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How do *you* find them?!

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Around these parts I've found 20 or so markers of various types using the text directions off the information sheet. My GPS hasn't even gotten out of the car yet because the directions are really good. I wonder what sort of success/failures you've had in other areas of the country (I'm in NY (Rochester area)). Are the text directions usually good enough? Are the scaled coordinates good enough to find them w/o looking at text info? Both? Neither?! icon_wink.gif

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Here in Sacramento, CA I will use the GPS if the benchmark is of fairly recent vintage, and has "GPS observations". The older benchmarks typically do not, and are just a guesstimate from a map, in which case I'll use the description to locate it. You can tell if a "GPS OBS" was made by clicking the "view original datasheet" link at the top of the benchmark page, and looking for GPS related info on the page. Here is an example-- http://www.geocaching.com/mark/bench.asp?PID=AC9233

The coordinates supplied by the GPS observations are extrememly accurate, as they typically use dual frequency GPS survey sets to obtain them. Our handhelds only operate on one frequency. Hope that useful.

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The directions were done to national standards, even in the olden days, so they are generally excellent eveywhere. Scaled coordinates are intended only to put you in the vicinity and may actually lead you away from the marker once you get close to it. Directions 40, 50 years old or more, however, are often useless do to extensive development. In such cases the development has usually wiped out the marker anyway. If you live in a city, you may need to get out of the high growth area to have success looking for older markers.

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I wasn't so much interested in getting help in finding them, as I was to see how people like to go about it. I have read elsewhere that some of the hard-core geocache sorts (I'm not really) are totally into the GPS method. Note the threads on why the coordinates from 1930s marks are off, wrong datum, etc. I like the directions, especially when they reference old road names, or none at all. It adds to the excitement. After all, these things were put there to be found! The 'hard' ones around here require a 2 mile hike, followed by an easy find, or an obvious "it ain't here".

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