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brhodes

Ever Get Hassled By Law Bm Hunting?

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Seems like you can put yourself in quite an odd situation with this. Even more so than with GCing.

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Yep. Franklinton, North Carolina. On aSunday morning, last year. A local police officer saw me several places around town, as I recovered a disk in an old building, a church steeple, etc. He finally made his move while I was across the street from a closed industrial plant. Wanted to know why I was taking photos of water tanks in his town. Told me to come back on a weekday and check with the Town Manager before taking any more pictures.

 

I simply moved on to the next town. It must have been a slow crime day. [sigh]

 

-Paul-

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Interesting.

I guess Constitutional Law is not required for officers in that jurisdiction.

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The worst I ran into was when I had stopped JUST outside of 'downtown' (I use that loosely, since 'downtown' was only a few blocks long..) on the side of a street, hazards on. I left my car to go find it, when I got back an officer was behind me, writing my plate # down. When I appriached him, he wanted to know ''what I was doing''. I told him I was ''looking for permanent survey markers''. He wrote that down next to my info on this sheet, and said, ''Okay, just be careful. Have a good day.''.

 

So, it's not ALWAYS that bad.. :lol:

 

Me.

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Yeah, everything I've read indicates that you can take a picture of anything you want as long as you are not trespassing and are on public thoroughfares such as streets and sidewalks. Of course, we all know that people are paranoid about anything out of the ordinary nowadays, where "ordinary" is defined as "sitting on a couch and drinking beer."

 

I recently decided to skip an intersection station that was a stack inside a prison. I figure it isn't wise to stand outside the barbed wire fence of a prison and take pictures of the facilities. I also don't take pictures of schools, even though both situations are perfectly legal.

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Yep. Franklinton, North Carolina. On aSunday morning, last year. A local police officer saw me several places around town, as I recovered a disk in an old building, a church steeple, etc. He finally made his move while I was across the street from a closed industrial plant. Wanted to know why I was taking photos of water tanks in his town. Told me to come back on a weekday and check with the Town Manager before taking any more pictures.

 

I simply moved on to the next town. It must have been a slow crime day. [sigh]

 

-Paul-

 

I would have been tempted to take a picture of the cop as he approached me, also activating my pocket voice recorder right then...but that's just the troublemakin' rebel in me... :lol:

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I recently decided to skip an intersection station that was a stack inside a prison. I figure it isn't wise to stand outside the barbed wire fence of a prison and take pictures of the facilities. I also don't take pictures of schools, even though both situations are perfectly legal.

I also stay away from schools on school days.

 

IIRC, the only time I've been questioned was by a CIA cop about a half-mile from the main entrance to their facility. I was in the median of a divided roadway. I explained what I was doing, showed him the (official NGS) datasheet and the pix in my camera to reassure him I wasn't staking out the place. I also proffered my federal employee ID, which has nothing to do with anything except I figured it would identify me as vaguely legit.

 

He was completely professional, but I was kind of annoyed as I was doing nothing illegal or, IMO, suspicious.

 

-ArtMan-

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I recently decided to skip an intersection station that was a stack inside a prison. I figure it isn't wise to stand outside the barbed wire fence of a prison and take pictures of the facilities. I also don't take pictures of schools, even though both situations are perfectly legal.

 

That was probably wise. I visited a local prison recently (while working on National Map Corps project) and was informed that taking pictures of the facility was prohibited. One of the guards informed me on several occasions, they had to detain the person, call in the State Patrol (State Police), who would (at the very least) question the person, and who knows what else.

 

I made a few notes, took some coordinates, and left the premises.

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Twice for me:

1) Walking along a "BM dense" narrow country two lane road. Safe parking spots few and far between. Officer parked (flashers on, since he was half on the road), walked over, asked me if that was my Jeep parked about a mile back, and did I need any assistance? Told him 'Yes, sir, my Jeep, parked legally & safely, I believe'. He allowed as how it was, and we talked for a bit about what I was doing, which he was only slightly interested in. Mostly he was concerned about my safety, possible broken down car, etc. Nice encounter.

 

2) Parked, not exactly legally, but debatable. About half mile from a large dam. Taking pictures of mark (not on dam 'property'), and using dam as background. He pulled up as I was heading back to my car. Camera was in my pocket. Told me in no uncetain terms to move it, no parking here. Yes, sir. In retrospect, glad he hadn't pulled up while I was taking pictures "of the dam". Probably legal, but would have been a lot of explaining, maybe at the local office.

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Told me to come back on a weekday and check with the Town Manager before taking any more pictures.

 

-Paul-

 

I have yet to be harassed, confronted, or even questioned by law enforcement while caching or benchmark hunting. I do have the advantage of being in a more "rural" area with less crime than many, but I suspect if I keep it up long enough it will probably happen eventually.

 

Some may find helpful The Photographer's Right. It's a PDF document published by a law firm that spells out basic rights about photography in public areas. I found it originally on a railfanning list I am on due to stepped up security in and near bridges and other areas of infrastructure and sometimes overzealos security/LE personnel who may want to prohibit the taking of pictures.

 

EDIT to refine comma usage. Darn punctuation & perfectionist nature.

Edited by andylphoto

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I've also been quickly questioned; the story is so insignificant that it's not worth mentioning. Still, since searching for marks sometimes requires walking on/near bridges or sensitive areas, or it requires parking on some forested-neighborhood street, I've often expected to be stopped or questioned. So... I bought a bright yellow reflective vest and I wear it when I seek the marks.

 

The other day I parked my vehicle (with out-of-state license plates) in a lot near an airport; an officer was in the lot sitting in his vehicle & facing the street. With my vest on, GPS & camera in hand, I crossed the street, found the mark in close proximity to the airport fenceline, took some pics, returned to the vehicle, and left without incident. I can't say it was all because of the vest, but it may have helped me look 'official'. :laughing:

 

... or maybe he just didn't care.

Edited by CoyoteTrust

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The vest is a good idea, it does not really do anything but give the impression that at least you had some forethought about what you are up to, which is a good thing.

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I was on my first long benchmark-finding walk and decided to search for buried markers for the first time. I got a big metal kitchen spoon at Kmart and headed up Route 1, a busy divided highway with big stores lining the road.

After digging into the dirt a few inches just a couple feet off the road, unsuccessfully digging for two markers, I was walking some more when a Saugus cop asked me if I'd been digging holes. I said yes, and explained that I was looking for survey markers. He seemed satisfied with the response, but I decided soon after that that I should be extremely conservative where, when, and if I dig.

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Yup....

Secret Service,DC.

Burlington Railroad Bulls,Montana.

Several Sheriffs from different locals.

State Highway Patrol Montana.

State Highway Patrol New Mexico.

Border Patrol Agents..Mexican Border Monuments.

Private Land owners.

 

But you know what....

I recovered all but the ones in Montana those Bulls just would not leave.

I will not go into details but there was something of vital importance on the train going through at that time.

But then went south and got the CORS station.

 

Thats what makes it fun...the excitement of the chase..the thrill of the hunt and all those obsticles in the way.

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ArtMan said: "I also proffered my federal employee ID, which has nothing to do with anything except I figured it would identify me as vaguely legit"

 

But the funny thing is that it is far easier to get a driver's license than a federal employee ID (USDA employee going on 20 years)!

 

I've only been approached once by a state highway patrol. After he seen what I was up to, he actually spent about 15 minutes helping me hunt for some reference markers.

 

I always pull completely off the road (if possible), have a mini light bar running, and wear a bright orange safety vest.

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Geo,

You really get yourself into trouble! Are you wearing a sign that says "terrorist" or something? I will add that Burlington Railroad Bulls are not actually male cows, but that "bull" is an old slang term for railroad police.

 

I have been asked if I was "ok" by the police, who drove off after I said I was, and had one property owner runin that I have mentioned on the board before. To find it search for "pit bull".

 

Stripmark, odd that you mention federal IDs. Did you know that Virginia does NOT accept federal IDs as an acceptable form of idenfication? At least their DOT doesn't. After a friend of mine waited 3 hours at the DOT office to get her license she was told her federal ID was not accepted there. Seems they are too easy to forge.

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While visiting New Orleans in Dec 2004 I rode the streetcar over from Canal Street to the New Orleans Longitude mark in Lafayette Park. I finished up my notes on the marker, then gathered my two daughters to head east across the street to find AU1064 (benchmark C 169), located on a 'massive structure with deep foundations' (which proved useful some months later). My log details the interaction, but I was intercepted while crossing the street by a US Marshall who recognized my peculiar hobby. He escorted me to the mark, entertained my daughters with witticisms about the Big Easy, and freaked out when I started to open my camera bag... NO PHOTOS OF A FEDERAL COURTHOUSE! Wow... They'd been watching us in Lafayette Park via camera & figured they'd better intercept us before we came over to the courthouse.

 

I've had several interactions with the Alaska Railroad police 'bulls' - the worst was when I was photographing the bolts on the windowsills of the old railroad station in downtown Anchorage ('tidal stations' - TT0723 - a bolt) - I was asked to delete the photo from my camera. Once the officer recognized me (I fabricate signs for the Alaska Railroad, including installation to this very officer's truck fleet) and I had a chance to explain what I was doing and show him the website on his computer in his office inside the building, I was free to go... without my photo. I have to be very careful accessing benchmarks along the railroad's right of way - no travel within the right of way parallel to the tracks is allowed, but I can cross the trackage at a 90º angle. Makes the hunt a bit challenging in the railroad corridor (and let's face it - no one in their right mind wants to be anywhere close to a train highballing the main line - a good way to die messily).

 

Working for a sign company which installs most of the new highway signs here, I have the 'highway worker' orange vest and hardhat gear. I use it whenever I'm in a road right of way; it makes you "invisible" as to your motive along the roadway - I just hope folks are seeing me while I'm out there!

 

I've had far more interactions with law enforcement while benchmarking vs geocaching - I suppose it's because most marks are out in right of ways or on building.

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Who said I got in trouble?

 

I was having fun.

They were just not sure.

I have found that the

USA Freedom Corps has given me lots of free gratus.

When you have the NGS data sheets.

Now on PDA which is even more impressive to them.

Has my several badges there when it opens and and.... well it does not take long to convince or be persuasive.

I have leared how to be "BENCHMARK CORRECT".

Got my line down.

I do have all the safety gear and I never park near the road.

I will find somewhere to pull out and walk.

That gets them too what ya doing walking out in the middle of bum....f woops nowhere?

 

And yes they say I resemble your remark.

But it is usually why are you right here?

 

One thing I have learned is respect.

Always respect others and you will go far.

And I believe that the Federal System is suppose to be run by us

WE THE PEOPLE.

 

But thats not talking benchmarks unless you add Freedom....

Where freedom stands.

Most of you know where she is.

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I'm sure that I've regaled everyone, already, of my run-ins with the fuzz. But that won't stop me...

JU2822 is/was on the sidewalk of the Brigantine Bridge, on the Atlantic City side. Parked at Harrah's Marina Casino, and walked over. A Brigantine Beach Patrol officer pulled over to tell us that we were not allowed to hang out on a bridge. Not his jurisdiction, and I'd love to see the statutes on that one. I'm enough of a libertarian to think that I don't want every Tom, Dick and LEO taking down all my info for 'standing on a bridge'. Oh, well. Found the RM! And the benchmark on the top of the parking garage at Harrah's. Brigantine Beach Patrol?!? This bridge is the only way off Brigantine. There has got to be at least 2000 people living there!

This year, an erratic drive of a van called the summit police to report that we were walking on a narrow road, under a railroad bridge. (Of course, by the time the cops got there, we were atop the bridge, but that's a different story.) We were asked for our national ID cards (oops, driver's licenses), given a long lecture on the vital importance of NJ Transit's Morris and Essex Lines. (There must be over a hundred bridges on the M&E.) And how the bridges are private property. (Owned by the state of New Jersey?) And then we were told that anyone taking pictures in the city of Summit will be questioned by the police. (It's so much fun living in a police state!) To be sure, Summit is about ten miles from NYC, but the police there seem to have an attitude. (There are NJ Transit 'No Trespassing' signs on the bridges/tracks themselves. Not on the approaches.)

Thirdly, Glen Rock (yes, there is a beauiful rock there.) We figured that the easiest approach to the underside of the bridge over the railroad was from the parkig lot of an office building (on a Sunday). Cop puled in behind us to ask 'Is everything okay?' That seem to be their way of saying "I've got my eye on you." So, we headed off to the next town north.

 

Yeah, everything I've read indicates that you can take a picture of anything you want as long as you are not trespassing and are on public thoroughfares such as streets and sidewalks. Of course, we all know that people are paranoid about anything out of the ordinary nowadays, where "ordinary" is defined as "sitting on a couch and drinking beer."

 

Within limits, this is true. NYNJ Port Authority prohibits taking pictures in any of their tunnels, or on any of their bridges. I guess that they own the sidewalk on the George Washington Bridge, even though it is I-95, and US 1. So, I have retaliated by takig pictures of their bridges from public rights-of-way underneath their bridges. :laughing: Wanna see what the George looks like from KU3940, the Jeffreys Hook Lighthouse? Fort Washington Park, Manhattan. I think the only bridge I'm missing is the Throgs Neck, but there aren't any caches there.

 

Then again, there is the benchmark on the north abutment of the Triboro Bridge. It is cordoned off, with a policeman on duty, when we went looking for it. Others have found it, but we were denied access. Oh well.

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We've had a few brief and harmless exchanges with local police officers, including one who sirened down the street and stopped, wanting to know if we had seen someone whose description he gave us. The subject was potentially in enough trouble that we were uncomfortable hanging about where he might have been hiding.

 

Here, though, is our favorite story about encounters with the law while benchmarking:

 

Last November, we were in Clarksville, Arkansas, and decided to check on FG1872 and FG1624. The first is a radio mast on the grounds of the Clarksville Troop J headquarters the Arkansas State Police. So we went in and asked permission to take pictures, and to see if it would be okay to walk up on the overpass to get the disk FG1624. I don't want to embarrass anyone or blow any covers, but the officer who (a) told us the mast was a new one and that therefore the mark is destroyed and (:D that the disk is on the opposite corner of the overpass from the location described on the datasheet--well, he turned out to be a premium member here, and has tried hard to stem the tide of finds on the new mast.

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I think I've encountered police three times. The first two were simple "anything we can do to help", to which we replied no, looking for a survey marker, they said alright, and moved on.

 

The last one was more humerous. The mark was about 20' from a railroad crossing, in the headwall of a culvert and in the front yard of a very abandoned house. As we pulled up I saw a cop on the otherside of the railroad tracks off the side doing paperwork. I pulled into the abandoned house driveway, jumped out with my sheet and checked the culvert.

 

Which is when I found the top was under more than a foot of dirt.

 

So I got out my full sized shovel, and started clearing it off. It was quite a chore, rocky and all. About 5 minutes later the cop drives across the railroad tracks and says, "what are you doing". I replied "looking for a survey marker, there's one in the headwall of this culvert." He replied with, "Just making sure you weren't digging up a dead body or something." I just looked puzzled as he drove off.

 

Cops have a weird sense of humor.

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Not the Police but the US Coast Guard and not really trouble.

 

Back around 2001 we needed a 1st order or better station for a RTK project along US-41 in Marquette. We had one but needed a second for checks. The best one seemed to be on the property of the USCG so over I go to check it out. Its all fenced off so I go in to ask for permission. The OD can't give me persmission so he calls the CO. SO I wait about 30 min for him to show and he has some other USCG big shotw with him. Turns out he new CO and first day there. So I show him DS and we go looking for it on the grounds (Lake Superior shoreline). It was supposed to be in a rock ledge and we found it. Then I had to explain this to all those big wigs who had no idea this was there and why NOS even put it there. When I mentioned the DGPS and CORS it rung a bell. When I went back to my suburban my guys said they thought I was in trouble and that the boss had called, now he worried about what we are up to.

 

They gave us permission to occupy it.

 

AH7272 TIDAL BM - This is a Tidal Bench Mark.

AH7272 DESIGNATION - 909 9018 K

AH7272 PID - AH7272

AH7272 STATE/COUNTY- MI/MARQUETTE

AH7272 USGS QUAD - MARQUETTE (1975)

AH7272

AH7272 *CURRENT SURVEY CONTROL

AH7272 ___________________________________________________________________

AH7272* NAD 83(1997)- 46 32 47.68707(N) 087 22 43.14677(W) ADJUSTED

AH7272* NAVD 88 - 187.934 (meters) 616.58 (feet) ADJUSTED

AH7272 ___________________________________________________________________

AH7272 X - 200,984.262 (meters) COMP

AH7272 Y - -4,389,922.144 (meters) COMP

AH7272 Z - 4,607,354.241 (meters) COMP

AH7272 LAPLACE CORR- -9.26 (seconds) DEFLEC99

AH7272 ELLIP HEIGHT- 153.12 (meters) (07/12/02) GPS OBS

AH7272 GEOID HEIGHT- -34.81 (meters) GEOID03

AH7272 DYNAMIC HT - 187.951 (meters) 616.64 (feet) COMP

AH7272 MODELED GRAV- 980,703.6 (mgal) NAVD 88

AH7272

AH7272 HORZ ORDER - A

AH7272 VERT ORDER - SECOND CLASS I

AH7272 ELLP ORDER - THIRD CLASS II

AH7272

AH7272.The horizontal coordinates were established by GPS observations

AH7272.and adjusted by the National Geodetic Survey in May 1999..

AH7272

AH7272.The orthometric height was determined by differential leveling

AH7272.and adjusted by the National Geodetic Survey in October 1999..

AH7272

AH7272.This Tidal Bench Mark is designated as VM 17799

AH7272.by the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services.

AH7272

AH7272.The X, Y, and Z were computed from the position and the ellipsoidal ht.

AH7272

AH7272.The Laplace correction was computed from DEFLEC99 derived deflections.

AH7272

AH7272.The ellipsoidal height was determined by GPS observations

AH7272.and is referenced to NAD 83.

AH7272

AH7272.The geoid height was determined by GEOID03.

AH7272

AH7272.The dynamic height is computed by dividing the NAVD 88

AH7272.geopotential number by the normal gravity value computed on the

AH7272.Geodetic Reference System of 1980 (GRS 80) ellipsoid at 45

AH7272.degrees latitude (g = 980.6199 gals.).

AH7272

AH7272.The modeled gravity was interpolated from observed gravity values.

AH7272

AH7272; North East Units Scale Factor Converg.

AH7272;SPC MI N - 196,044.960 7,970,961.162 MT 0.99991321 -0 16 25.3

AH7272;SPC MI N - 643,192.13 26,151,447.38 iFT 0.99991321 -0 16 25.3

AH7272;UTM 16 - 5,154,848.802 470,970.159 MT 0.99961036 -0 16 29.6

AH7272

AH7272! - Elev Factor x Scale Factor = Combined Factor

AH7272!SPC MI N - 0.99997600 x 0.99991321 = 0.99988921

AH7272!UTM 16 - 0.99997600 x 0.99961036 = 0.99958637

AH7272

AH7272 SUPERSEDED SURVEY CONTROL

AH7272

AH7272 ELLIP H (05/25/99) 153.11 (m) GP( ) 3 1

AH7272

AH7272.Superseded values are not recommended for survey control.

AH7272.NGS no longer adjusts projects to the NAD 27 or NGVD 29 datums.

AH7272.See file dsdata.txt to determine how the superseded data were derived.

AH7272

AH7272_U.S. NATIONAL GRID SPATIAL ADDRESS: 16TDS7097054849(NAD 83)

AH7272_MARKER: DD = SURVEY DISK

AH7272_SETTING: 66 = SET IN ROCK OUTCROP

AH7272_STAMPING: 9018 K 1995

AH7272_MARK LOGO: NOS

AH7272_PROJECTION: FLUSH

AH7272_MAGNETIC: N = NO MAGNETIC MATERIAL

AH7272_STABILITY: A = MOST RELIABLE AND EXPECTED TO HOLD

AH7272+STABILITY: POSITION/ELEVATION WELL

AH7272_SATELLITE: THE SITE LOCATION WAS REPORTED AS SUITABLE FOR

AH7272+SATELLITE: SATELLITE OBSERVATIONS - July 08, 2004

AH7272

AH7272 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

AH7272 HISTORY - 1995 MONUMENTED NOS

AH7272 HISTORY - 19970602 GOOD NGS

AH7272 HISTORY - 20010611 GOOD MIDT

AH7272 HISTORY - 20040708 GOOD COMPDA

AH7272

AH7272 STATION DESCRIPTION

AH7272

AH7272'DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL OCEAN SERVICE 1995 (MJB)

AH7272'BM IS AT MARQUETTE, MARQUETTE COUNTY, MICHIGAN, IN A GRANITE

AH7272'OUTCROPPING NEAR THE MARQUETTE COAST GUARD STATION, 36.9 M (121.1 FT)

AH7272'WEST-NORTHWEST OF THE CENTERLINE OF THE COAST GUARD TOWER, 28.3 M

AH7272'(92.8 FT) SOUTH OF SOUTHWEST CORNER OF COAST GUARD GARAGE, 13.8 M

AH7272'(45.3 FT) EAST OF THE CENTERLINE OF THE ROAD, 0.25 M (0.82 FT) NORTH

AH7272'OF ORANGE FIBERGLASS WITNESS POST, 0.15 M (0.49 FT) ABOVE GROUND LEVEL

AH7272'BEING HIGHEST PONT OF A STANDARD BRASS SURVEY DISK.

AH7272

AH7272 STATION RECOVERY (1997)

AH7272

AH7272'RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1997 (CSM)

AH7272'THE STATION IS LOCATED IN MARQUETTE, MI., AT THE U.S. COAST GUARD

AH7272'STATION NEAR THE OLD LIGHTHOUSE. NORTHEAST OF THE COAST GUARD OFFICE

AH7272'BUILDINGS NORTHEAST CORNER, JUST EAST OF COAST GUARD ROAD, SET IN A

AH7272'DRILL HOLE IN A 15X50-FOOT AREA OF OUTCROPPING BEDROCK.

AH7272'OWNERSHIP--U.S. COAST GUARD, 400 COAST GUARD ROAD, MARQUETTE, MI.

AH7272'NOTE--CONTACT CHIEF DARRYL SANDVIG (24-HOURS) IN ADVANCE FOR ACCESS.

AH7272'NOTE--THIS STATION IS 1 OF THE (INTERNATIONAL GREAT LAKES DATUM

AH7272'POINTS). TO REACH THE STATION FROM THE JUNCTION OF U.S. HIGHWAY 41,

AH7272'BUSINESS HIGHWAY 41 AND STATE HIGHWAY 28 NEAR THE SOUTH EDGE OF

AH7272'MARQUETTE, GO NORTHEAST, 0.4 KM (0.25 MI) ALONG BUSINESS 41 TO (E

AH7272'BARAGA AVE) ON THE RIGHT. TURN RIGHT, EAST, 0.04 KM (0.00 MI) TO

AH7272'(LAKE SHORE 300 BLVD). TURN LEFT, EASTERLY, 1.2 KM (0.75 MI) ALONG

AH7272'THE BOULEVARD TO COAST GUARD ROAD ON THE RIGHT. TURN RIGHT, EAST,

AH7272'THEN NORTHERLY, 0.08 KM (0.05 MI) ALONG THE ROAD TO THE COAST GUARD

AH7272'OFFICE AND PARKING LOT ON THE RIGHT AND THE CONTACT IN THE OFFICE

AH7272'BUILDING. STATION IS 15.4 M (50.5 FT) NORTH-NORTHEAST OF THE

AH7272'NORTHEAST CORNER OF THE OFFICE BUILDING/HOUSE, 11.4 M (37.4 FT) EAST

AH7272'OF A CHAIN-LINK FENCE CORNER POST, 4.8 M (15.7 FT) WEST OF THE

AH7272'OUTCROPS EAST END, 2.4 M (7.9 FT) NORTH OF THE SOUTH EDGE OF THE

AH7272'OUTCROP, 0.2 M (0.7 FT) NORTH OF A WITNESS POST, AND THE STATION IS

AH7272'ABOUT 0.5 M (1.6 FT) ABOVE THE GROUND LEVEL AND FLUSH WITH THE ROCK

AH7272'SURFACE. BY R.G. HAYES

AH7272

AH7272 STATION RECOVERY (2001)

AH7272

AH7272'RECOVERY NOTE BY MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 2001 (MPR)

AH7272'RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION.

AH7272

AH7272 STATION RECOVERY (2004)

AH7272

AH7272'RECOVERY NOTE BY COMPASSDATA INC 2004 (JC)

AH7272'RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION.

Edited by Z15

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One day a couple of years ago, I was digging around looking for an Azimuth Mark on the road side of a large field. I was about 3 feet lower then the road. I did have the owners permission. I heard a car and looked up. There sat a County Sheriff staring down at me.

 

I proceeded to stand up out of the ditch and then realized I had my 13 inch 'T' handled probe in one hand and my entrenching tool in the other.

 

"You have a problem?" he asked.

 

"No", thinking these were not good objects to confront an Officer of the Law with.......and what the hell was I doing with them anyways.

 

"OK". He drove off.

 

This incident did not go without further trouble. I proceeded to contract my first and only case of poison ivy from this little episode.

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... I proceeded to contract my first and only case of poison ivy from this little episode.

Ooooohh..... Having experience with Cops & Poison Oak... I'll take the Cops.

 

- Kewaneh

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So... I bought a bright yellow reflective vest and I wear it when I seek the marks.

 

 

Wearing a bright colored vest, what a great idea. I'll pack mine with the other gear too from now on.

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So... I bought a bright yellow reflective vest and I wear it when I seek the marks.

 

 

Wearing a bright colored vest, what a great idea. I'll pack mine with the other gear too from now on.

 

I'm sure OSHA has standards for safety equipment for roadside workers. If you are on the side of a busy highway and not "in uniform" you tend to stand out and attract the attention of the police. I wear my steel toed boots and safety vest and if the occasion warrants a hard hat. I also have a flashing yellow light to put on top of the pickup.

 

I got stopped by a rookie cop while looking for a benchmark on an overpass. I showed him the data sheet and read the description of the location to him and he left with a confused look on his face. I don’t know what he told the veteran cop in the car parked behind his.

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I'm sure OSHA has standards for safety equipment for roadside workers.

 

You bet they do and if the DOT or the police don't stop you from working in the roadway without a permit and the proper gear, the state or county can be held liable.

 

We were told to report any work on state highways where they did not have or use the proper signs and safety equipment. One time when the boss radioed in, he was told to get them out of there but when we came back a hour later they were back. They had the state police go out and order them to cease work. No signs, no lights on the truck, guys in ordinay clothes doing survey work. A few months prior a consultant PS was killed while working along a state highway, car hit him from behind at the edge of the shoulder, nearly 10 ft from the pavement.

 

There are many workers killed along the roadways, you are foolish if you don't realize this. There are a lot of bad drivers out there and they can't see you. Once a guy pulled up looking for a job, he was drunk. We tried to keep him there till the cops arrive but he took off. They did catch him. One of my coworkers had his brand new State survey van totalled by a 93 yo man. He was legally parked along US-41 with signs out, cones around his truck and flashing lights. He was downloading data to his notebook when the guy with a town car plowed into the back of him doing about 40 mph. When the state police asked the old gent if he saw the red van, all those cones and the lights, he said no. The guy was driving on the shoulder according to witness's.

 

btw-All the MDOT vehicles have radios that can contact state police.

Edited by Z15

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Hunting a benchmark in Emerson, GA that is dead ON police station property. Two officers came out to ask what we were doing and didn't even know that there was a benchmark on the property! They were both quite friendly and interested and didn't give us a bit of trouble as we took pictures and left.

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The closest run in I had was back in 2000 looking for a benchmark near Daytona. It turns out that it was in the Right-of-way really close to someone’s house. After we found a good reading with our locator we started digging, and that’s when a really ancient lady was escorted ( what I mean by escorted is that she couldn’t walk every well at all ) by her seemingly mute husband. She then proceeded to yell at me for digging up her yard, and asking who gave me permission to do this, who she could call and all that such. My co-worker at the time was quite the smart a** and instead of being polite and explaining everything to her, he just told her it was Governor Bush that gave us permission, and she could always call the police and they would explain that what we were doing was legal! A far stretch from the truth I know, but it is a state statute for surveyors, so I guess technically it is the Gov. that gives us permission.

 

Well she did call the cops, and after hearing what we were up to, with specific reference to the statute governing our activity they let us take our shot and cover the hole up quite nicely.

 

I still always hate it when the cops are called, but I’d rather have that than having a gun drawn on me. You really need to look out for that in some real country areas! That and electric fences are never fun, especially when the owner is watching you and turns it on as your on top of the fence!!!

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