Following is an update on the MARYLAND HEIGHTS S (JV4626) project:
Ominously, the date selected for the 4 1/2 mile round trip, 900+ elevation change quest was April 1st. The team consisted of myself & mloser (ArtMan was on assignment). We planned to search for this mark as well as the elusive non-published PIVOT (JV4627).
Having stocked up on supplies (water, soda, peanut butter/bologna sandwich, peanut M&Ms, camping fork, measuting tape, camera, wi-fi enabled benchmarking phone we began the ascent. At one point (although I missed it) it was marked that President Lincoln was being taken on a tour up this trail to an over look & having looked up at the trail from that spot said something to the effect of 'that's far enough'.
Passing several remains of gun emplacements, etc., we continued beyond the more traveled trail to the overlook and headed farther up the mountain - stopping occasionally for quick brakes earned by middle-aged benchmark hunters. The trail lead us first to the projected coordinates of the unpublished PIVOT. After a few minutes we found the closest thing we could vind to a 19th Century station:
The problem with this (barring whether this is actually what we were looking for) is that it is oddly-triangularly shaped & it is too close to an an edge for both of us to feel confident that this is a man-made drill hole:
After a good 45 minutes or so, we proceeded N for 221 meters to search for our main target - MARYLAND HEIGHTS S. Mloser will have to confirm, but my guess is that we spent at least an hour scraping rocks, overturning & inspecting stones for any sort of markings. Due to the fact that vegetation was still dormant at 1381 feet & had a decent satellite signal, we were able to keep our search area to a roughly 30' oval resembling a loaf of Italian bread oriented just to the E of the trail. Our only clue to this was that it was a drill hole in a boulder - however, every logical exposed boulder had no drill hole. We excavated as much as was logically possible, given being on park grounds, and with a curious visitor or 2 happening by every 20 minutes or so. We spent at least an hour scraping, looking, moving, thinking, before finally coming to the conclusion that without completely scraping a entire 30'x15' section of the trail & E shoulder, this will remain unfound.
Perhaps a professional-grade GPSr and good constellation could reduce the search area - although 3 HH2 GPSr units gave us similar results..hopefully we were close.
We had one more place to go while up there - MARYLAND HEIGHTS RESET
Here we were able to locate the station and all three Reference Marks quickly. We attempted to locate the five chiseled reference marks from 1871, but were unsuccessful - we did locate the cross found by BDT in 2004.
After milling around the fort for a few minutes, we began the return trip - stopping again at MARYLAND HEIGHTS S ..just in case. After returning to Harpers Ferry (with 15 minutes to spare to catch the last shuttle to the parking area), we opted to head E to look for a few marks along an abandoned RR line until dark...with much greater success.
Not every find results in success, but you're never sure what's up there until tou check it out yourself
The search to complete the E.O.A. continues...