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kayakbird

Montana MORC season

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Last Saturday Okie'sKid and I spent a delightful sunny, nearly calm, day making the first vehicle tracks of the season on

bare and dry gumbo roads in the vicinity of the Fred Robinson bridge (US 191 over the Missouri River).

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MORC ARMEL AZ

Four out of four triangulation station with PID's were found - longest pack was about 250 M. Five published, but NONPID,

Missouri River Commission points - all drive stations - were also visited and iron was found at two of them.

 

Today Lewistown, Montana, my base camp for the next six months, received 8 inches of very wet snow and I'm thinking that I may

be restricted to paved roads and kayak approaches until maybe August. If anyone is interested in doing a Wild & Scenic Missouri River float trip,

I would be available to assist with the shuttle.

 

Fergus County, Montana does appear to be the Mother Lode of 1961 missile site associated marks and stations,

so I should be able to stay occupied. kayakbird

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End of season report:

 

Still a bunch out there in the Missouri Breaks, weather is forecast to be decent and the roads

mostly dry; but family responsibilities and upcoming travel plans to at least as far south as

Arizona Hot Springs is forcing me to fold my maps until next spring.

 

Since March I have visited 78 locations of the 500 or so monuments set by the Missouri River Commission

in Montana from 1885 to 1892. Two year total is 254 - quite a few are NONPID BM's which can

be challenging to find with sparse descriptions and L/L's that require a variable correction.

 

Generally, if you can get to the TRI L/L they are obvious - the fun is in planning the approach.

 

Hard to pick a best trip; but on this one - very close to where I had been 'mudded in' for 48 hours in

July - I figure that I out-foxed Mother Nature a bit.

 

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SQ0574

 

Had planned to do a one night kayak camp out of Devils Creek with 3 leisurely hikes; but after listening

to the weather on the drive in from Jordan late in the afternoon I got the boat rigged that night,

had coffee in the dark and launched at sunrise (0715) the next morning. Fort Peck Reservoir stayed flat all day,

the hikes were modest with apparent route choices, and the three MORC and two COE TRI's easy to spot.

 

After 15 miles in the kayak and about seven miles of hiking I was almost back out on top to the

good graveled road when the first drops of rain hit at 1645. Thirty minutes later and I would

have been there for a couple of cold and wet - maybe even snowy- days.

 

Gotta throw this one in - don't think that it is the original:

 

4a3e292a-1486-45a2-8788-af0af3070a96.jpg

 

SS1688

 

Great Fun! kayakbird

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Just logged the below note and newspaper article link with MORC TRI AMELIA POE. Great fun to recognize

a name and then find a neat story in addition. kayakbird

 

8464f121-66b5-4ed8-84e9-ba291e18af29.jpg

 

SP0397

 

NOTE IN LOG:

'Found information on the name of this MORC TRI station while doing some background reading on the Carroll Trail [P 124 'We Seized Our Rifles' Edited by Lee Silliman (copies are available on line)]. P 102 make reference to a French hunter Dauphin who has a rapids and a MORC TRI (Plate 72 on the 1894 MORC maps) named after him 265 river miles upstream from the 1868 wreck of the steamer Amelia Poe.

 

The steamship was named for the owners daughter - see below link for 2002 wreckage photo & story. Wreck is marked on river left just upstream of MORC BM 93-2 at River Mile 467 (Plate 64).'

 

2002 STORY & PHOTO

Edited by kayakbird

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Just logged the below note and newspaper article link with MORC TRI AMELIA POE. Great fun to recognize

a name and then find a neat story in addition. kayakbird

 

8464f121-66b5-4ed8-84e9-ba291e18af29.jpg

 

SP0397

 

NOTE IN LOG:

'Found information on the name of this MORC TRI station while doing some background reading on the Carroll Trail [P 124 'We Seized Our Rifles' Edited by Lee Silliman (copies are available on line)]. P 102 make reference to a French hunter Dauphin who has a rapids and a MORC TRI (Plate 72 on the 1894 MORC maps) named after him 265 river miles upstream from the 1868 wreck of the steamer Amelia Poe.

 

The steamship was named for the owners daughter - see below link for 2002 wreckage photo & story. Wreck is marked on river left just upstream of MORC BM 93-2 at River Mile 467 (Plate 64).'

 

2002 STORY & PHOTO

 

Mike,

 

Thanks for the story link. I had just mentioned the Amelia Poe wreck during my recent talk on the Missouri River Commission and showed it on the MORC mapping. It is great to find some information to go with all of the unknowns.

 

Kurt

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Kurt & all,

 

The problem with Internet links is that they don't quit after a chains worth!

 

The Amelia Poe, on her downstream run on 16 Jun 1867, was met by what must have been the wheeziest boat on the river from all the repairs noted in the daily log of one of the engineers on the Steamer Lilly.

 

log of Ebin B Hill

 

Double tragedy struck Capt T W Poe on 18 Dec 1870 when the Steamer Nick Wall snagged and sunk near Napoleon, AR. Capt Poe killed his wife with an axe while chopping through the roof of their stateroom in a rescue attempt.

 

Capt T W Poe

 

Many more paddle wheeler names to followup on. kayakbird

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The eastern half, and more, of Montana has had record rainfall and river flows, along with floods and emergency reservoir operations for the last six weeks. This has delayed numerous planned trips into the Missouri Breaks to hunt for Missouri River Commission (MORC) marks; and may cancel some for this year altogether.

 

Last week I took a chance that the 25 miles of gravel road north of Jordan, MT would be passable (and remain so for a few days) to launch at Hell Creek State Park for a two or three night night kayak camping trip east along the south shore of Fort Peck Reservoir.

 

96edf1a5-60de-4634-b98e-f1f0ccbde68c.jpg

 

SQ0512 Trailhead at: N474243 W1064932

 

Targets were three 1889 MORC and three 1937 COE (Army Corp of Engineers - aka USED, US Engineers Department) triangulation stations. The overfull reservoir elevation of 2252.25 ft (2.25 ft higher than spillway gates when closed) provided water access deeper into coves

9c6f31af-bad1-406a-9d5d-c287d468757e.jpg

 

SQ0597 Trailhead at: N473952 W1065300

 

or higher on finger ridges

 

12e88fff-9e4d-4b14-96d5-f038263f0af5.jpg

 

SQ0596

 

making five of the approaches right at one half mile straight line (maybe 3/4 mi along the easy route) to gain about 400 ft of elevation to the point locations. One would be just under/over one mile for a nice early morning hike from the first night camp site.

 

a3339da0-1b02-4c59-9311-5c088b2301c3.jpg

 

SQ0511 Trailhead/camp at: N474318 W1064216

 

Mother Nature decided to delay me a day.

 

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An eight or ten hour two inch rain quit about 1100, but it was 1600 before it dried out enough for the hike to COE SHEEP and was still a bit sticky breaking camp the next morning.

 

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Looking west from MORC NORRIS. Trailhead is at: N474448 W1064130

 

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SQ0600

 

Decided that COE SAGE, five miles east, was too far for this expedition, so headed up reservoir into 5 to 15 knots of wind.

 

c2770427-f958-46c2-bf63-c56c7965b6bb.jpg

 

SQ0504 Trailhead at: N474540 W1063914

 

Almost six hours later the almost inundated boat ramp was a welcome sight.

 

9631e041-a407-4626-8c34-5795234684bf.jpg

 

Just three or four years ago this ramp was unusable due to low water and a several million dollar road extension and alternate ramp was built.

 

The three MORC and three COE Tri's that remain upstream from Hell Creek will require a sixty mile round trip; maybe in late August. I have extra kayaks if anyone would like to come along.

 

kayakbird

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An eight or ten hour two inch rain quit about 1100, but it was 1600 before it dried out enough for the hike to COE SHEEP and was still a bit sticky breaking camp the next morning.

7c2144bc-2eee-4ba1-8e42-af737b61e346.jpg

kayakbird

 

This is the best picture out of them all. :) How was the flooding overall? I mean, is it in epic proportions, or is this with the 'norm'?

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How was the flooding overall? I mean, is it in epic proportions, or is this with the 'norm'?

 

foxtrot_xray,

 

Flooding along the Missouri River mainstem (Yellowstone R. also) has been minimal in Montana compared to what is happening below all the "flood control" dams downstream. Other major Montana Rivers have caused serious flood to several of our smaller communities (Musselshel R. at Roundup, Little Big Horn at Crow Agency, and twice the Milk R. at Glasgow - record local snow melt in mid-April and now the trickle down effect of record spring rains east of the continental divide.

 

Our main high mountain snowpack (generally at record levels for this late in the season) just started to melt a couple of days ago with the first hot days and nights above freezing. The Yellowstone R. is forecast to just reach flood stage at Billings on this Saturday and then slowly drop off.

 

Specific to Fort Peck Reservoir: Last weeks elevation of 2252.25(dropping slightly every day now) was about three feet higher than the previous record. Peak discharge, again last week, was just under 66000 CFS, 13000 of which was going through the turbines. Previous high had been 37500 CFS. Peak inflow on 8 JUN 11 was 101000 CFS. The sixteen 40 X 25 ft gate spillway, located over two miles east of the hydraulic filled earthen dam, is designed to bypass 250000 CFS and dumps the water back into the river 8 miles downstream of the powerhouse and dam.

 

I do believe that fact that the intervening point of land contains a layer of very slippery when wet Bear Paw Shale was making the COE engineers just a bit nervous.

 

At this reservoir elevation many of the numerous, if isolated, recreational facilities around the 130 mile long impoundment are partially flooded or unreachable - just a minor inconvenience which will soon be overshadowed by a bumper crop of mosquitoes.

 

kayakbird

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Missed reporting here on last September's very hot 55 hour kayak trip west of Hell Creek for COE SNOW, CGS SNOW and MORC LITTLE SNOW, GIBSON and ROCK PEAK. Will stick just one photo in (no lichens!).

 

MORC ROCK PEAK 1889

 

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Working on post for just completed five for five MORC Tri hunt from the east end of FT Peck Reservoir almost to North Dakota (plus a bonus NONPID MORC Tri); with technical questions on a couple. MEL

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Sure would like to see a closeup picture of the mark. Great scenery!

[/quote

 

shorbird,

 

Sorry, but I did not take a straight on closeup of this MORC Tri-cap - pretty much when you've seen one, you've seen them all.

G4 NB NOW GONE

 

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I did happen to take a down the pipe shot on this on and this is what you normally find

 

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Just once have I managed to photograph what I think is the original stone and it is one of the many NONPID benchmarks (most with an x on the USGS Quads) found in Sept 09 just upstream of the McClelland Ferry northeast of Winifred MT.

 

406d545d-78a7-41f8-b2df-8b0b8aefe430.jpg

 

The triangulation stations where they could not bury the stone and used a leaded bolt do show a bit of individuality.

 

UNDER THE ABOVE FLAG

 

d03dd52f-db73-4266-88b1-e462b7d4caae.jpg

 

And yes, chasing these have taken me to a few 'Panorama' spots. kayakbird

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