! . . . . patrick & shirley
  6. If this process could be applied to the iQuje 3600, I might be tempted to keep mine. Thanks for "promise of the future" gang!
  7. Thanks for the lead. Sounds like exactly what I've been looking for. A google search turned up a source for the book: Initial Points Phone: (303)428-9529 c/o The Publishing House Fax: (303)430-1676 P.O. Box 215 Westminster, CO 80030 At $89.00 plus $7.00 for shipping, it ain't for any mere daliance but it should be the mainspring inspiration for many a sojourn. I hope to start with the Seven Ranges comes spring and will seek out more recent IP's in the central area while I'm there. I also tried to order his History of the Rectangular Survey System. It is out of print but I left a provisional order for a used copy at Amazon. Thanks!
  8. Thanks for the replies! Actually, the data is from the 1930 Manual of Instruction so the datum may be a stilll more ancient reference than NAD27. That's OK, however, as a search of the area , using the given coordinates, can locate the points in WGS84 terms. I'm more concerned about whether the mark still exists as it quite a bit off my route to warrant a fruitless search. Whether it exists or not will determine if we come straight down I-5 or go over to the coast and come down 101 from Portland. Mt Diablo and San Bernadido are listed in the NGS data sheets and are well documented by local and professional groups. So they should be fairly straightforward. I'll follow up on the suggestion to pose the question in a new thread. Again, thanks and a dip tip of the hat to Zhanna, one my local heroes!
  9. Very poignant account, Mike! I am in total awe of the integrity of the early PLO surveyors and am being sucked into a black hole of reading of the initial surveys, particularly of the NW Territories with Hutchins, Putman, Mansfield, etc. Terrific stuff and enough to distract us from our previous geocaching excursions. Thanks for sharing this account!
  10. My current bag is WA, CA, ID, NY, PA, NJ, RI, VT, NH, ME, NC, GA, FL, KY, which I make out to be some 14 states. I'm about to set out on a 5500-mile cross country trip and will try to recover as many initial points and prime meridians as I can document before leaving. I'll certainly add some eight or nine states of regular bench marks. Next summer I hope to start with the "Point of the Beginning" on the Ohio river and get a number of the prime meridians in OH, IN, IL, and MI.
  11. As local enthusiasts, do you know if the LV0930 Mount Pierce (Humboldt Initial Point) bench mark still exists? The last NGS entry is 1941 and noone has logged it in the GC site. I'm setting out on a 5500-mile jaunt cross country and hope to recover as many of the IP's and prime meridians as I can document before leaving. My primary source is a reprint of the 1935 "Public Land Surveys," issued by the Michigan Society of Professonbal Surveyors but its datum reference is not identified and the cited coordinates are off by as much as 0.5 mile. Thanks!
  12. I went back and measured a rail section on the local Erie Railroad and it is, indeed, 39 feet . . . . patrick
  13. Thanks! This particular reference is on the Erie Railroad in New York State. I was favoring 33 feet (two perches) as the most probable measement on that road but, fortunately, was able to look up an old timer who worked on a branch of the Erie as a cribber. (That's the poor devil who tamps the stone fill under the ties to set them solidly.) He stated without hesitation that they used 39 feet as a rail. When we get back to NY and work on that set of bench marks, we'll verify the measurement for that particular railroad. It's not surprising that there would be more than a single measure for a rail, given the number of different standards that were used thoughout the country. I would just guess that the roads that were laid through the Public Lands would measure 33 feet, however, since all tlhat territory was surveyed by the Gunter chain. I'll check that out when we get back to Oregon. Again, thanks for the response. . . . patrick
  14. OK, I'm up on poles, perches, rods, chains and a few others. But a recent spate of 1942 benchmarks along a railroad bed use the term "rail" in the description, as in "turn south just two rails before you see the church." ;>) I've searched in vain though I seem to recall the term in some past literature. Can some kind soul restore my night's slumber and reveal just how a rail measures? Thanks! patrick
  15. A suggestion: on the line which lists the coordinates, look at the last word. If it is "SCALED" it means the coordinates are only good to +/- six degrees, or about 600 feet. That is, a 1200-foot diameter circle of confusion. If it says "ADJUSTED" it means the mark is set to something like 1/8 inch accuracy! I would concentrate on the adjusted ones first for gps searching. Often times the scaled ones are on a prominent landmark, such as set vertically in the city hall, in a bridge or culvert abutment, or even a church spire. The big boys suggest that the scaled ones are best searched for by the description rather than by the gps coordinates. Good luck! patrick & shirley
  16. Can some of you "big boys" suggest a source book which would introduce us to elementary survey methods? I'm referring primarily to field methods for traverse and triangulation surveying. I'm primarily interested in expanding my appreciation of bench marks and their histories and would like to try some local surveying attempts using rudimentary and readily available equipment. Thanks! patrick & shirley
  17. Well, I have some 425 caches and 185 bench marks. I'm beginning to give preference to bench mark hunting, especially if I can dig up some background history to whet the appetite. My oddest bench mark is a totem pole here in Portland, OR. My oldest NGS mark is 1881 but I have located, but not yet recovered, one from 1774, though that is not (for some odd reason) not an NGS mark. Very, very interesting history, however. I hope to get to it within the year and will post an account here when I do. patrick & shirley
  18. I would add that when reporting a benchmark as <not found> that is helpful to include a comment describing your experience and the apparent reason you could not find. Area photos are also very helpful to others who may still want to go after the particular mark. (There are some -- yea, even on this forum -- who delight in the added challenge of hunting down a previously <not found> mark, especially if it was reported NF by the NGS or USPSQDN. patrick & shirley
  19. I often find RM's listed in the NGS data sheets with an independent PID but there is no station referred to in the description. Nor is there a PID for a station listed in a separate listing. Sometimes these RM's will have the expected arrow engraved on them and occasionallly even have a triangle but with no text accounting for a reset, destroyed station, or redesignation of the RM as the station. None of them provide a bearing and distance to some original station. Now, why is that? patrick & shirley
  20. I'm not at home with my records just now but I recall at least 2 RM's which were redesignated as the station. The disks were not changed and still bore an arrow pointing to the original station mark which apparently had been destroyed, though there was no notation to that effect in the NGS description. One of them is High Point, NJ where a tall monument tower was built over the original station and one of its reference marks (embedded in a solid outcropping) was designated as the station. A second reference mark was set in the new wall around the monument, pointing to the original station. (Why not to the newly designated mark?) The data sheet still described the azimuth mark referenced to the original mark. patrick & shirley
  21. OK, Thanks to all. I thought cadastral might refer to taking bearings by star sightings or some such as opposed to metes-and-boundary procedures, which I now presume is the dominant method for cadastral surveys. patrick & shirley
  22. That is truly a tantalizing teaser! Could you please explain the difference between a cadastral and a geodetic mark? patrick & shirley
  23. Webfoot commented: >>We found one benchmark (microwave tower) that we could see from a distance, but couldn't get up close to it because of no trespassing signs<< I shoot these up close if I can but always try to get a shot from one of the bench marks that reference the tower, spire, light house, etc. Interesting to see it as used in context. Actually, I consider the distanced reference shot more authentic and meaningful than the close-up. Good luck! . . . . patrick patrick & shirley
  24. quote: The closeup without a reference gave a false impression of the size. Its a good idea to use a tape measure etc to scale the photo's. Thanks for the advice. I have incorporated a 35 foot steel tape measure in my search kit (an orange hunter's vest). The scaled photo occurs hereRD2624 with tape measure for scale factor patrick & shirley
  25. OK, we've seen light houses, church steeples, smoke stacks, water towers, and what-not serving as bench marks. I hereby submit RD2552 in Portland, OR as the most aesthetic and perhaps the oddest bench mark reported to date. (And Mt Hood ain't a bad back drop, either!) . . . . patrick & shirley patrick & shirley
  • Create New...