Jump to content

Personall Accomplishment


Recommended Posts

I just wanted to mark a small personal accomplishment, and also make a spot for others to toot their own horns.


Last week I finished searching for benchmarks in a local county. This small goal was something I have been working towards for the entire 3 1/2 years I have been benchmarking--it means I am finished with something, small victory that it is.


The county of Lebanon, PA has 223 marks based on the NGS datasheets. I had just one left, on private property and it took 3 calls to get to the actual property owner and get permission. His only concern was that I do it before archery season started, as he hunts his property extensively. I went the next day, picked up unremarkable rivet KW0537, and got out. No other county near me will be this easy to complete. For one I have just 14 more to search for, but a couple are very dangerous or nearly impossible to reach, such as half a mile along a very active railroad in a cut, or halfway across an active rail yard. I may have to skip those, thus forfeiting a "complete" status for that counties. Well, at least I did one!


Anyone else reach a personal milestone they want to share?

Link to comment



How does your 223 break down in terms of found, not found, etc.?


Are there any counties with zero marks? In Virginia I recall noticing one independent city (not within any county and thus county-equivalent) that had only four, but I haven't systematically looked to see which jurisdiction had the fewest benchmarks.


I don't think there are any real counties in the D.C. area (my homebase) where it would be possible to check out all the benchmarks. Too many are on government reservations or otherwise restricted. All the more reason to bow to your achievement!


A humbled benchmarker,


Link to comment

I have to admit that no, it wasn't any fun at all. The day was warm, and extremely humid. The track area was totally overgrown with primrose, which is pretty thorny, and I rushed there after work just to get it over with. I had recovered rivets all along this line so this one was pretty much like all the others. Now, I have nothing against rivets! I have seen my share and have been in some cool spots looking for them. This just wasn't one of them! :huh: It was just a task to be completed, and I did it.


Wvhillbilly (edit, and Artman, who asked), a lot of the ones I looked for were not there. According to my records, I found 138, didn't find 67, and 18 were destroyed. Five of the destroyed ones were intersection stations.


AZ, airports ARE tough. A while ago I got good feedback on the possibility of looking for the three marks on my local (yet international) airport. I just have to ask the right person. Another place I may get to hunt is a dam on the Susquehanna river, pretty much off limits without an escort.

Edited by mloser
Link to comment

Let me also add my congrats to the list of others you have received.


Also let me say thanks to you (and many others on here) that have been so helpful in offering advice etc - even though many times I have been lost since y'all are much smarter and more experienced.


I think my favorite find - which wasn't technically a find of the mark - was the airway beacon tower I found close by. It was pretty awesome - even if the beacon light wasn't still mounted like it was all those years ago. Now to find one somewhere with the concrete arrow.......


The oldest one I think I have found (that wasn't logged) was 63 years old - that was a pretty great feeling too. I look forward to finding some of the reference marks done by USGS - I think for me - that will be an accomplishment.


Congrats again! and keep enjoying the hunt and helping others do the same.

Link to comment

Congrats!! I don't know of anywhere near me where that feat is even plausible. Development is rampant. So many are long ago destroyed. Not to mention active railyards. Or, that great series set in 1913 in clay tile pipes along riverbanks that were never seen again. Hey! I'd like to find half the ones in my home county, but even that isn't plausible.

So, best I can do is some of the triangulation stations not reported in many years.


And, sometime soon: SPRINGFIELD RESET

Hey. I like those triangulation stations!

Link to comment


I found an old air control tower and it was a great find too! I would also love to find an arrow. There is one in my area that has already been located that I have to visit. The tower is gone though.


The county I am 14 short of finishing, Dauphin, has 315 marks according to BDT's list. I show 335 in my MapSource list, but I could have a few extra points I added. His may also be newer than mine, which is from 2004, and some of the marks I reported as destroyed would be off the list now. In Dauphin County I found 172, didn't find 126, and there are 24 destroyed. As far as numbers go that is more impressive than Lebanon county I suppose. But in those 14 still to be found are three at an airport (I may get permission) and 2 in dangerous spots along Norfolk Southern. I may never get all of them.

Link to comment

Thanks for the opportunity to express what we feel are our accomplishments. We've been fortunate in what we have been able to find, such as being the first to recover the 1871 rock cairn (the oldest benchmark in Coconino county). We got to find an excellent copper nail and washer in a tree. A lookout tree with the ladder still attached. A line of pre-1900 drill holes.


Getting to wake a Highway Patrolman at 7:30 in the morning so we could recover the benchmark in his back yard. :huh:


Being able to run several successful benchmark hunting contests.


Nothing that spectacular, but they all gave us a feeling of accomplishment.


mloser congrats on completing the entire county, we know we will never be able to accomplish that.


John & Shirley

Link to comment

Congrats, mloser! You should be justifiably proud of your accomplishment. Definitely you will be enshrined prominently in the soon to be built Benchmark Hunting Hall of Fame!


Nice list, BDT. Some of my home area counties are smack at the other end of the scale! Of the top 7 most "BM populous" counties, 4 are ones I hunt regularly (18,447 for all four counties), and are all in my PDA & GPS, along with a few "smaller" ones around 1700 marks. About 22,179 in the PDA, most of which are in the GPS also (Magellan Meridian Platinum).


Tooting on: I had just about given up on finding some of those really old marks you folks back east have. Had a couple in the late 1890's. Then it all came together on a recent trip to a Navy owned island off the CA coast (San Clemente Island), Special connections, special permissions, etc. One time deal. One mark (TZ1974) clearly documented as 1862, another I believe to be a typo on the datasheet (TZ2013) looks like 1860 (that's what is on the disc!). Worst case it is 1878, which is still cool! Tooting off

Link to comment

Wow! Thanks for all the props and for keeping this thread going. I usually think of myself as "thread killer"--go back and look at how many threads have my name on them as the last poster! LOL Perhaps I just provide the definitive response and no more discussion is necessary. Yeah, that must be it.


I think we should all brag up what we do. Nobody else will listed to this except other freaks avid hobbyists and nobody else even remotely understands why we would spend a day climbing a mountain to take a picture of a "rock", much less haul said rock 3 miles out of the woods.


Keep telling about the things you have done, what you have seen, and marks you found interesting.


And yeah, I know I spelled "personnal" with two "l"s in the title of the post. I know better but must have been spastic when I pressed the l. I also habitually don't check my own work well. Just look some of my old report cards from school!

Link to comment

Well, I don't want to rain on mloser's parade, not at all. But I've just gone back and reviewed my records and found that I, too, can claim finding all the benchmarks within a single jurisdiction. Not only that, but I located every mark, and thus filed "found" reports with both NGS and on Geocaching.com. The Geocaching report was a FTF. I guess my singular achievement didn't immediately register because I completed all the PIDs in this particular jurisdiction more than five years ago!


And when I say "singular achievement," I am referring to the fact that the City of Manassas Park (a county-equivalent under Virginia's curious concept of "independent cities") has all of one benchmark, HV5206, a prominent water standpipe located behind a convenience store on a main road. Not exactly a big challenge in running this table!


Fellow benchmarkers seventhings, Rixeyville, and Greenpony can also claim to have logged all stations in this jurisdiction with Geocaching, but my NGS report is likely to stand until they tear the thing down, since they no longer want 'found' reports on intersection stations.



Edited by ArtMan
Link to comment
Congrats, mloser! You should be justifiably proud of your accomplishment. Definitely you will be enshrined prominently in the soon to be built Benchmark Hunting Hall of Fame!


The Cary NC design team is on it. Meanwhile, congrats to MLoser and ArtMan. Great job, each of you!



Link to comment



I looked at one of your finds: OF1055


That was a great one - a square, a bolt and a disk. Awesome!


Noticed you didn't find an airway beacon - you mentioned the light - but not the tower - was the tower there? If not, and you get down my way - i'll take you on a hike to one!

Link to comment

mloser also deserves credit for getting the chance in that county to hunt on the grounds of a base where live target practice is conducted ! Example - KW3080


(or was he allowed in for other reasons - "O.K. men - head out and look for your target - some guy in the woods running around with a metal detector.") ("Also - he may be armed with a camping fork & a 100' tape measure")


Congrats on the induction to the B.M.H.O.F. !


- Ernmark

(threadkill ratio 76.2%)

Link to comment

KW3080 was one of a number of marks I managed to get in a single day, with permission and an escort. The only one I wasn't allowed to get out of the vehicle for was at the firing range, and my escort went slow enough that I was able to see it as we went by (so I claimed it!). It is amazing what you can get if you just ask!


Nice touch with the "threadkill ratio" Ernmark!


2/3 Marine, my recording tool of choice is just Mapsource. When I return home after a trip I just change the status of the marks that I have searched for. That prevents me from going out looking for marks I have already found.

Link to comment

Kudos, mloser. That's an exceptional accomplishment.


Finding all the marks in a pre-determined area of significant size, be it a county or a boundary line, etc., is very difficult because the effort is subject to the law of diminishing marginal returns (with a vengance). Having attempted (well, currently attempting) a similar feat, my sense is that the second twenty percent of the marks is ten times more difficult (time, effort, permission, etc.) than the first twenty percent. And the third twenty percent is ten times harder than the second twenty percent, etc. etc. The process may be subject to quantification using some sort of benchmark findability Richter Scale.


In any event, it's a tough thing to do and I congratulate you for having done it.



Edited by seventhings
Link to comment

Nice job, mloser! I've got a long-term goal of searching for every mark in the county I live in, but that will take a while. It's a rather large county (I've heard the largest by area east of the Mississippi, but don't know if that's accurate or not) and has 415 stations with PIDs. A few will require permission--three in grass medians within the security perimeter at our local (but again International) airport, and several on very private property at an exclusive club. I think all of them would be possible--just have to find the right person.


Another I may eventually get to is all in another Upper Peninsula county: Keweenaw County. Only 83 according to the list, but alas, it's about a 3 hour drive to get me there.


My other mission at the moment is going after all the ones the NGS didn't find back in 1985 and recovering them. I've got 8 so far I think.

Link to comment

Congrats that is an acomplishment.


I am on my second time for recovering my whole county.

I had it done in about 2003.

I then went out in a circle to surrounding counties.

I have almost completed my second county shy about 10 marks.


I feel an acomplishment each time I go on a successful hunt.


The Poker Run had me frustrated at a few that I have recovered but are now gone.

I mean I searched harder for those this time than I did the first.

But I did not find them this time.

So I have some discouragement to go along with the acomplished feelings.


And now finally after all this time I got on the Mapping Dept. of our 911 GIS here.

Now That will be an acomplishment to help get that done.


But hey all the NGS Marks for this county are done once and now I will go back and resubmit some that have been 5 years since my last report.


So save your work it may come in handy for you someday.

Link to comment

Nice job on your county, mloser. It is quite an accomplishment! Over 200 marks in a single county is quite an impressive number. And you had some unusual situations, too!


I am working on several counties at once in northeast OH and western PA. My home county has over 500, and a somewhat nearby rural county has less than 30. Still, I feel a sense of accomplishment every time I find a mark; there are so many that are gone! Yesterday I found one underground with correct coordinates, but the description was inaccurate. Out this way, we have quite a few marks in the intersections of busy roads, in a well under the road. Not much chance of recovering those unless I go out on New Year's Day? Also, the airports may or may not be a problem, depending on their size. Greater Pittsburgh Airport has a few marks, but it will be interesting to see if they will allow me to look for them, with so much tightened security. What the heck, it's just fun to get out and look, seeing different areas of the country. I am planning a trip down South soon, and I hope to find a few down there.


Keep working on Dauphin County, as you may be able to complete it, despite the obstacles.

Link to comment

Congrats mloser, nicely done !!


Ain't gonna happen here in our county, too many gone or buried in mon-boxes in the middle of the road.


My present goal is to recover all the stations listed in the NGS data base that are Ohio-Michigan border stations. Many are large granite monuments, some are regular BM discs. I have one to go, number 63A, and that goal will be achieved. Alas, it is in a mon-box under a VERY busy road, but I have a plan. A fellow cacher and very good friend is a local policeman, and some AM when he's working, he's going to have a traffic detail for a couple of minutes..... :)

Link to comment



So many are gone! My history has shown between 1/4 and 1/3 are no longer there, depending on the area.


Way to go on the mon box! See how obsessive we get? I guess I was lucky in finding a quick connection to getting on Fort Indiantown Gap property, but I could have asked the base commander if it hadn't happened as it did. The only permission I don't seek is railroad, because I know the answer will be a flat out no. That is what makes a few of the marks in neighboring Dauphin County so hard--they are along a very busy railroad and simply aren't reachable easily.


Not everyone can finish a county, and there is no need to set a goal like that if it is not doable. I only realized it was possible when I had about 10 to go and they all just ones I had put off because they were mostly boring rivets. I admit it DOES feel good to put a mental check mark beside something, since this hobby can be all consuming and really has no end. Nor do I want it to!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...