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A good day

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There are still many miles of virgin territory everywhere.


But tis getting harder to find the easy trails to the benchmarks.

How many trails have we traveled,how many tales can we speak?


From Ocean to Ocean and few Majestic Peaks,

It is those little brass objects weez diligently seeks.


Ask us a reason we know not why,

But in our truck many a mile we will fly.


Over the hill over, the dell maybe even at the gates of well!!!!!!!!

I am sure we have all felt we have been there anyway.


Each journey is just that a journey into the past of some kind.

Are we going to be part of the find?

I only hope in recovery and not as a part of the monument.

But we can leave a part by leaving a legacy of good re pore and stories for our grand children to read about in time..


I could go on and act like a poet if I was but I ain't well shuk's I ain't but have fun describing my stories.


I still feel like I have just begun to be a part of the whole concept and understanding of the relativity of the weight of the matter at hand.

But will refrain from all the elaborate words for in the whole they all are meaningless.


I just have fun in and with life and hope others catch it too.

Now if that ain't a story that says a whole lot about nothing?


I like to read and look at everyone here's stories,logs, adventures and misadventures as well.

You are all appreciated by me just been busy lately and will be for a while.

Just always remember.

Have fun be safe and



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Yes indeed, nice going oldfarts. You guys sure are an awesome team!. The terrain looks about like the areas we worked together around Laughlin last year, with the turn of the century drill holes. Next time John has some time off, let me know, maybe we can get together again! ;)


Another Delorme Topo USA / USGS Quads / PN-40 / 4WD Hemi user here. Can't be beat for benchmark hunting in our part of the country! :P


Sounds good to us. It looks like the next available time off for us will be April 22nd through the 25th (and maybe the 26th).


Check your calender and see how that looks for you. Tropicana Express in Laughlin again?


If anyone else wants to join in, check your calenders and let us know.


There are still several lines of old (1920, 1934 & 1935) ones we haven't gotten to yet, and they haven't been logged on GC yet!


Add me to the list, I had so much fun the last time and haven't been back to Laughlin since. I drive 95 every time I go to Vegas and remember fondly the fun out on the dirt roads. I even have a Jeep now.

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Yes indeed, nice going oldfarts. You guys sure are an awesome team!. The terrain looks about like the areas we worked together around Laughlin last year, with the turn of the century drill holes. Next time John has some time off, let me know, maybe we can get together again! :laughing:


Another Delorme Topo USA / USGS Quads / PN-40 / 4WD Hemi user here. Can't be beat for benchmark hunting in our part of the country! ;)


Sounds good to us. It looks like the next available time off for us will be April 22nd through the 25th (and maybe the 26th).


Check your calender and see how that looks for you. Tropicana Express in Laughlin again?


If anyone else wants to join in, check your calenders and let us know.


There are still several lines of old (1920, 1934 & 1935) ones we haven't gotten to yet, and they haven't been logged on GC yet!


Add me to the list, I had so much fun the last time and haven't been back to Laughlin since. I drive 95 every time I go to Vegas and remember fondly the fun out on the dirt roads. I even have a Jeep now.


A Jeep? Do you mean to say a "Travel Bug Jeep" or an adult version? :P


It will be good to see you again!



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April in Laughlin works for me! I'll put it on the calender. Sounds like it's time for a Spring in Laughlin benchmark hunting event! Everyone welcome.


All right! A meet and greet Benchmark Hunting Convoy Event and everyone is welcome to come along!! (Does anyone want to make an official event or just a laid back come if you want to meeting?) Either way, it will be fun!



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Finally got back out into the "hills" for a day off, I hadn't downloaded any benchmarks so we drove right past one - had to go back a few days later and find it :angry:


It hasn't been officially logged since it was monumented in 1936, but had been logged at GS. There is a summit log, with dates back to 97 I think, so plenty of visitors.


The description on the datasheet is outdated, but I don't have distances in my log, CG1049

Would this description be useful for the report as is? minus the personal comments, of course.


We were going to try to find another one, not logged since 36, but decided to find out where a road went and ran out of time.

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Coincidentally, my good day on Friday took me down into dixiedawn territory, just a little iover 5 miles west of her find on YOUNG. I was out to visit the former location of CG1052 BALDY on the summit of Mount Wrightson, which recently became of interest to me as a recent find of DA1442 TABLE led me to discover USC&GS Special Publication 11, The Texas-California Arc of Primary Triangulation (33.9 MB PDF). The segment of the arc crossing Arizona was completed in the third season of of the survey (1910-1911), crossing from a baseline near Deming, NM to one between stations SAN JACINTO and CUYAMACA (Reset) in Southern California. The survey also tied in to international boundary points near Nogales and Yuma, and to additional points in California near Needles. Thirteen principal stations in Arizona were occupied to survey the arc and I've now challenged myself to visit all of their positions.


I got a bit of a late start to the day, but I got down to the trailhead and onto the trail by 10:30 for the five mile hike to the summit. Along the last bit of the drive in up Madera Canyon, the mountain looks pretty imposing




but as it turns out the trail I took (Old Baldy) is well maintained and made the elevation gain of 4000 feet at a pretty even rate. In order to make up for the late start and allow some time for searching at the summit, I pushed myself up a little harder than I should have, but I made the summit in good time and began to search. Sometime after it was occupied in 1910, a Fire Lookout Tower was built on the site, destroying BALDY in the process. In 1935, a new station BALDY 2 was monumented 75 feet southwest of BALDY. A virtual geocache has been placed requiring a photo of "the NGS disk," the disk required being a reference mark disk stamped BALDY NO 1 1935. Coordinates for the cache are for that spot, but the disk has since been pried from its setting. Some subsequent photos on the cache page show a different reference mark disk stamped BALDY NO 2 1935, which was a bit puzzling because only one RM is listed on the data sheet.


I arrived first at the drill hole spot, and with the cache coordinates loaded in my GPSr spotted it quickly. Switching to the coordinates of the station mark, it appeared to be correctly the location of BALDY 2 RM 1, so I got out my tape and compass and measured out to a nondescript spot on the ground (marked by the tape case):




Not having come prepared to dig, and not trusting a measurement from one reference mark only to want to dig, I decided to move on to my other search. While BALDY had been destroyed, its reference mark was a chiseled cross and I was hoping I'd be able to find it. I wandered past the lookout tower foundation (where I'm sure I was getting some strange looks from the dozen or so hikers lunching there watching me pace and tape) to the northeast end of the summit. I had done a FORWARD calc of the reference mark's position, and when I reached it I looked around a bit and spotted some letters chiseled on a rock, RP. My first thought was that it was a hiker's initials (which is not uncommon around here), but the letters were deeper than usual for that, and then I noticed what looked like a faint arrow above the letters. My next thought was that it was an azimuth arrow pointing to CZ1814 RINCON PEAK, which had been sighted as an intersection station from BALDY, but that didn't quite make sense, and after checking my compass, the azimuth of the arrow wasn't anywhere close to correct for that. A third look above the top of the arrow revealed the cross.




It wasn't until I dusted the RP lettering for a better photo that I spotted the clincher. Below the RP dusting revealed a chiseled USGS as well!




I started back to pick up my pack and head down, but before I got there I happened to spot the BALDY 2 RM 2 disk:




Another look at the datasheet makes it look to me that the BALDY 2 station disk and reference marks were erroneously stamped BALDY, hence the 1957 USGS recovery report noting that "ATTENTION CALLED TO POINT OUT THAT STAMPING DOES NOT AGREE WITH DESIGNATION, ESPECIALLY SINCE THERE WAS AN OLDER USGS STATION BALDY ON THIS SAME TOP. REFERENCE MARKS IN GOOD CONDITION."


Finding the chiseled cross was enough goodness for one day, but now with two good points (and maybe some help from the arrow on the remaining RM disk) a return for a more serious search for BALDY 2 will now have to be made.


And for Shirley, here's a gratuitous scenery shot (looking southeast from the summit):



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Wow SouthPawaz!


Your recovery almost rivals a PapaBear Adventure®. - Nicely done!

I especially liked the 1910 Flat Triangulation Station disk on Baldy. NGS Surveyor would be interested in that also.

Had trouble seeing the arrow. :D


You've got to post a detailed report when you find the circled cross at CUYAMACA RESET.

~ Mitch ~

Edited by Difficult Run
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Two great days on top the Colorado Plateau west of Moab yielded 14 marks and lots of brass with most having two RM's and an AZ. Two-wheel drive, long wheel base access was better than expected with one "DRIVE" station and the longest hike was a four mile round trip to get four PID's (two county line / triangulation station pairs).


Added to the rock outcrop and cliff scenery was a female Bighorn Sheep near WHITE and a coyote crossing the Mineral Bottom Rd this morning.


My primary targets were the Grand - San Juan county line markers. It seemed unusual to have that many marks right on the county line. Does this happen in other states or was it to solve a feud here?


When I found the first two yesterday and noticed that the factory stamping had been X'd out, I looked at the GEOCACHE logs for JM0578 and JM0571 which showed the same over-stamping; but no one had made note of it.


After finding JM0548 SAND well south of the Canyonlands NP boundary markers this morning, I decided to get an HH2 distance off. At a boundary marker bearing 006 degrees 325 feet from the original county mark I found a different (smaller disk, smaller post) mark factory stamped GRAND CO SAN JUAN CO and field stamped SAND. This is at N38D30' which appears to also be the county line latitude all the way to Colorado.


A similar small disk was found about 40 feet SW of JM0578 and I see one with a log of Jm0571.


Hope to have photos posted tomorrow morning.


Do these blunders still count, or should they be considered DESTROYED?


Great fun when you never know what a day in the field will turn up! kayakbird

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Hallelujah!!! John finally found it!!


K 51. We were looking for a cave listed on the topo map to no avail and I noticed that House Rock had a different mark on the map than the small old building that has the name "House Rock" on it. So, we set the trip odometer and off we went. When we got to the correct mileage - there we were at the spot that John had metal detected before going from the other part of the description. He stopped and I looked out of the window to see the large group of Yucca bushes and said to John - "You didn't use the metal detector under those Yucca bushes, did you? The only places left are under bushes."


So, He got out one last time with his trusty detector and paced the distance from the "Fall". It put him looking over at the Yucca but another bush was at his feet. Yup, you guessed it!! That old mark had gotten covered up by sand and the bushes had grown around and over it. YAAAA! We finally found it!!!


It ended up being a Good Day! == also on the way home we started seeing Deer and more Deer and MORE DEER!

FUN!!! We got some good pictures of those also!!




PS - Thank you southpawaz for meeting up with John at an earlier time to try for this one.

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Hallelujah!!! John finally found it!!


Congratulations ! It's great to find those older marks that haven't been found in a while.


Someday soon I hope to try for one that hasn't been found since it was monumented in '36.


Here's to tempting you,


FR0591 1926

FR0612 1926

FS0798 a square hole 1944

FS0812 1944

FR0590 1935


There are plenty more just waiting for someone to come along and find them!


If enough people are interested and there is a 1 day contest, these maybe worth a some kind of prize.



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We went back out today, and found the 1936 station we didn't have time for the other day. It was way too easy, I'm sure many people have seen it, just no one has reported it to NGS since it was monumented. It was a "great"* day to be out there, though, temps in the upper 60s, partly cloudy -- not bad for December.

We took my brother's dog, a 12 yr old Brittany, and we all enjoyed a lunch before taking the walk out to the station CG1066 Unfortunately, the location is obviously a popular relaxing spot for the open-range cattle, so it was impossible to get location shots without a lot of ... stuff... in them :o


*station name = GREAT, located above the town of Greaterville.

Edited by dixiedawn
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My benchmarking this season was "episodic" or in other words I had multi-day periods with lots of hunting and a fair amount of finding separated by long periods where I was doing other things entirely.


One such period was my trip to New Hampshire (plus a jaunt to Canada) in late September.


I met a friend and we worked Saturday, Sunday, Monday and part of Tuesday. We were hunting for border monuments and triangulation stations along Halls Stream (which separates New Hampshire from Canada) and had good results - with a few disappointments.


But it was on Friday - the day before my friend arrived that I had an unexpectedly good day. I had hoped to get up to our target area in Pittsburg NH early and do some leisurely poking around before the real stuff started on Saturday, but I had a bit more time than planned, and a lot more luck. This was definitely a good day.


Here's a map: Map for Friday Sept. 25th


#1 - LOT


I started up Halls Stream Road and first knocked on the door of an old house on whose property station "LOT" was located. The pleasant elderly woman didn't know there was some kind of marker on her land, but she knew that her neighbor had parked his old truck on her land and wanted me to know it. She said her land went up to the New Hampshire line (her house was in Vermont) and that truck was on her land. I was sympathetic but excused myself after she said sure, find the mark (hoping that it would somehow prove he claim).


The mark was on a little hummock about 50 yards back from the road and was just in front of the bluff that dropped off about 10 - 15 feet down towards the stream. It was a triangulation mark used to establish the location of the boundary at that point. That point is the tri-point where New Hampshire, Vermont and Quebec meet and is where the boundary changes from following the center of the stream down from the mountains to become a straight line heading west, ultimately to the St. Lawrence River.


After about 15 minutes of probing and using the metal detector, I got a hit and cleared away an inch or two of dirt to find the station. The station was also the easternmost station to be found in Vermont at that point in time. I went back and told the woman of the find and she was quite pleased but still wanted me to know that the neighbors truck was on her land. Click on the icon for LOT on the map, and then click on the MAP link to get a large map. Change the map type to Satellite and zoom in and you just might see the neighbor's truck. :D


I was 1 for 1 for the day.


QH0624 LOT





#2 - REF MON 512


I then headed up the road a couple of miles to look for Reference Monument 512. This was originally set in 1845 and was one of 10 reference monuments along the shore of Halls Stream (only 6 remain). Since the actual boundary was in the middle of the stream, the line was unmarked, but these reference monuments served as a basis for establishing the locations of the turning points when the line was originally laid out.


It was in the back of a field of an old farm, which seemed abandoned. A lady in the next farm house said the owner was away but she was sure it would be OK for me to go looking for what ever it was I was looking for,


After I circled the over grown field, I found an old road - a trail really - which followed the margin of the stream. And there peeking out from the grass was my monument, right on the edge of the stream. The original description said it was "3 feet south of the southeast wing wall of the east abutment of the highway bridge on the road heading from Fred Owen's farm, in Quebec, to Jubal Wheeler's farm." The bridge was long gone, the abutment but a pile of rocks, but the monument was doing fine.


Not an NGS station, but on my personal list. I was 2 for 2.


IBC Reference Monument 512







Across the road from the monument and on the top of a hill, was one of the principal stations of the triangulation done in 1915 when the border was resurveyed. I guess they had no name for the hill, so the statio9n was simply designated "Hill Tablet".


Here's the map showing the triangulation with the border (in red) and some of the reference stations (in green) shown. You can see that Hill Tablet was a pivotal point along the lower Halls Stream section: Triangulation Map. The stations are in the lower part of the border in New Hampshire.


I found a logging road and a newer road with that looked like some new houses were in the offing and I got to within about 1/2 mile of the station. An easy bushwhack got me there in about a half hour. This was a lucky one - although the description mentioned a high pasture (long since gone to forest) it mentioned a large rock out cropping and there indeed was a large outcropping where my GPS said it should be. Scraping away some moss revealed the station.


I was 3 for 3 for the day and feeling lucky.


QH0562 Hill Tablet






The last one look tough. The description said: "A bronze disk cemented in a drill hole in a buried rock." So how was I supposed to find a buried rock on a hill covered with rocks. Anyway, ever optimistic, I had spotted an old road on an aerial view on Google Maps and it started near a house on the road running along the north side of the Connecticut River. This is in that little sliver of Vermont which sticks into New Hampshire at this point.


The requisite elderly woman answered the door. But this time is was not a neighbor's truck that concerned her but a large "wild cat" that had been seen in the woods. I asked if it were a Bob cat and she said no, but didn't know what kind of cat. So with her permission I fearlessly entered the jungle behind her house with my machete --- er I mean I walked in on the old road with my GPS and found my way up Beecher Hill searching for, no, not a wild cat, but Beecher Tablet on a buried rock. I got to the general, area and metal detected and probed for about a half hour. Then I gave a kick to an old rotten log I kept having to step over and the metal detector went beeeep. I scraped away some detritus with my foot and found my mark on a decidedly UNburied rock. At least the top was unburied. This was a first find since it was set in 1916. In 1971 (without a GPS or a metal detector) they failed to find it. Since the mark was close to 150 feet from the top of the hill (which was ill defined), not 125 as stated in the description, it was no wonder They couldn't find it.


But I did! :D And a first to find to boot, and now the new easternmost station to be found in Vermont! (beating out LOT, which had held that distinction for about 3 and a half hours)


4 for 4. A very good day!


QH0564 Beecher Tablet




The irony was, that over the next 4 days we failed to find any of the old IBC triangulation station we searched for (we did find plenty of other stations) in spite of my having found 3 out of 3 of them that first afternoon. Go figure!

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC
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...And a first to find to boot, and now the new easternmost station to be found in Vermont! (beating out LOT, which had held that distinction for about 3 and a half hours)


4 for 4. A very good day!


Papa Bear,


What an incredible day you had! Wow. We are envious.


You must have been quite excited when you scraped the debris from the QH0564 rock and saw the first part of the disk.


We love your stories and we learn much from your posts.



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Yesterday dawned clear and cold with most of the valley snow gone in the Moab valley. A perfect day to come out of hibernation and maybe get my first find of the year. I had prepared a target list two months ago for the Cisco area 40 miles NE up UT 128 from here so with a C Store breakfast, off I went.


Did a little birding along the way hoping to catch a Snow Bunting among the numerous flocks of Horned Larks, but no luck.


I could have used my x/c skis, which I had with me to reach Kurt's 'drive station',



but my boots were back at the cabin.

I could see that with 2WD and tender knees it was not the day to work the RR back west to Cresent Junction, so I headed to the BLM Westwater Ranger Station on the Colorado River.


The river ice conditions along UT 128 had not given me much hope of using the kayak and all the required equipment that I had loaded the day before. Thinking that I would have to sneak along the RR ROW for 1.5 mi I was amazed to find the river open and with just a bit of work had an ice shelf at launch height. In a few minutes the Purple River Rat was headed upstream and managed to find a perfect landing at a GPSr +/- 100ft from what has been number one on my target list for the last three months.



Even managed to bag a bird on the way out.


Didn't quite have to shovel to get out of the Westwater parking lot - so all in all a GOOD DAY. MEL

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I had a really good day last weekend. I headed down early for the awesome annual Yuma Event #7 and spent Friday doing my first "car-marking" run of the year. I spent most of the day hunting the level line along old US 80, now the frontage road along Interstate 8, between Yuma and Holtville.


The original C&GS level line was run in 1927, and additional marks were set in 1941. Some of those were reset in 1967 and 1968 to move them out of harm's way from the construction of the Interstate. Yet more additional marks were set in 1971, and still more in 1981. I was also able to pick up some conveniently located roadside triangulation stations and additional bench marks set by Imperial County. With such a dense concentration of marks (aided by separate PIDs for reference marks on the triangulation stations), I was able to log almost 50 finds in about 6 hours of hunting.


Probably the highlight of the day was crossing over to the south side of the highway to peek through the fence (with the consent of a Border Patrol Agent stationed nearby) at DB1383 BOUNDARY MON 211 MX US, the first one of those that I had seen:



Here's a detail of the plaque:



One somewhat unusual pair of finds was on both DB0363 V 613 and DB0362 V 613 RESET, apparently set with the expectation of destruction by interstate construction that never occurred.


I ended the day driving back across Yuma and then northeast to set up camp and watch the sun set on DW0916 CASTLE DOME PEAK, my goal for the next day:



Saturday night I returned to the California side and was able to pick up about a dozen more marks Sunday morning as I headed back to town for the event. One cool thing from the morning was seeing this old 4x4 witness post with raised lettering at DB0079 J 614 RESET, I don't recall seeing one like it before (look familiar, fossillady?).


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I was able to log almost 50 finds in about 6 hours of hunting.





One cool thing from the morning was seeing this old 4x4 witness post with raised lettering at DB0079 J 614 RESET, I don't recall seeing one like it before.


Being able to log 50 finds in 6 hours... I am speechless. WOW! WOW! WOW!


Is the lettering raised because the letters were painted, and over the years they wore down less than the surrounding wood?


Thanks for sharing.

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Being able to log 50 finds in 6 hours... I am speechless. WOW! WOW! WOW!


Is the lettering raised because the letters were painted, and over the years they wore down less than the surrounding wood?


Thanks for sharing.


The next day it took me 6 hours to log the one, though (I'm not big on logging finds on intersection peaks without climbing them).


I think the lettering was raised originally. This side was actually the least well preserved, but the only one that would photograph well due to the low morning sun.


If any SoCal folks get out that way before I get back down that way, after these are added and counted, about 10 more NGS logs will turn Imperial County red on holograph's map.

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Care to tell us about your "good" days benchmarking?



We just had one last Sunday, where it was really one of those "better to be lucky than good" things. We were searching for AZ Mark 2 (CQ3497) to the triangulation station Ticheli (CQ2721). AZ Mark 2 has it's own designation in the NGS database, which evidently has been bluebooked since gc.com uploaded their database, because gc.com doesn't have it listed.


Anyhow, we arrived at the site, and stuck a ground probe down in the wrong place (kinda just sticking the probe in the ground to hold it out of the way), but felt like we hit concrete. We then kept probing around and kept hitting a fairly wide base of concrete, so it seemed.......still away from where we actually were supposed to look for the disk.


Once we dug down, the concrete didn't look correct, and we finally realized it was the setting laying on it's side. We dug to the end of it, lo and behold, there was the disk still set in it.


We probably never would have found it, if we had looked in the correct position first. It being on it's side like it was, the metal detector wouldn't have found it either.


We did find part of the original concrete setting way down in the ground where it was supposed to be. Our thinking is some kind of machinery sheared the concrete, and set the top part away from the bottom part.


When Lady Luck shines on you like that, then it has to be a good day benchmarking. :D BTW, I really enjoy reading and looking at everyone's benchmarking experiences. I wish we had some of the historical or significant ones nearby like I am seeing ya post.





Edited by LSUFan
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We headed down to Tucson on Thursday to see the grandkids. The start of a good long weekend.


We made a side stop north of Cameron AZ and did a find on K 6. It was monumented in 1921 and declared lost in 1955. A First to Recover since it was monumented and a Found of a Not Found benchmark.



Things were going good.


We spent the night in Camp Verde and Found another Not Found. Monumented in 1933 and Not Found in 1982. Things are going good.


We got to Tucson on Friday and took our daughter and her 2 kids caching. The granddaughter is ALMOST 2 years old and figured out the caching trade etiquette right off. At the first cache she decided that she wanted a little toy and was willing to put a different toy back in the cache. At the second cache when it was opened she grabbed a golf ball from the cache and a small plastic ball from the cache bag and immediately dropped it into the cache. Things are going good. Her brother is 5 years old and we gave him the GPSr and said to watch the numbers go down so we could get to the cache. He took the GPSr and got to within 9 feet of the cache, so we told him to look close until he could see the cache. It only took him about 45 seconds to spot the cache. He was able to find the second just as easily.



Things are really good!


We headed home today. When we left Tucson it was pouring rain and it didn't let up until we got close to Phoenix. Things dried out and we had good roads until we got to Flagstaff where we got into some snow flurries. Once we got out of Flagstaff and down off the mountain, things got clear and nice. When we got close to Cameron, AZ we stopped for another 1921 disk that had been eluding us for sometime now. It was monumented in 1921 and recovered in 1934 and nothing since then.




A good weekend indeed!


John & Shirley

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In terms of being the FTF since the benchmark was last recovered by an official agency, I would have to say 5-29-07 was my best day spent in the desert of Southern Idaho looking for benchmarks. I recovered 33 benchmarks, a couple of caches, got lots of pictures of an approaching storm (which cut my trip short), and nearly stepped on a beautiful buzztail in the area of the first benchmark I searched for.

The area I was searching in is the Minnidoka/Arco Highway; not really a highway, just a track road through the desert that gets worse the farther north toward Arco that you go. I was driving my trusty '90 Dodge Geovan when I really should have been in something with a little more clearance.

The benchmarks found were: OY0607 - OY0618, NU1680, NU1333, NU0818 - NU0830, NU0832 - NU0836, and NU1684. The couple who followed me out there a couple of years later got FTF on the ones past where I turned around, but I plan on going back to find those also; to make the series complete, of course.

I got into looking for benchmarks because of a scarcity of caches in the area where I lived at the time and benchmark hunting gave me an excuse to get out. I also started a series of caches near some of the benchmarks I found called Benchmark It XX. To date, there have been 38 caches placed in the Benchmark It series; not all by me, but more will be added soon.

Of course, I'm looking forward to many more 'best days' while benchmarking because of some of the great places the search takes you to.

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For over a week now, I've been agonizing over what to post on this thread for a good day. A good day could have as many definitions as there are benchmark hunters. Is it quantity? Is it quality? Is it the scenery? Is it the company? Is it one super razoo mark in the middle of a busy day? Is it the beer afterward?


For now, while I think about starting a new thread on A GOOD TRIP, let me post a "good day" thot from the first real benchmark hunting day of my recent two-week trip with KayakBird to Nevada, Arizona, California, and Idaho. Prior to the trip, I put together a hit list of benchmarks to look for. First on the list was BULLSHEAD. I put this on the list, number one, because while looking at PIDs on Google Earth, it looked intersting and, number two, because it was near Laughlin which was our first planned hotel stop after coming out of camp at Arizona Hot Springs. When I looked it up on GeoCaching, something just didn't ring true with the logged finds. See BOGUS post.


Sooooo, we just had to find it. And find it we did. The real benchmark, that is! We had a great hike, found all the related brass, and got some killer views of the area to boot. If memory serves me correctly, we probably had a brew or two of some kind once we got checked in to the Colorado Belle.



View from BULLSHEAD toward Lake Mohave.



View toward Laughlin, NV

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Another good day benchmarking. I only recovered 2 marks, but they sure had that feeling of success that comes from having made more than 1 attempt and/or First to recover since it was monumented.


The first was D 144 . I had tried for this one once before and the coordinates are way off, so I used aerial maps to try and determine where the old roads mentioned in the description went. I found what appeared to be those roads and came up with a set of coordinates That I hoped would get us close to the benchmark and then we could rely on our eyes to spot the clay tile holding the benchmark. As we got close to the target area I spotted what looked to be the road running to the NE. I tried getting a picture, but the road just doesn't show up very well in that picture.


Once we found the benchmark I paced in the direction of the road and at 141' I was about 1 pace from the south edge of the road.


The arrow points to the witness post and station.



On the way back to civilization we stop and tried for another mark that turned out to be a First to Recover! Place in 1962 in the middle of nowhere. Z 143 was recovered in good condition, but the witness post was laying flat on the ground when we got there. We braced it upright with what few sandstone rocks where there.




Just one of those days where you just have to smile the whole day long after those recoveries!





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YAHOO! We had a blast on Saturday and Sunday!!


I am going to tell about just one of the special marks that we found. It is one of those white granite posts with the square surrounded by U S B M chiseled in the top of the post.


O 5 FS0824




On Friday we met up with Klemmer and southpawaz at Laughlin to plan the next couple of days hunting and go get a bite to eat. (Sadly fossillady couldn't make this trip due to vehicle problems, bummer :) ) We started out on Saturday at the south end of Lanfair Road in SAN BERNARDINO county, CA. and worked our way north. We had recovered several 1944 disks before we came to the turn off that led us towards O 5. We used the 2 4X4 vehicles and went as far as the Guzzler shown on the Delorme Topo 8 map on our laptop. The 4 of us headed on foot the rest of the way, watching out for any signs of the description - copper rock monument, poles, abandoned RR bed or the reference post or the granite post itself.


John and southpawaz stayed up high going different directions and Klemmer and I headed down towards a pole we spotted. John stayed in our view and had spotted several other poles. But, Bobby (southpawaz) hollered that he had found the copper rock monument! We all converged upon that. It had eroded quite a bit, but still there. John then started pacing off the distance and in the direction that was stated on the data sheet. He spotted the beautiful white granite post from about 30 feet away. YAHOO!!! We recovered a mark that had 2 DNFs for the last logs and had not been seen since 1944!!


What a Good Day!


The rest of the day went very well also. But, I will let the others tell you about some of the other marks - *4* more white granite posts and lots of disks and one 1907 pipe cap!


Or maybe Klemmer will want to tell about one on Sunday, or some of his finds either before we met up or after we left. He was going to go try to find some of those OLD drill holes that had no description....wish we had had a little more time off to go with him on that quest....


Thank you Bobby and Klemmer for making this trip Extra Special for us. :D



Edited by 2oldfarts (the rockhounders)
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YAHOO! We had a blast on Saturday and Sunday!!


O 5 FS0824


Thank you Bobby and Klemmer for making this trip Extra Special for us. :)






Might you share the HH2 for O 5? Old eyes can't quite read yer PN40 pic in yer recovery. I'm curious to know how far off KayakBird and I were.


Sounds like you guys had a pretty good trip over all!!




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YAHOO! We had a blast on Saturday and Sunday!!


O 5 FS0824


Thank you Bobby and Klemmer for making this trip Extra Special for us. :)






Might you share the HH2 for O 5? Old eyes can't quite read yer PN40 pic in yer recovery. I'm curious to know how far off KayakBird and I were.


Sounds like you guys had a pretty good trip over all!!





I had hoped both of you could join us on this hunt. I hope we can meet up some day....


The coordinates we had on the PN 40 were N 35° 1.5508 W 115° 9.1610.

And the data sheet had N 35° 01.567 W 115° 09.200.


It seemed strange to me that they had run the rail road down in the valley. If it hadn't been for seeing the poles and Bobby finding the rock monument, I think it would have been very difficult. If it had been just John and I, I do not know if we would have been as lucky on this one.


Sometimes having more eyes looking really does help.



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YAHOO! We had a blast on Saturday and Sunday!!


O 5 FS0824


Thank you Bobby and Klemmer for making this trip Extra Special for us. ;)






Might you share the HH2 for O 5? Old eyes can't quite read yer PN40 pic in yer recovery. I'm curious to know how far off KayakBird and I were.


Sounds like you guys had a pretty good trip over all!!





John, the actual location of the granite post is about 338 feet southeast (bearing 124.3°) from the coordinates on the benchmark page.


How good was the rest of the trip? ;)B)


Glad I asked.


We recovered 6 1907 marks (granite posts and Pipe caps), 2 1912 marks, 2 1926 marks, 7 1935 marks, 2 1936 marks, 22 1944 marks, and only 3 marks from 1966 to 1982. We recovered 5 of the granite post, 1 set vertical in a rock wall, a 1907 pipe cap and a 1912 pipe cap.


Now that the finding is over, I have about 170 pictures that need sized and adjusted before I get to the logging of over 40 benchmarks including a few destroyed and some not founds.


And the beautiful scenery and flowers that were in bloom just add to pleasure of the trip.


Good company, good finds, good scenery, wildlife, and more just can't be beat.



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My best "Good Day" ever (so far, as there are always more to come, right?):

I'm still downloading / looking thru pics, but from a solo day (Monday 4/19) west of Laughlin NV.


Three "ghost" 1899 drill holes (these are marks in the NGS database with "No Descriptive Text Available").




The coords from the NGS "List" function were EXACT within HH2 tolerance) all three times. Amazing. All three drill holes there, one a "poor" because of the rotten granite eroded since 1899. These are the ones with no datasheets at the moment. When I log them, the datasheet will then exist. Papa Bear NYC was my inspiration for this "technique". I did a lot of reseach on these using the 1900 annual report from US C&GS. Thanks to NGS for scanning those reports an putting them on line. Of course, these will all be first recoveries. There are many more of these along the SW border of CA / NV. Come and get them!


Also, two more 1899 drill holes, tri -stations:

BEATTY - Will probably log as poor on NGS, as the rock with the drill hole in looked to probably be moved.

QUAIL: Good.


T141 - might be there. Cairn destroyed. Too much digging for me. Tired, late, hot (humid!).....

BOUNDARY POST 141 - 1936 disk (and RM's) recovered. I need to research what happened to the 1899 drill hole (BOUNDARY MON 141 CA NV). I think the 1936 disk was put into the 1899 drill hole.


T142 - destroyed, in a dump area (per previous log, I think)

BOUNDARY MON 142 CA NV - Needs more research. Newer mark over the old one, I think.


One GREAT DAY! (after two previous great ones with 2oldfarts and southpawaz, and one more before that solo). Still recovering..... Many, many pics to sort, logs to write....

Edited by Klemmer & TeddyBearMama
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Well, I finally got to go after one that I've wanted to find for a few years. LY2638 Indian Point The land is now Delaware Water Gap NRA. The private road listed in the 1959 recovery is closed, and posted as 'off limits'. It took me a few tries to find an alternate way in. (The DWG is tough on marks along Federal Road. No digging or metal detectors permitted.) I ran out of time on my last attempt, but found a horse riding trail that goes up the mountain. This time I drove in on the unmaintained dirt road, and ascended the horse riding trail to its intersection with the old private road. And climbed another hundred feet up the hillside. Total distance about three-quarter mile with about 450 feet of climb. I did not search for RM 2 (listed as missing) because I did NOT want to fall down the hundred foot slope. I had enough trouble getting up that slope!!

The air must have been clearer fifty years ago. I could not see the azimuth mark, High Point Monument, 15.8 km to the north. And it always worries me when I see the vultures swirling below me! No sure what the NJ Department of Conservation and Development is doing monumenting triangulation stations in Pennsylvania!

So, for the views...


Station view south


RM 1 View East


View south along the Delaware River


View north toward High Point Monument


Gratuitous view of the station, with 1 instead of I, and the O on its side...

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A good day of hunting on Kings Hill, US 89 north from White Sulphur Springs to Belt, Montana 15 JUN 2010. Sunshine, rain (hard for quite awhile at



RW0137 - which belongs in Meagher Co, not Cascade), one of my summer target birds and a good Pigs a** Porter and hamburger in Belt at the end of the day.


A nice mixed bag of 11 FOUND (should have been a dozen but RW0132 is not in Geocache)


RW0131 and 12 NOT FOUND - five before my first Found and all disturbed by road improvements and/or railroad abandonment.


Three were previously logged by CallawayMT and three are previous NOT FOUND


SS0304 is a double NOT FOUND.


Two were Bureau of Public Road marks, but one of those is a gold metal NONPID.




All but one were older than me.




That one and this one


RW0128 are more than six seconds off the DS L/L.


Almost every NGS recovery will require a remark - UGH!!! MEL

Edited by kayakbird
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All the boring details... Dolphin runs amok... Okay. five days, not one...

My sister proposed a vacation trip to South Carolina and Georgia to color in those states on her geocaching map. And allowed us to continue on to Florida, so we could color in that state. High of 105º and lows in the high 70s: not the best time for geocaching/benchmarking. My sister enjoys sightseeing as well (incredible, not???) So, the trip was planned for Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, St Augustine, Brunswick and Charleston. Circles and Andy Bear allot me a certain amount of time to hunt benchmarks along the way, so I usually go for easy or interesting ones. My goal was to color in (on holograph's map) Liberty, McIntosh and Camden Counties Georgia (someone beat me to Camden), and Nassau County, Florida.

First stop: Charleston, South Carolina, and a virtual cache at Whites Point, base on a benchmark...




Plus RM 1 & 2 Oddly Battery 3 has not been reported in a while, while the RMs have been.

Next stop:


BR1256 CHESTER 3 Liberty County, Georgia

Also found this one:


But from the description, it's probably Chester 3 RM8, not Chester 3 RM 10

BR0964 CHESTER 3 RM 10

Next one was also Liberty County, couldn't fine Harry. It was 103º out!!!

Cheap, easy find in Camden County, Georgia:


BC0760 J 326

Nassau County, Florida. No idea why no one has logged one here. It's close to Jacksonville...


AB4023 74 94 GPS 14

Sorry, no great views on any of these...

Then, of course, which I've posted elsewhere...



And definitely!



Fla Geocac

More to come...

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Another cheap find, with lots of logs, but beautiful spot...



AQ1543 NPS RESET But the major reason for going to St Augustine was to visit Castillo San Marcos!

Looked for BR0088 1 GC B 2 with no luck. No digging or metal detectors in NPS land. But did find, nearby:


BR0091 TIDAL 3 at Fort Frederica National Monument in Glynn County Georgia.

Since I couldn't find one in McIntosh County on the way down, we settled for:



BR0868 W 151 RESET Oh, well. Sometimes we are cheap...

And we made it back into Charleston with enough time to take the ferry to Fort Sumter National Monument. "Mr. Ranger. I see a benchmark over here behind the fence. Can I take a close up photo of it?" He agreed, AND accompanied us!!!



CJ0153 866 5728 TIDAL 11 RESET

So, that's what I did on my vacation! Twelve benchmarks. Two DNFs. Should color in three counties on the map. Hee hee hee. Oh, and colored in three states on my geocachig map.

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I recently found myself with a free Saturday afternoon and decided to try and find FV1888 - Sierra Nevada which is over on the coast even though I had previously decided to concentrate on an inland level run that is partially in the Los Padres National Forest.


I tried to find this station back in June but was stumped. The station is out on a point and I got confused with the measurements called out in the description - four measurements from the bluff edges on the point.


I had a mental picture of approximately where it should be from Google Earth and Maps. All my measurements were complicated by not being confident where the bluff edge was - the vegetation stopped at about a foot or two from what was probably the real bluff edge (topsoil was eroded on a downward slope to the edge) and through decades of vigorous safety practices at work I've become reluctant to stand on undercut cliff edges without fall protection ;) so I just used the edge of the vegetation.


The station description calls are:


40 feet south of the seaward point

There is a 'point' north of the stations approximate location (GPSr) but this 'point' is definitely NOT seaward it points north not west/seaward


30 feet SW of the bluff edge

10 feet NE of the bluff edge

the total NE/SW diagonal distance seemed less than 40'


24 feet north of the bluff edge

This measurement didn't jive at all with the other three


Because of my confusion I relied on my metal detector to find it, the area at the end of the point isn't that big so I figured it would be an easy find. The ground cover was about 6-8 inches thick - no match for my metal detector. Luckily there was what looked like one of the redwood stubs that was supposed to be 6 feet from the station according to the description. I searched and searched, with my metal detector, out to 10 feet from the stub/post. Hmmm... it didn't seem to be there, well maybe that wasn't one of the posts. I decided to search the whole north end of the point and still didn't find it (actually went over it a couple of times).


I gave up after a while, took pix of some cool succulent flowers that were right at the bluff edge and headed off for China and China Gulch which were also on my list for that day. I got stumped on these also because I couldn't get past Arroyo de los Chinos - the banks/bluffs were too steep with no paths and it was getting late.


-flower pix-





So with my free Saturday afternoon and a hankerin' for some beach-time I tried again for Sierra Nevada.

This time I decided to ignore the inconsistancies and just rely on the measurements. I set down my GPSr and made all the measurements placing a pile of rocks at each one. I started with 40 feet south of the seaward point. I picked points on the bluff edge for the other calls so that their terminus would be close to the first measurement. Curiously three of the measurements were pretty close to each other and made a triangle that was approximatley six feet west of that redwood stub/post. (yeay!!) I looked at all those lines and tried to picture where they would intersect if I swung arcs for them but none of those intersections really matched up with each other. Finally I got down on my knees (heavens to murgatroid) and began parting the ground cover within that triangle. I was actually surprised when I found it. It was pretty close to the first measurement and within that triangle - the purple dot in the pix below. The top of the monument was broken off and the disk is missing. The monument is poured concrete in an orangeburg soil pipe (lot of these around here on the coast) - no metal!! The monument is exactly 6' from the redwood stub.


-site sketch-




-Sierra Nevada surface mark monument



-Sierra Nevada redwood stub with imprint of a tack in the top



A little bird mentioned to me that I might want to post this and describe my methods - I was reluctant at first because it seemed haphazard at the time and in retrospect I wondered why I didn't search that 6' radius from the post on my hands and knees the first time! :blink:

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-Sierra Nevada redwood stub with imprint of a tack in the top






Great story. Great photos (nice and sharp given the limitations of geocaching picture posting restrictions). What camera are you using?


It must have felt great when you parted the vegetation to find the concrete.


So - is that redwood stub from the 1873 monumentation?

Edited by TillaMurphs
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What camera are you using?

So - is that redwood stub from the 1873 monumentation?

The pix of the stub/post (September log) are with a Sanyo S870 and the pix from the June log are with a Canon PowerShot A620. The LCD viewer on the Canon recently stopped working, the Sanyo is my wife's and I kinda confiscated it. I use IrfanView to resize/resample, sharpen and color adjust the pics to post them here.


Hard to say about the stub without a tack in it. The 1962 recovery mentioned the presence of two stubs and didn't mention replacing them. This would be the stub "to the east". That sure looks like the impression of the endpoint of some type of nail/tack. Here's a pic of a copper tack that I'm pretty sure is from 1883 (Red Rock) - it looks much smaller than that imprint in the top of the stub (the lead plug is about 1-1/2 inches across).



The stub is really weathered, I didn't get a side shot of it. It is definitely buried farther in the ground than I noted in the June log - you can wiggle it around on both axes, I'd say there is 1/8 inch clearance on the sides at least where it breaks the ground. I didn't measure it but it is protruding from the ground about six to eight inches. I guess a redwood post is a stub unless it sticks up from the ground by a certain amount? There was a piece of redwood laying on the ground southwest of the monument - I scraped down about an inch but didn't see any evidence of the southwest stub.


... base map on yer site sketches??
I had fun making that sketch. I made a screen shot from a satellite view then used Paint.Net to isolate the shape of the point and get its outline - then it has this cool tool (pencil or ink sketch, can't remember which) which made it look like a sketch.
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Any day benchmarking is a good day, some are just better than others.


Today was a very good day, indeed. We recovered 7 marks, 5 were recovered in good condition, 1 not found because we didn't have the right tool to clean out a deep hole in the concrete, and 1 found in destroyed condition.


The 1 that topped the day was a first to recover and the RMs were copper nails and washers in Joshua Trees. Here's a shot of RM2




BELL was monumented in 1958 and had no other recoveries since then.


We figured out how the old highway ran and figured out the access point for it and was very glad to have 4-wheel drive for this one.




Now to go finish logging our recoveries.


John & Shirley

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Westbound on the Mother Road - Historic Route 66 - 3 days Gallup to Kingman


High grading for 1909 PLN's and UNK's, I visited 24 of the 1909 locations (four were NONPID), found eight including three flat B.M. disks (1 is stem only), three copper bolts stamped USBM and two chiseled squares flanked by U [] S.


No stone posts or pipe caps were found this trip. RR improvements have been very hard on anything in the ROW and many marks on structures have been capped as ballast has been added. Three in the mix were previously NOT FOUND.


Best shot of a USBM copper bolt.




Best chiseled square.






Best 'WOW' shot.






Because I was checking marks listed as UNK I got a 1932 AZDOT on an abandoned Route 66 bridge.






I think I'm done with this run. Wish that I had lots of time down here to check for more of the NONPID's that have fair descriptions in Sp Pub #18. kayakbird

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