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Sometimes it isn't about the bench mark

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I love hearing bench mark hunting stories, and in a previous post started by Papa Bear I promised to tell oneof my own. I hope it will spark more such stories. But it turns out that in the week since I promised myself to post one, an even more interesting story occurred.

 

Still, I will torture you with the less interesting one first. Are you a "dessert first" person or a "save the best 'til last" person? The first story doesn't have pictures, partly because I didn't load them yet, but mostly because they don't really matter to the story.

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Sometimes It Isn't About the Bench Mark

 

I was driving up a road to stop and look for KW1474 and a sign on the road stated, in huge letters "Road ends 500 feet. No turnaround". Not wanting to get stuck where I would have to back down the road I pulled into a driveway to ask the homeowners if I could leave my car there while I walked into the woods to look for the mark. When I got out of my car a guy drove by on the road, obviously heading to the end of travel. I waved him down and asked if it was possible to park in that direction. He confirmed that it was so I got back in my car and followed him about 100 feet to a decent sized parking area by the old railroad tracks.

 

I told him what I was looking for, and he knew immediately what I meant, and where it was. We found it quickly. At that point I asked about KW1475, which was about a mile away along the old roadbed. KW1475 is accessible by car, but there are a large number of no trespassing signs about 1/4 mile from it, so I hadn't dared look when I had stopped just a few minutes previously. He knew the people who leased the land and said they wouldn't care if someone stopped for a legitimate reason. However, he was walking the roadbed for exercise and to take his dog out, so I asked if he minded if I tagged along to find KW1475. This turned out to be my best decision of the day, and not just because I found KW1475, which is yet another unremarkable disk along an old railroad, not much different than any of the others in this stretch. It was the history that I learned that made the entire day worth it.

 

It turns out he had lived in the area most or all of his life, and had been a forest ranger nearby. As we walked he told me about the area we were walking through, both new and old history.

 

I learned that the railbed we were walking along was the "new" one, and he pointed out a roadway lower than us that was the "old" railroad line. Imagine how old that would be--this rail line was removed in teh 1970s! He also showed me an old path that went to the top of the mountain. It paralleled the rail line for a while as it climbed up. It was reportedly used to bring iron ore over the mountain from Lebanon County for an iron forge just to the north of where we were. That forge was said to have made cannonballs for the revolutionary war and to have been visited by George Washington.

 

He talked about flattened areas up the hillside where charcoal had been made. And there was a very noticable scar coming down the hillside where he said logs were skidded down the mountain.

 

Finally, he said that a 500 lb bear had been spotted in the area on numerous occasions. We weren't (un)lucky enough to see said bear though. Just squirrels, a chipmunk, and tadpoles.

 

It was a great hour spent with a good companion and reminded me why I go out to look for these things every chance I get. Upper Dauphin County was once extremely active and viable. All the resources to make the communities successful were nearby--iron ore (Cornwall/Lebanon area), charcoal (the mountains were covered in old growth lumber), coal to the north. These small communites of Elizabethville and around were dynamic, lively places. But by the 1900s they were largely faded, the iron ore mostly depleted, the forests stripped, and larger industries had taken over what they did.

 

If you want to repeat any of my adventures, park near KW1474. Ignore the "road ends in 500 feet-no turnaround" and go up the hill to an open gate and a parking area. When you find KW1474 you will be walking up the beginning of the iron ore road that heads up the mountain. Before you get to the mark look up the hill. You should see the scar caused by the logs being slid down the hill. As you walk along the railbed towards KW1475 notice that there are rustic benches along the side. These were put in by some folks who want to make this railbed into a rail trail, but have had no luck with some property owners. There are also a couple of 1/4 mile markers. You will get to a boggy place. Notice the stonework along the south side, and the stone lined path on the north side. Both were done by a local retiree who spends time cleaning up this area. In the spring you will see thousands of tadpoles--there were huge egg cases there when I went. When you look down the hill and see a road, that wa

s the old railroad. It leads to a vacation home owned by a restaurant owner on the west shore. Along the path you will also see areas that were obviously carved out of the hillside. We were not sure what they were for, maybe just fill for the many areas where the railbed was built up. When you get to KW1475 look for any evidence of the old house foundation or the house mentioned in the datasheet. We didn't see anything. The area that is now farmland used to be an orchard. Way to the north is a tall tree, under which is a cemetary. This made my companion recall another small cemetary where a man is buried whose epitath reads he was "killed by guerillas". Not sure what war though. And keep an eye out for that bear. It supposedly likes the boggy area.

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Sometimes it IS about the Benchmark

 

A week ago I decided to walk in to find KW2987 WHITE HORSE RESET. The mark was nothing special. I had put it off before because I couldn't find an easy way to it, and it had been found by a geocacher, so I didn't think there would be much challenge to it. I don't mean anything disparaging by that but after all, it is mostly the hard core folks like myself who go to any real length to find these mountain top marks. It also appeared to be very close to the Appalachian Trail, so I figured the walk in would be well blazed, with the possible exception of the last few hundred feet, as described in the most recent recovery.

 

So off I headed, parking in a lot to the west of mark and at a popular spot for day hikers along the AT. I headed in quickly and found the trail easy going. For a mile or so. Then Pennsylvania geology reared its ugly head and the ground started getting rocky. The rocks are solid, but hiking on them is no picnic. I was slowed down significantly, and had to constantly keep an eye on the ground. Someone told me that Pennsylvania has the highest number or AT-related ankle injuries and I can believe it. Up and down the trail went, despite being along a ridge. It shifted from north to south at least once, climbed to an over look, then dropped mysteriously down about 100 feet and back up slowly. I was not tired so much as annoyed by now. Suddenly the trail turned south and my GPSr showed me getting farther and farther from the station. Would the trail turn back like the topo map showed? It turns out that no, although I was on the AT, I was NOT on the AT of 1942, and this one was heading down the hill rapidly, directly away from my target. So I turned around and headed back up it, wondering where I was going to head to the station. It was well over half a mile from the trail, at the closest, and I was not too keen on blazing that much of a trail to it. As I walked back the way I came I saw a side trail off the main one, and it was heading where I wanted to go. Later research showed that this was most likely the 1942 AT, and it followed one of the paths I had seen on the topo map. I reached a junction and tried to decide what to do. Should I follow what I thought was the old AT and try to find the blazed tree, which would have been cool, or should I just head into the woods directly at the mark. I was on the ridge at this point and decided the direct approach would be best. I had no idea where the trails went, but I DID know where the station was. So off I went into the brush and rocks. The area where the mark is, and in fact the entire 3 miles I covered, has no old growth timber on it at all. The 1934 recovery states that the mountain was cleared and burned in recent times, so my guess is that everything I was walking through was less than 75 years old,and by the looks of it MUCH less, as I think the land may have been clearcut more recently. Because the growth is smaller than old forest the underbrush is more dense, and I literally bushwacked my way through the final 1/4 mile to the area of the station. There was better tree cover here so it was clear of low brush.

My GPSr took me south of the mark at first, although I didn't know that, so I set my equipment down and took a look around. The description of being in rocks was pretty much useless, as the entire ridge was rock covered. I let my GPSr settle down under the canopy while I looked around. For one thing, the first place I stopped was not high enough. There were higher spots on the ridge. I headed to one and walked around looking at the ground. Sure enough, after just a couple of minutes I found the station exactly as described. 1fe993bc-fc15-4a27-896d-796fb16ece48.jpg

A quick walk to the south got me the first RM, but I had to measure to the other. My pacing distance was poor after 3 miles of walking.

So now I had done 15 minutes of searching after 1 1/2 hours of walking. Was there anything else to see before I left? No remnant of the tower. I had looked for 1934 towers before and found nothing at all, not even a rotted stick. But wait, the datasheet said there were piles of rocks at the corners of the tower. And sure enough, all three remained. One very obvious, one very good and one a bit collapsed. Cool! So now the trip was panning out. I was seeing a bit of history. 1b8632f0-3080-4501-b45c-388a6db82311.jpg

What if I could find the chiseled marks on the side of the stone the disk was set in? That would be even better. I brushed off the stone and looked a bit. Nothing. But something in my head went "ding" at that point. What if it actually wasn't the original stone? What if they had used a new one? After all, the descriptions of the two stones were different--the 1882 one said 6 inch square and 1934 said 10 by 9. That is different enough to make me wonder if they were truly different rocks, and not just poor describing.

Maybe they pulled out the old stone and set a new one. What would they do with the old stone? Pack it out? I doubted that, since they would have no reason to care about it. To them it would be just another rock on the mountain top. It was most likely carved from a stone lying there in 1882 and could just be left there in 1934. Any likely candidates nearby? I eyed up a straight stone leaning on one of the tripod piles, walked over to it and rolled it over. You already must have guessed what I saw...

24ac410f-3a66-4d5c-834e-161803677878.jpg To say I was amazed would be an understatement. This stone had been set in 1879 (according to the stamping on the disk, although some research I have done points to 1882) and surveyed to a number of times. Yet here it lay, forgotten since 1934. I checked all sides of the stone and found the chiseled cross on the top, and a faint W H on the back.

My mind raced. What a prize! How to get it out of the woods. Well, first of all, it was way to big to carry 3 miles, so I carefully hammered it with a large rock until it broke in half. This happened much faster than I imagined--about 3 hits is all it took. Then I took the top half and stuck it into my stolen-from-my-daughter school backpack and started off towards the trail. 129 feet later (I measured it when I got home) my arms were getting numb from the pressure on my shoulders and I decided to stop and rest while I figured out what to do. As I removed the backpack the left strap broke. Well, that was the end of packing it out for that day. So I stashed it where I could find it, marked the spot in my GPSr and headed home, brainstorming how to get it out of there.

 

Today I returned with a friend from work, an old camping backpack, with frame, and some food and water. We found the monument top quickly and stuffed it in the pack. I took first shift and headed cross country to the trail. By the time I got there my legs were on fire from the walk. My companion took over and walked about .5 miles until he too was bushed. Then we swapped back and forth until we got it to my car. The entire trip took about 4 1/2 hours and when we got done we were sweaty and beat. The hike back had been grueling to say the least.

While we were at the station site we also looked for the crock and for the flat rock that had been set above the crock. Neither were evident, and it is possible that both remained underground, as no new underground mark is mentioned.

 

What to do with it now? Well, for at least a few days it will sit proudly in my house, as much a badge of honor at what we went through to get it as a testament to surveying history. After that it goes to the NGS for their 200th anniversary celebration.

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Cool Story! Thanks. Enjoyed it.

One of these days, I'll find something out her in CA worth writing about.

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..these are good examples of what makes the hobby so fun - every hunt is a new aventure !

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That is a truly remarkable story!! I'm jealous that I don't have anything as cool as that to share. OH well, there's still plenty of time left......

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Astro-D,

 

Don't be jealous! It has taken me years to think of this hobby as more than just the hunt and to realize what else it has offered me. The stone monument was a bonus for sure, but I find that the other parts of the hunt are just as important at times.

 

I just got through 3 days of benchmarking and all of them had some great moments, although most were just small personal ones:

 

Spending a half hour lying on my stomach on a big rock digging for a 125 year old bolt and not finding it (and also, happily, not finding any snakes in the hole. I had previously found the tip of an old rattlesnake rattle there).

 

Having a guy dig in his planting bed to help me find a rivet on an old crossing signal base, and not finding that either.

 

Digging the stones off a bridge abutment with a 4 foot stick and then tying a brush to the end of the stick to clean the dirt off the abutment until I could see the 100 year old bolt that was there.

 

Driving around the idyllic Amish countryside in eastern Lancaster and western Chester counties and feeling the wonderful peacefulness of the area--it is such a beautiful and quiet area, with few cars, but lots of Amish buggies. The Amish always wave and say hi, and if you are in a quiet spot you can often hear the horses hooves clip clopping for almost half a mile. It is hard to feel in a hurry when I am there.

 

Seeing 2 newborn calves and the mother on an Amish farm, and having the farmer allow me to drive and walk across his pasture to look for an old azimuth mark. I didn't find the mark, but I DID almost put my car in a small ditch--I stopped 5 feet short of it by pure luck. I also crossed 3 electric fences and walked across a field of armpit deep grass that hadn't been opened to grazing yet. Not very fun, but definitely an experience. Oh, I didn't find that mark either. It had been removed from the ground and dumped in a pile of stones but the area was so overgrown that I couldn't see anything recognizable as a benchmark monument.

 

So the moments are where you find them. Sometimes they last forever, sometimes they are just a good feeling that you can save for later.

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Great stories! I've met a few interesting individuals while out hunting, but no stories (yet) that can quite compare. The two main contacts with locals that I can think of were both individuals who owned either the property the mark was on, or nearby. Both led me right to the markers.

 

Personally, I enjoy recovering older marks--especially ones that were set and have no reported recoveries, or maybe a single recovery 40 or 50 years ago. It makes me wonder how many people have actually laid eyes on the mark since it was set--especially ones located in more remote areas.

 

Like you mentioned though, it's also taken me time (still working on it) to start to slow down and enjoy the hunt, and what happens along the way, and to focus less on just finding the station.

Edited by andylphoto

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And some of us are cantankerous, and won't take 'NO' for an answer! And keep hunting! I'm sure you've read PapaBearNYC's, Andy Bear's and my adventures searching for KU4044 Lindy. Found after only 76 years!

I'm sure we all have our own nemeses. One of my current ones is KV4816 Springfield Reset. I will find this one yet! Even after hikers give me a very strange look while I'm digging in the side of the trail. Yes, it was found eight years ago. (Surprising that there isn't a hole of some sort...) But I want to find it!!

Then thre's the one that holograph, and Andy Bear and I have been searching for in Sussex County. If it's still there, one of ous will find it, eventually!

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I certainly enjoy stories such as this one. As I'm getting rolling along with this hobby, I am encouraged that there is, as I had expected, more to the process than just "finding the benchmark."

 

Thanks to all you for the posts- I am learning more daily.

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Astro-D,

I read through some of your recoveries and disagree--you HAVE had some great experiences! Tell us more about hide and go seek with Jeeps for instance...

 

Andy,

I agree that the old ones are the bestest to find. Finding BARRY 1885 was a great experience and brush with history, and more recently MONTOUR was a great find both from the actual benchmark standpoint and from the fact that I met a nearby property owner who helped me confirm it was a monument and not just a rock in the woods. SUGAR LOAF S 1865 stands as my oldest find, and the time (about 2 hours!) I spent in this public park talking to people was great, as was the 70 degree sunny day made the experience unforgettable.

 

But be aware that even though there may be no recoveries in years, someone still may have visited or used the mark since it was last reported. Surveyors seem to be intent on surveying, and less keen on reporting recoveries. So that mark you think was never visited may well have been. My grueling trek to ELLENDALE a month ago was a double whammy in that regard. I figured NOBODY would ever have bothered to go to the location, accidentally or on purpose, but when I got there I found surveyors tape on the ground near the station, and when I got home I found that a geocacher had been there just hours before me! Talk about taking the wind out of my sails. So sometimes you just have to take them as personal triumphs.

 

Harry,

Yes, we go to great lengths to find these things or to prove to ourselves that the mark is truly gone. I spent 30 minutes digging ballast off a bridge abutment at JV0241 this weekend because I was too stubborn/stupid to give up. All this for a mark that is unusable--"THE BOLT IS TOO CLOSE TO CONCRETE STRUCTURE TO HOLD A ROD ON BOLT." I have returned to some locations 3, 4, even 5 times before I either located the mark or convinced myself it wasn't findable. I was reduced to digging random holes in the rocky garden (tilled but unplanted) of an Amish farmer looking for NINE RESET. The farmer remembered it but didn't know where it was, and a reference mark 300 feet away may seem helpful but is really pretty much useless as none of my equipment would be accurate at that distance. So return I shall, in the fall after the harvest, to dig again. I will bring a better shovel for that attempt!

 

Elvis,

Go for it. Remember that your hunts are what you make of them. Don't be afraid to ask permission to go on private land. When I am in the mood, which is often, I will ring a doorbell to ask. This weekend I interrupted a Memorial Day picnic to hunt for a mark in someone's yard. They were curious about the mark but generally ignored me as I walked over their yard measuring and looking.

 

All,

Keep posting the stories here. I look through the gallery almost daily, but it is hard to tell what will be a "good" find from the pics, so I rarely read the logs. I get tired of the same old posts (yes, especially the "I found a disk, why isn't it on this site?" ones) but I read the personal stories avidly. I bet that even if you think you have nothing to say that many of us would enjoy reading about your hunting day.

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Ok....here is a story of one of our semi-recoveries this past Memorial Day weekend.

 

We ventured over 100 miles from home to participate in a geocaching event sponsored by several Chamber of Commerces (Hey, they are giving away weekend get aways!) and decided to try and find a few benchmarks between finding the event caches.

 

Anyways, on our way home, we needed a break from driving so we stopped to find a benchmark that was located undeneath an old lookout tower in the middle of nowhere. We had to drive on an old logging road that would eventually fork off to the left and go up to the tower. Well the raod that forked left was an old road...two dirt ruts filled with potholes...not the kind of road you take a 13 year old minivan on. So we decided to hike the .40 mile to the tower. Realizing as we got there, the tape measure, baby powder, shovel, PDA with the info and the extra batteries were sitting back at the van. I wrote a few rough notes on a piece of paper (I ahd the PDA quit on me before)..but they were pretty much unintellegent notes and not a whole heck of a lot of help.

 

THe walk to the tower was absolutely perfect! There was clear cutting for the first .2 mile, then we got into some of the greenest forest I have seen since I was in Vancouver this past March. The sun was filtering through the trees, the weather warm, but not too warm and the air was quiet. I don't think I've ever experienced such quiet from nature before. It was perfect.

 

Well, we got to the site only to discover that no trace of the lookout tower exists. Mom nature did a great job of reclaiming the land too. So how were we going to find a survey marker when all the reference points from a description 67 years ago are gone? By sheer dumb luck, our eight year old son tripped on what we thought was just a tree root and hole. Nope, he tripped over the concrete monument. (It was covered in leaves and moss and laying angled in a small hole). Here we are in literally the middle of nowhere with absolutely no reference points and our son trips over the monument. I think they heard my laughter and screeech of joy several counties away.

 

Well, figuring we had nothing to lose, we began a somewhat organized search for the reference marks as well as the other station located here. After about a half hour I found an oddly shaped rock covered in moss just west of the old road..I went over, scraped off the moss and found one of the reference marks. Now having some idea where the 'edge of the clearing' was, I went back to the station we had found and roughly paced off the only distance I had written down - 78 feet SW of the tower leg. Well it brought me to a rock pile that was in line of site of the first reference mark so I figured I had to be in the right area. After another 15 minutes searching and going about 40 feet further south I came across a moss covered square rock - the other reference mark.

 

In my wandering, I came across an old square foundation that I think was the old ranger station house. There were lots of trees growing around it. What caught my eye was an old wooden post painted white that had been shoved in a pipe hole that was in the foundation. Wish I would have gotten a picture.

 

So now that we had the two reference marks, we were trying to triangulate to the station when off to our west we heard a loud crashing noise coming form the woods. We all turned to look and there in the distance was a big black shape. Holy Bleep!!! A bear! Mind you, we live in the midst of city with a population of 100,000+ and we had no idea what the heck to do! So we screamed and made lots of noise, grabbed our meager gear and hightailed the .4 miles back to the van.

 

We never got to search for the station, and never stopped to look to see if the bear left the area. This is one of our best recovery memories even if we didn't find the station (yet). I'll also know for next time, that dumb luck can come in very handy when searching for forgotten stations. Oh, and to make sure somebody has all the supplies and not just assuming someone has them.

 

Matt - I'll write about the hide and seek Jeep story next.

Edited by AstroD-Team

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Well you got to see the bear I didn't get to see, but yours was more of a surprise! If I had seen the one I heard about I wouldn't have been worried because the guy with me was packing (a big ol' 25 mil, lol) and was older and slower than I am.

 

Isn't it frustrating to get into the deep woods and realize you left something important behind? You think I would have learned not to do that in 3 years but I still habitually leave something important in the car when I get out to do a search. Often it is the metal detector, thinking something stupid like "it is in a bridge, how hard can it be to find it?", or my entire backpack, thinking I won't need a shovel or real compass (the one on my GPSr gets squirrelly sometimes). If I remember everything the battery on the camera dies. There are too many recoveries by me on this site with no pics because the camera batteries died, or worse, I left it in the car.

 

Any pics of the bear? ;)

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Well you got to see the bear I didn't get to see, but yours was more of a surprise! If I had seen the one I heard about I wouldn't have been worried because the guy with me was packing (a big ol' 25 mil, lol) and was older and slower than I am.

 

Isn't it frustrating to get into the deep woods and realize you left something important behind? You think I would have learned not to do that in 3 years but I still habitually leave something important in the car when I get out to do a search. Often it is the metal detector, thinking something stupid like "it is in a bridge, how hard can it be to find it?", or my entire backpack, thinking I won't need a shovel or real compass (the one on my GPSr gets squirrelly sometimes). If I remember everything the battery on the camera dies. There are too many recoveries by me on this site with no pics because the camera batteries died, or worse, I left it in the car.

 

Any pics of the bear? :D

 

No, no pics of the bear. We were too darned scared to think about stopping and taking a pix. I can show you a pix of a baby deer that we encountered on a 'road' as we were traveling to a benchmark....but don't know how to post pixs on the forum.

 

Isn't it amazing all things we do manage to forget? It's a surprise we find anything at all sometimes. ;)

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To post a pic in the forum you have to have it online somewhere so you can post the link to it. For instance, I went to your deer pic and copied the link, then selected the picture icon at the top of the forum post window (it looks like a little tree) and pasted the link in the pop up window. That shows the pic. 59fbb6e0-0911-4d0c-9050-d905a2b37461.jpg

 

I already saw your deer pic, btw. There are a few of us who look at the gallery regularly. I like to see interesting finds and check up on anyone hunting in my area--for instance to see if Ernmark is getting into my turf and has to be mussed up a bit by Guido. One good shot in the kneecap and he is out of commission for a week or so.

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To post a pic in the forum you have to have it online somewhere so you can post the link to it. For instance, I went to your deer pic and copied the link, then selected the picture icon at the top of the forum post window (it looks like a little tree) and pasted the link in the pop up window. That shows the pic. 59fbb6e0-0911-4d0c-9050-d905a2b37461.jpg

 

I already saw your deer pic, btw. There are a few of us who look at the gallery regularly. I like to see interesting finds and check up on anyone hunting in my area--for instance to see if Ernmark is getting into my turf and has to be mussed up a bit by Guido. One good shot in the kneecap and he is out of commission for a week or so.

 

Thank you!!! So if I upload my pixs to my photobucket account, I should be able to link them and post them here then. Sweet!

 

So, are you saying I should stay outta your turf then too? I don't have too much problem with poachers in my area. The people are number crazy in this state and if something doesn't up their numbers, there is no point in looking for them. Which is fine by me.

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No, no pics of the bear. We were too darned scared to think about stopping and taking a pix.

 

I'll agree with AstroD. I've seen eighteen bear. I have pictures of three! Usually, they run off too quickly (Including the one I missed stepping on by about four feet.) I don't trust the ones that sit there and watch me! I saw one 4/28/07 returning to Rte 206, down the Appalachian Trail from LY2623. It was watching me from about a hundred feet away. I put as much distance between the bear and me as fast as possible!

d04236b9-2a10-4828-91b2-b433f1bbaa22.jpg

This bear is no where near a benchmark. Oh, well.

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Astro- D - great deer pic (and bear pic too, Harry) I ran into one a week or 2 ago that I swear would've guarded a BM all night until I finally pulled the car forward

 

a749d84f-242c-491a-aed8-9e0450e6dbd8.jpg

 

It's not a very good pic (low light), but I'm just sitting around waiting for my kneecap to heal, so I'm reading the fourms. :rolleyes:

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Well, looks like this has become the "critters seen while benchmark hunting" thread.

Okey Dokey: Got some great pics of this beautiful Red Diamond Rattlesnake in (or near) the Chino Hills State Park recently while heading down from DX4660. Lots of rattles on the tail, and I always thought the zebra stripes toward the end of the tail are neat.

 

On the way up the hill, I had saw a pair of roadrunners also! They are on the mark page linked above. No find on the mark, but lots of fun critter pics!

73a65a07-e742-4809-97fd-192c63b2bc85.jpg

Red Diamond Rattlesnake (Crotalus Ruber).

Edited by Klemmer & TeddyBearMama

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I made a few recoveries yesterday that I really enjoyed-and a non-recovery that I also enjoyed. I posted a bit in my logs, but I'll retell some of the story here. I have been interested in and photographing the Republic Mine for a number of years. It is a now abandoned open pit iron ore mine. The open pit mining was begun in the 1950s, and the mine shut down in the 80s, but was kept on "standby" for about 15 years, in the event that new technology or the price of steel would make it worth mining the low-grade ore that the facility produced. Because of my photos and history, I was actually able to get Deb to destroy RK0571 without ever having visited the site with my GPS.

 

It had been a few years, so I wanted to get back and take some more photos at the site. The pit has been flooded with water, and the property was sold earlier this year, though the new owner has not yet been identified. Since I started benchmarking last year, I have also wanted to visit for that reason. At the site there were two stations with adjusted coordinates, very close to each other, that I wanted to locate. A third had been destroyed in the 70s by the mine, and I wanted to search for the Azimuth mark, which according to the datasheet still existed.

 

So armed with a knapsack full of necessary items and a fanny pack with my camera equipment, I set off. I bicycled into the mine. On this visit, I discovered one of the main gates was open, but I'd have biked anyway. I got locked in once on a visit in 2000. I was able to find a way out, around one of the gates, but since that time, they have done a good job of barricading potential entry/exit points such as the one I used. I used a "back door" entrance because the weather was calling for a chance of rain, and this gate was closest to the survey marks. I at least wanted to visit these two before things got too wet. As luck would have it, the main gate was open because a local contractor was on site crushing gravel--right at the intersection I wanted to turn onto. So...I took the long way around, heading left instead of right, and circling the pit.

 

Along the way I scared up about six does, and one fawn. I got a couple pictures of the fawn, but not as good as the ones above. This one was in the same pose, flattened against the ground, but in some taller grass and right up against a chain link fence.

 

fawn.jpg

 

Much of my visit was about history--the history of the marks, the history of the mine, and the history of the town. Along the perimeter, I stopped to visit a building. I had photographed it once before, but not looked closely. I had assumed it was a part of the mine operations, but my visit this weekend provided a bit more history. A large room consumed most of the building, with a stage at one end and a balcony at the other. A couple of smaller rooms at the back had hardwood flooring in poor condition. It had the appearance not of a theatre, but more of a multi-purpose building. A check of the 1955 USGS map shows this building already in place prior to the mine's expansion. I wonder what happened here during the first half of the last century?

 

bldg.jpg

 

I rode further, and climbed one of the waste piles. There are roads all over, and a well used, but gravel road right up to the highest level. I have been to the top of this one before, both by car in the late 90s, by foot, and by bicycle. I took some photos from atop the pile. In this view of the former mine property, you can see many things. Just to the left of center, are concrete silos, one of the few remaining traces of the former plant. Native rock has now been spread around the area, and grass is growing in many places, including just to the right of the former plant. In the far left, it's difficult to see, but this would have been where the LS&I railroad entered, from the lower left of the frame. In the far upper left, the light area just below the horizon line is a portion of the "Republic Wetlands Preserve." The former tailings basin has been overhauled and planted, creating a habitat for wildlife. Google the name, and you'll find some more information on it from Cleveland-Cliffs. In the upper right is the other waste pile. I have driven to the top of that one in the past and had intended to bike up on this visit, but decided to put it off for another day. It's a higher pile, and a longer ride.

 

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The view of the mine is looking south. Looking to the northwest off the other side of the pile, we see the town of Republic. In the lower left, you can see a portion of the pile I am standing on top of. All of the elevation here is man made, so you can see how high up I am. You can see two bodies of water. The lower one is actually a lake, but the upper one is artificially created. The "Michigamme Basin" is the backwaters of a small dam built on the Michigamme River by the mine to supply water necessary for mining operations.

 

republic.jpg

 

So that's the history lesson for today...on to the benchmarks. As I mentioned, there were two inside the property. The first I searched for was RK0572, "IRON." I wasn't sure what I'd find, because this one had no recoveries since its monumentation in 1955. I found out why. It was placed before the expansion of the open pit, and blasting seems to have taken care of this station. It's described as being set in a drill hole in the bedrock. Well, the north end of the bedrock is about 25 feet south of the adjusted coordinates. :) You can see photos of the area with more explanation in my log. I also used a 1955 USGS map and figured the location of the azimuth mark for this station, and set a waypoint. On my trip around the mine pit, I photographed the former location, now a part of the mine pit. In fact, the location I took the photo from, may have 50 years ago been the location of someone's home.

 

The second station I searched for was RK0575, "REPUBLIC 2." I was pretty confident I'd find this one, as it had multiple recoveries, as recently as 2005. This one I located without any problems. I didn't post a photo above of the mine pit, but there's a decent one in my log for this station. The last photo, the "wider view," is looking north. The location on the waste pile where I shot the earlier photos would be just out of the frame in the upper right, but at the highest elevation visible in the photograph.

 

After recovering this station and taking a short ride to peek at the wetlands preserve, I made my exit. The wetlands preserve also interested me, because I discovered that in the general area, and I assume probably in the preserve itself, it appears that they had dumped "paper sludge." I had learned of the practice from a talk earlier this year by an environmental guy from CCI. The sludge is a by-product of several local paper mills. For them it's a waste product to be landfilled (expensively) but instead they truck it up to the mines, and spread it on top of the waste piles. Otherwise it's primarily rock, but the sludge provides an environment that is good for growing grasses and shrubs.

 

After leaving the mine, I made a quick stop and recovered the Azimuth Mark from RK0574. The station "REPUBLIC" HAD BEEN DESTROYED IN THE 1970s, as noted in the datasheet for REPUBLIC 2. In fact, the location is in the northern third of the now flooded pit, along the former route of M-95, which has now been rerouted. Again, I had plotted on the computer at home based on the description, a rough waypoint for the mark, and when I stopped the truck on the side of the road, I was within about 50 feet of it.

 

I did bag a few intersection stations, but the last find of the day was also pretty cool. It would have been an otherwise unremarkable triangulation station, but you'll have to read my log for CAMP, RK0567 to see what I found there. I rambled about the site history a bit more than intended, so I do applaud anyone who has stuck with me to the end. Hope you enjoyed the history. For more pictures of the Republic Mine, Google "Republic Mine" and you'll find my sadly out of date site with some more photos from there.

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....By sheer dumb luck, our eight year old son tripped on what we thought was just a tree root and hole. Nope, he tripped over the concrete monument. (It was covered in leaves and moss and laying angled in a small hole). Here we are in literally the middle of nowhere with absolutely no reference points and our son trips over the monument. I think they heard my laughter and screeech of joy several counties away....

 

When that's happened to me (NF0336) I get that same joyous relief - after I've looked around to be sure no one's been standing there watching, ready to point out, "It's been right there - duh!!!"

 

Dunno what I'd say if that ever happened - hopefully something like "Well yeah, but I've been looking for the hidden one!"

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We have been enjoying all of the stories and pictures very much. Thanks mloser, for getting this thread started.

 

andylphoto,

 

This building

bldg.jpg

looks similar to our old movie theater....the holes high-up on either side of where the 'stage/screen might have been' would have been the main speakers. The lower holes ... the secondary speakers. If there was a small hole opposite the 'stage' high up on the wall...then that would cinch the idea for me.

 

Just an old memory from about 45-50 years ago with the screen and speakers intact. :(:)

 

Shirley~

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I agree with both of you guys about that room. When I first saw the pic I thought "theater", but more legitimate than movie. So more of a common room such as a combo gym/stage that one would find in an elementary school around here, with facilities for speeches, small stage productions and a screen for Friday night movies.

 

As for finding benchmarks by accident, how about MISSING them totally? Twice I have walked right over the benchmark while rushing to find it.

 

In this one, picture my car out of the frame to the right, across the street, and the homeowner to the left. I strode right up to him and told him I was looking for a survey mark. He pointed behind me and said "like that?". Sure enough, I had walked right past, or possibly OVER the monement to get to him.

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For some reason this picture won't display today, although I brought it up from the log and copied the link and it was fine then. Now it is gone in the log too. If it doesn't appear I will remove this part of the post later.

Edited by mloser

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Here is a quickie about the lengths we will go to find a mark, even when we know it will never ever be used.

 

A couple of weeks ago I stopped to grab a mark I had driven by for 2 years. The reason I had repeatedly passed on this mark was twofold--first, it was along a railroad and was on a bridge abutment in a cut that would be difficult to get to, and second, I would require permission from a nearby property owner to access it easily, or walk about .5 miles up the tracks, into the cut, to get to it.

 

On a whim I pulled off the roadway and stopped short of the bridge the mark was on. The bridge had been there for years, possibly 100 years, and existed as access ONLY to the property that lay on the other side of the tracks. I walked across the bridge and knocked on the door. The homeowner was very nice and quickly gave me permission to look for the mark. I walked nervously along the tracks from the end of the retaining wall that led to the bridge and started looking for some sort of mark. I had looked for a lot of other PRR marks and while this datasheet said the mark type was not known I was pretty sure I looking for a chiseled shelf on the rock face. I searched for about 30 minutes and saw nothing. When I finally gave up and was standing near my car I heard a noise, and along came a train, doing about 30 mph. Had it come when I was looking at the bridge abutment I would have had to do some major scrambling to get out of the way.

 

A week later Ernmark visited this mark. He was looking for a "2" for the contest. I read his recovery that same evening and while he didn't find the mark, he HAD found the notation "BM 23" on the face of the abutment. How I had missed it is beyond me. The lettering is clear in Ernmark's pictures. However, he didn't find the chisel mark, but he found some suspicious locations that look a lot like where the PRR would have put just such a mark, covered with morter from bridge repairs.

 

So on Sunday I returned to the bridge in question. The lady was once again very nice and told me that few trains went by in the afternoon. This didn't exactly set me at ease totally, but I headed back to where I now knew the mark to be. I saw the "23" very quickly and again was amazed that I missed it before. The "BM" is less noticable, but still is visible. Recalling Ernmark's pics I quickly targeted the spot he thought was most likely as the location. I started banging at the morter with my hammer and chunks flew off. Soon I was down to what I thought was the stone surface. But there was no sign of any sort of decent shelf or of the the chisel marks I expected to find outlining a square on the shelf. I pulled out my second tool--an old large bladed screwdriver and started to chisel at the surface. As I did I saw that I was cleaning off what seemed to be a second, older layer of mortar. This layer was much tougher than the top layer and it took me about 15 minutes of dedicated chiseling to clean off the shelf. Then I started working around the edges of the shelf, and exposed the small trough that had been chiseled in as three sides of a square to set off the surface of the shelf as being the mark. Ernmark was right--no piece of ballast was going to do anything to the mortar.

 

During all this time I kept an eye out for trains. I knew that a train from the south would be audible for quite a bit before it got to me, as there were grade crossings in the town about a mile south. A train coming from the north would be much more steathly and I was nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs anticipating one. I knew that I would be able to hear the engines before I saw them, but traffic on a nearby road spooked me repeatedly (it seems that Harleys sound a lot like a train at times!). I would chisel for 15 seconds, then stand up and listen and look.

 

Finally I had exposed enough of the shelf that I was happy with the results. I took my pics and headed out. The pics are not at all convincing, to be honest, but I was very happy with what I saw while I was there. I exposed small troughs along both sides of the shelf that could only have been manually chiseled there.

 

This is just one more example of the OCD behavior we engage in when we hunt for benchmarks. Nobody will EVER use this mark. First of all, it is dangerous to access. Norfolk Southern isn't about to stop rail traffic so that a surveyor can set up on this mark, and nobody but a fool would try to use it with trains running. Second, nobody ever seems to use chisel marks any more anyway. I have seen so few recoveries on rivets and chisel marks that it seems to me they are not the favorites of surveyors, who would much rather use a disk nearby if they can find it. KW1362 is 1.1 miles to the north and very easily accessible. So why do we do this? Because (we hope) it's there!

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.....and I was just getting ready to post the the same story as an it is about the benchmark ! My addition is that if, of course, it was on the west side of the river (closer to home), I'd've probably went thru the trouble to do the same thing....but since I already had my '2' in the bag & was mostly just picking up some quick marks on the way home - I left, fully knowing that mloser would be back if the lady didn't say "What is WITH you guys!?!" (I entertained the thought of drawing some chalk arrows & field notes, but I wasn't keen on going to the car & back to retrieve it).

 

So why did he do it? Because you really do get to see some cool places !

..and learn a little history in the process...

 

..for example - this is some lady's driveway !

687a8743-1304-4023-9015-83061252bb8d.jpg

Edited by Ernmark

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Okay, I'm not always a great story teller, and I am not at all a gregarious person. (Oh, and I'm tying to avoid NS & NS&W railroad benchmarks too. But that's a different story.) So, tell me what you all think this white plastic cap on the cast iron pipe in the front yard in the housing development is for? (Okay, so a boring story. But I like triangulation stations!)

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KV4824 Madison

It is about the right spot for KV4824!

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At the suggestion of Shirley(one of the 2oldfarts), here is my story about the benchmarks in the railroad bridge over the Ohio River in Beaver County, PA, just west of Pittsburgh. There are three benchmarks in this bridge--one on the north end in Bridgewater and two on the south end in Monaca. These marks are quite different from your common benchmark disks. Instead of being round, one of the marks, KY0038,

is square, and the other two, KY0039 and

KY0040, are triangular. None of the marks has a date on it, and they were all set by the U.S. Engineer's Office in "Pittsburg" Pa. My first trip to the bridge was in February of this year, when there was plenty of ice. I could only recover KY0038 then because the ice was so thick on the other abutments that you couldn't see if there were any marks there or not. Last weekend, I returned to find the other two marks. A visit to these marks is very interesting because of their unusual nature, but since they are set along a busy railroad line, use caution. It is not necessary to cross the tracks to see the marks.

 

KY0038 location: Looking N across the river

 

KY0039 location: Looking N across the river

 

KY0040 location:

Looking S across the river

 

 

 

 

 

 

KY0039 location:Looking N across the river

Edited by shorbird

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Not quite as historical, or maybe interesting as some of these other stories, but I always chuckle when I think about this story.

 

I was searching for OF2603 in Hilton NY, one of several marks I identified that would get me a "2" for the BM contest. The mark is located in a pleasant neighborhood in a suburb of Rochester. There was some road construction and detours around the area, which actually gave me a chance to get some roadside benchmarks quite easily as there were big detours and "Local Traffic Only" signs around.

 

Anyway. This mark had a nice witness post next to it and cover, so I pulled over and began to photograph the area, and lift the cap to dig out the soil covering the mark. I had my bag of benchmarking gear, gloves, GPS, PDA with datasheet, and of course my orange reflective vest of invisibilty on. While I was trying to scoop dirt from the tube to get a good photo, a man came up to me and asked what I was doing.

 

Nice Man: What are you doing.

Me: I'm trying to verify the existance and condition of this survey marker.

 

Nice Man: Well that's it right there, what else is there to verify.

Me: I want to read the disk designation and photograph it.

 

Nice Man: Well there's the center of the tube, isn't that what you need?

Me: I want to photograph the disk inside.

 

NM: Is it for the construction down there?

Me: No.

 

NM: Are you re-surveying the property lines?

Me: No.

 

NM: Are they widening the street?

Me: I don't know.

 

NM: What agency are you with?

Me: No agency, I do this as a kind of volunteer in my spare time. I report my finds to the NGS.

 

NM: Hrmmf, sounds like you need to get a life.

Me: Well, my wife is usually sleeping...

 

NM: No. <louder> I said you need to GET A LIFE.

Me: Well, I was trying to say that my wife sleeps in on the weekends, so I spend my mornings looking for these marks as a hobby.

 

NM: Why would you do that?

Me: Well its fun to find markers that are missing, or have been placed many years ago, or maybe nobody has seen or used in decades.

 

After he understood what I was doing, this man proceeded to tell me he was a landlord 3 houses down, and that he does it full time for 3 properties. He explained how tough a job it is, and that he had been to court 3 times last year, and one tenant made him replace his stove twice. After the second time, he said if it breaks again, buy your own. He was a pleasant fellow, just seemed a little put out that I had all this spare time to spend looking for little metal disks that were "clearly visible". 15 minutes later we each went on with our business. :lol:

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I get a lot of those looks, although nobody has openly challenged me on my hobby or my overage of spare time.

 

I love visiting Amish farms here in Pennsylvania for that sort of bemused look that says "if that's what you want...". So far I have approached 3 Amish farmers about looking for benchmarks on their land, and all three of them have looked at me strangely, with a slight smile, as if to say "the English are certainly strange", and then each said something like "go for it" or "knock yourself out" (they call all non-Amish "English", and while they separate themselves from society in many ways, they are very knowledgable about a lot of things, and do use slang such as "go for it" All knew of the benchmarks on their properties and some were aware of what GPS can do). None have been interested in seeing the mark after I found it and none were in any way concerned that I was anything except what I said. A couple have stood chatting with for a short time. Although they do have contact with the outside world it can be somewhat limited and I think they welcome a visitor from time to time.

 

Shorbird,

Chiseled squares are some of my favorite marks to recover, just after stone monuments set in the late 1800s! In the right instances I believe that some of these chisel marks are well over 100 years old, even if they only got into the NGS database in the 20th century.

There are so many types of chiseled squares. The one you found is well delineated and clearly marked. The PRR set a lot of chisel marks and I have searched for most of them to the east of me, and many to the north. The PRR line to the east of me, from Harrisburg to Philadelphia, is one of the oldest rail lines in the state and some of the bridges may date from the earliest days. Marks like KW0758. The railroad was also fond of chiseling a shelf out of the rock and putting a square on it, as with Kw1860.

Here is one chiseled on the edge of an abutment - KW0644. And then one on an old station - KW0735, and one chiseled in a small shelf in a foundation of a tunnel - KW0886.

 

I DID just notice how few of these chisel marks are still around while searching for examples. While my success ratio seems to be between 2/3 and 3/4, but the success with chiseled squares seem to run more like 1/10 or even worse. I guess they are most often the oldest marks and as such the structures they were on have been replaced or removed.

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It is not always about the benchmark...

 

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The deer we went to get a picture of for a locationless TerraCache. Boy, we are now all better from having to go 145 miles to a Dodge Dealer (there isn't one in Page, AZ) to get our truck diagnosed and a part ordered and then spend the night and come on towards home. We took a detour to the North Kaibab (close to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon) to enjoy the forest and maybe get lucky enough to spot a deer or 2.

 

Then John noticed a benchmark show up on our GPSr. A mark that the last time we had considered going for...it was to snowy and muddy to try for. So, today was the day to see if we could get this mark. MURRAY is a 1938 Tri-station. John and I managed to not only find the station, but both RMs and then after looking and pacing and then John getting the box score and using his good old trusty compass, found the Azimuth also. So, the day just kept on getting better!

 

Then we reread the description to see if we could find the "Lookout Tree" that was mentioned. Hey, there it is! And to confirm it...we went and saw the hard evidence. On the side of the tree is the ladder! WOW to say the least!

 

0a907261-6329-4613-ba48-3f3ad83a3119.jpg

 

It was a great day.

 

Shirley~

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Shirley,

 

Don't you just love days like that? Thanks for your pix of the deer and the lookout tree!

 

shorbird

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I missed out on the Benchmark Contest thanks to an unfortunate accident at work that left me covering 2 coworker's desks plus my own (a better choice than being in the hospital, for sure... but I missed springtime in Alaska's outdoors!). As part of my 'reward' for hard work I got to take a two-week paid leave, which I spent down in Michigan with my dad. We had a lot of family business to take care of, but invested some valuable time afield looking for benchmarks too. He'd spent a portion of his early adulthood building access roads to Michigan's budding gas fields, and remembered where a few of the old railroad grades could still be accessed. Our forays were a rich time for conversation and companionship, and he enjoyed the 'hunting' aspect of seeking benchmarks.

 

We capped my visit with a drive up north, spending two nights on Mackinac Island and finding a threesome of earthcaches by mountainbike. We also took on the challenge to find one of Holograph's 'Extreme Benchmarks' - in this case, Michigan's oldest existing mark - QK0568 MAST 1851. In just 45 minutes we were able to find a total of 5 'loggable' marks plus a 'bonus' reference mark, all within 250 feet of our parking spot along US23 southeast of Cheboygan. And yes, we ferreted out QK0568, but best of all we relived our days tromping the backwoods hunting birds together, having a great time as father and son. Can't get enough of those kind of good times...

 

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Here's my 77-yr old dad at the conclusion of our hunt, standing on the shore of Lake Huron. What a gorgeous windblown place this was!

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Hmm... So no opinions on the white plastic cap on the iron pipe in the lawn in Clark, NJ? KV4824

 

Not as excting as some stories, but I sometimes think that some benchmarks are only found by obstinant benchmarkers! And there's nothing worse than an obstinant dolphin! Case in point: LY2244. Story on geocaching benchmark page... I've looked for this one a couple of times, with no luck. This time, I set the trip odometer to 0 at the interscetion of Clinton Road and Rte 23, and drove 4.9 miles. (Bear in mind that this was a one-lane dirt road when the benchmarks was set.) Found a spot to park at 4.8 miles, and walked up the road and searched again, with no luck. Buchwhacked back to the car 60' northwest of Clinton Road (when possble), and continued south. Low, and behold! There was a witness post! And benchmark! .2 mile off. So, what's a thousand feet among friends? The funny thing is that you can actually see the witness post from the road, if, for some bizarre reason, you happened to be standing there staring off into the woods. This is the second in this series that I've found that had terrible coordinates. I haven't checked the discrepancies on the ones that holograph found. I'm starting to think that the surveyor who set out these stations must have have terrible handwriting!

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Harry, remember that the scaled coordinates were done by someone in the office working with the to-reach and a map. The original odometer reading could have been off, and there could be some error in tracing the curving road on the map. This is discrepancy a little large but not surprisingly so.

 

I've seen much larger discrepancies, even most of a mile, sometimes due to the road being moved between the time the to-reach was written and when the office map was printed. In another case the mark was near "West Street" and due to expansion of the town the coordinates were taken at the (later) westernmost street platted.

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Hmm... So no opinions on the white plastic cap on the iron pipe in the lawn in Clark, NJ? KV4824

 

Not as excting as some stories, but I sometimes think that some benchmarks are only found by obstinant benchmarkers! And there's nothing worse than an obstinant dolphin! Case in point: LY2244. Story on geocaching benchmark page... I've looked for this one a couple of times, with no luck. This time, I set the trip odometer to 0 at the interscetion of Clinton Road and Rte 23, and drove 4.9 miles. (Bear in mind that this was a one-lane dirt road when the benchmarks was set.) Found a spot to park at 4.8 miles, and walked up the road and searched again, with no luck. Buchwhacked back to the car 60' northwest of Clinton Road (when possble), and continued south. Low, and behold! There was a witness post! And benchmark! .2 mile off. So, what's a thousand feet among friends? The funny thing is that you can actually see the witness post from the road, if, for some bizarre reason, you happened to be standing there staring off into the woods. This is the second in this series that I've found that had terrible coordinates. I haven't checked the discrepancies on the ones that holograph found. I'm starting to think that the surveyor who set out these stations must have have terrible handwriting!

 

WOW!!! What a nice find!!! good for you and Thanks for sharing!

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Mr. Dolphin,

 

That was skill -- what you learn after many benchmark finds. You just knew where that mark had to be after it wasn't where it should have been. You are what they call - Ready for the *Hall of Fame*!

 

Really - a good find and I bet that white cap has something to do with a benchmark. You should look into/under it more closely.

 

Shirley~

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I had a great time finding mark OF2732 - SILL this past weekend, and I thought I would share it with you.

 

First off, the location is great, On a bluff overlooking Lake Ontario. There is a street with small houses on the south side, and on the north side of the street is a narrow strip of grassy land with maple trees and a perfect area to set some chairs and look out over the beaches. In between the bluff and the beach sits an old railroad bed that was ripped up in the past 20 years, so now it is just a grassy area.

 

As I approached ground zero with my GPSr and gear, there was an older gentleman mowing his lawn. The description states the disk is 1.5 inches below grade, and I assumed it was covered in grass. The home owner saw my quzical look and stopped his mower to come over and talk. I introduced myself and asked him if he was "Mr. Sill", as the mark stated that it was in the lawn of an Elanor Sill. He chuckled and said no, that Elanor Sill was the former home owner.

 

I said that I was there looking for a survey marker and he got kinda excited. We went over the description, and I showed him my GPSr. He was very interested in the coordinates for his house, and said he had extrapolated some coords from a topo map and wondered if I would indulge an old helicopter pilot and compare coords with him, which I did. He then welcomed me to probe around his lawn and look for the mark.

 

At this point his neighbor came out on the porch and shouted out "Hey, you NOAA?". I said no, but that I was looking for the mark. he came over and said he knew where it was, as he lived here and had seen them place it. He took his barefoot toe and wiggled it into the grass about 3 inches away from where my probe struck a hard object. The home owner and myself proceded to tear up his lawn and expose the mark "SILL".

 

Both neighbors were happy to find the mark and share history of the area and talk a little about Elanor Sill. The one neighbor scolded the other for not telling him he had a survey marker on his property.

 

It was a great find, and what benchmarking is all about.

 

I pointed the homeowner to the NGS page, and he seemed computer saavy enough that I bet he can find some marks in the area. We also discussed our common interest in Satellites and Astronomy and it turned out we both had been out looking as the space station had flown by several nights last week.

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