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Bragging A Bit

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Had a long, hot, tiring but highly successful day of benchmarking today. For those familiar with the greater DC area, I started south of La Plata, Maryland, and got as far as Colonial Beach, Virginia. I haven't tallied it all yet, but I think I logged about 25 marks found, and another half-dozen or so unfound. My best day ever. Almost all were previously unlogged on Geocaching, and most of the Maryland ones hadn't been logged at NGS since the 1970s. (The U.S. Power Squadrons has apparently been quite busy in Westmoreland County, Virginia.)


Among the highlights were a couple of interesting conversations -- one with an old-timer who had a monument on his property: he was with the Army map corps in WWII and spoke (at length!) about running control on Guam. Another, a marine biologist, saw my GPSr and asked if I was a Geocacher. He told me that the Tidal mark I was looking for, seemingly immovable on concrete, was actually moved several inches when a new concrete "boardwalk" was laid after Hurricane Isabel in 2003. Gotta love your local informants.



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Good job, Art! But you left out the count of Water Bottles needed in that heat!




I was standing among tractors full of spraying gear, asking permission of a farmer to search for a benchmark on his land. "It's okay," I joked. "I'm not with the FBI." Looking at the camera and other gear slung around my neck, the farmer replied, "H#LL, Son. I'm more concerned you're from the EPA!"

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Apt comments, Paul.


The marine biologist was showing off an old bottle he had pulled from the river on a dive earlier in the day. A bottle in the water, however, not a water bottle. Probably a turn of the (last) century soda bottle, and filled with sand, not a refreshing beverage. On a very hot day, however, we did discuss other refreshing (adult) beverages.


The old timer, whose house is opposite a cornfield, was complaining about rampant chemical use by the nonresident corporate farmers.



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For the record, it was 38 marks visited, and 28 found. And I stupidly passed up two intersection stations that were on my list; I just forgot to look. Maybe half of them will get NGS reports. All-in-all an exhausting but extremely satisfying day.




PS - Did we ever have a thread for most marks in one day? It seems vaguely familiar.

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Art -


Good job. I know (from trying) that it's hard to get to 30 + marks in a day. Aside from some unusual places (downtown DC, Hoover Dam), it's very difficult to get to more than three to three and one-half marks per hour. 38 marks is a long day, especially in this weather that we've all been complaining about.


Now, you should reward your superb effort by taking the next three months off (or no one will ever catch you on the NGS recovery reports).



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I think I was away for about 13 hours. Drive without stops would be about three hours round trip. I had a very nice sitdown crabcake lunch and a couple of pretty long chats with folks met along the way. Otherwise it was work-work-work. Except when I took a few minutes to loll on a bench and enjoy the view. (Pic of bench at HV7013)



I really felt I had earned that beer at the end of the journey.



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Congrats on the great day! I have just one question, "Could you easily get out of bed the next morning without groaning too much?" :rolleyes:


I think other than maybe Me & Bucky, you might have a record day there.


It is so much fun to see the faces of other people (other than fellow benchies) when you tell them what you did all day & enjoyed it to boot...



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Jeez, you actually tell people about this stuff?


I just said I was going down to historic Colonial Beach to check out the hurricane damage and eat some seafood.


As for getting out of bed, to paraphrase our former president, it depends on what the meaning of the word "easily" is!



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Congratulations on an awesome day out, Art!


I had a very nice sitdown crabcake lunch


This sounds like a treat! I'd go benchmarking with Artman just to be able to eat lunch with him!! :P


This looks like a fantastic hunt! Just trying for that many marks in a day is a challenge. While I will always believe that the better part of a great benchmarking day consists of prepardness (data sheets, maps, all your benchmarking tools, the right frame of mind), I don't discount a little infusion of good fortune every now and then (development didn't overrun the marks you were looking for, mark not covered up by soil, witness post visible in the location stated in the data sheet). When it all comes together, not only is it an absolute blast, but it is a thing of beauty.

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I had a very nice sitdown crabcake lunch


This sounds like a treat! I'd go benchmarking with Artman just to be able to eat lunch with him!! :blink:


... a great benchmarking day consists of prepardness (data sheets, maps, all your benchmarking tools, the right frame of mind) ...

I am available, but you're buying!


I probably spent about as much time preparing for that marathon day as I did in the field. All my benchmarking has been solo, but I wonder how much more efficient it would be to work as a team, with a navigator in the car, and a second pair of eyes reading datasheets and searching on the ground.


Anyone who has done it both ways care to compare?



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gnbrotz and I teamed up last year for a marathon day. I found that having two brains, four eyes, two sets of hands helped tremendously in making the process more efficient. The two of us were able to combine our thoughts about the location of harder to find marks, help measure, keep an eye on the GPSr and datasheets while driving, etc.


That said, and although I enjoyed the day a lot, I tend to WANT to hunt alone. It is a way to get out and about and use my mind while being semi-active. I really enjoy doing it by myself. Most of the time.




Edited for spelling and some clarity.

Edited by mloser
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I've teamed up with SIXTHINGS on a very limited number of benchmark hunts, and Mrs. Seventhings has accompanied me on few trips as well. Two people working the problem (even when one of them is not excessively interested) makes it almost too easy. With two sets of eyes and a division of labor between driving/parking and map reading, the average "There it is!" point increases from a few feet when hunting solo to a few dozen yards when hunting as a team.



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We do this together almost all the time, though occasionally there will be a walk out onto a truck-laden overpass that is safer for just one of us. Our two different ways of looking at things (left-brain/right-brain? male/female? whatever) bring marks into the viewfinder a lot quicker when we're both out there. But in truth, we're not as single-minded about this as some. We're aware of being, at the moment, in a place where there are several marks that haven't been reported on since they were set in 1970. We may not get to all of them, but we'll have a fine time getting to the ones we do.

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Congratualtions on a good day.


On the same day, I hunted for 12 that were as yet unlogged on Geocaching and found one. Most of them were victims of roadway improvements. I also got an intersection station on the 12th.


Someone at NGS must be putting in a lot of effort to keep up. The 13 recoveries I submitted Wednesday night were processed and posted on Friday, too.

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