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2oldfarts (the rockhounders)

confusing descriptions

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While planning an upcoming visit to see our grandkids, I was looking at our mapping program and checked the box 'on' for Pima County benchmarks. Since I was not zoomed in and the map was showing almost to Camp Verde, I was surprised to see several marks appear northeast of Phoenix. 1 appears to be in Maricopa County and the other 2 show as being in Gila County.

 

The 1967 description for K 17 - DU0362 puts it in Gila County and Pima County, but the datasheet says Pima County. The 1967 description for K 20 - DU0381 says it is in Pima County north of Tucson, but the 1983 description describes it as being in Gila County. The 1967 description for K 22 - DU0784 describes it as being southwest of Tucson along the A10 hwy (I believe that should read the AJO Hwy.), but the 1992 description reads as though it had been set in a building. With a little luck we may be able to locate this one, if time permits and my mapping interpretation skills are adequate. I think I have figured out coordinates (from the 1962 recovery) that should get us very close.

 

When I checked the box 'on' for Pinal County two marks showed up in Pima County. U 84 - CZ0862 & V 84 - CZ0863 both are listed as being in Pinal County, but when you read the descriptions it states clearly they are in Pima County, and if you do not read carefully enough they will lead you to think they are in Pinal County. Regretfully, I don't think we will have time to go search for these 2 marks.

 

John

Edited by 2oldfarts (the rockhounders)

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You might have better luck finding benchmarks to search for using this site:

http://benchmarks.scaredycatfilms.com/

 

Edit: Oh, and it's my understanding that over time, the borders of a county may change. Which might explain some things.

Edited by EdrickV

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You might have better luck finding benchmarks to search for using this site:

http://benchmarks.scaredycatfilms.com/

 

Edit: Oh, and it's my understanding that over time, the borders of a county may change. Which might explain some things.

 

Sorry, but scaredycat uses the same coordinates I used. I used the NGS datasheets to load GSAK and then exported the county file to our mapping program. You need to go by the descriptions to determine where the benchmarks are actually located. In the case of DU0784 it mentions 'Ryan Field'. Ryan Field is an airfield at the west end of Valencia RD (in Tucson/Pima County) and following the description will put you in an area that matches the elevation exactly. Using the scaled coordinates is not the best way to recover these benchmarks, only the description will work.

 

In the case of CZ0862 & CZ0863 the datasheet lists them as being in Pinal County, but I'm pretty sure that is a clerical error, since the description clearly says the marks are 2 miles and 4 miles "S FROM GU KOMELIK". Komelik is at the Pinal/Pima border. Careful reading of the descriptions tells you that GU KOMELIK is in Pinal County and the benchmarks are in Pima County. From the descriptions for them it should be an easy recovery, but we will not have the time to go locate them when we are there. Any volunteers?

 

John

 

Thanks southpawaz.

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Thanks for posting these errors. I've send a change directive to the NGS database team. The county corrections should show up within a month.

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Wasn't thinking so much about the coordinates as much as comparing the benchmark viewer's nice Google Maps interface (and newer database) vs the 11 year old Geocaching.com database and rather simplified search system. :)

 

And yeah, the coordinates for DU0784 are totally wrong. I saw that after posting and had thought about posting some coordinates where it might be, but that was mostly made of guesswork and you probably have a better idea where to search, or would get a better idea by being on site and actually trying to drive the route.

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Wasn't thinking so much about the coordinates as much as comparing the benchmark viewer's nice Google Maps interface (and newer database) vs the 11 year old Geocaching.com database and rather simplified search system. :)

 

And yeah, the coordinates for DU0784 are totally wrong. I saw that after posting and had thought about posting some coordinates where it might be, but that was mostly made of guesswork and you probably have a better idea where to search, or would get a better idea by being on site and actually trying to drive the route.

 

We use GSAK, DeLorme Topo 9 mapping program, and NGS county downloads. The county downloads are run through BMGPX then loaded into GSAK, filtered into files of under 1000 marks (the GPSr only holds 1000 points in active memory), they are then exported to the mapping program. When something seems off with a benchmark we use GSAK to check the description and then we use the button on the GSAK toolbar to pull up the Current datasheet and check it to see if anything has been adjusted or changed.

 

Since the description for K 22 mentions RYAN Field, I put that into the search field in Topo 9 and it showed me where it was located in Pima County. It was a simple process to measure the distances and get new coordinates, which happen to have the exact elevation as that elevation listed on the datasheet.

 

If you would like anymore information on the system we use, feel free to ask.

 

John

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You might look into NGS-GPX, In my opinion it does better paperless style gpx files, and it is possible the upcoming datasheet changes will cause BMGPX to stop working. Now that I think about it, if I was trying to do something like that myself, I could use MapSource. (My guesswork coordinates were being done via Google Maps. :P ) I'll have to remember that if I decide to go looking for a benchmark with really messed up coordinates.

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You might look into NGS-GPX, In my opinion it does better paperless style gpx files, and it is possible the upcoming datasheet changes will cause BMGPX to stop working.

 

I did and I don't care for the way it displays the needed info and all those extraneous bits of data. Besides, I have all the counties for AZ, 1/2 the counties for UT and southern NV counties already downloaded and in GSAK. If I need to check a specific datasheet for updated info, I just click the NGS button on the GSAK toolbar and it retrieves it direct from the NGS.

 

If the benchmark has 'Scaled' coordinates, then the description is what is important in finding those marks. It doesn't matter how far off the coordinates are as long as the description on the benchmark page tells you where it is located. You then need to determine if the description can still be followed or if things have changed too much since the benchmark was set and the description was written. On some of the really old marks, the challenge is to determine where the "Smith barn" or the 'Jackson well' was located back in the 1930's. Figuring out the puzzle (description) is what keeps things interesting.

 

John

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Now that I think about it, if I was trying to do something like that myself, I could use MapSource. (My guesswork coordinates were being done via Google Maps. :P ) I'll have to remember that if I decide to go looking for a benchmark with really messed up coordinates.

If MapSource is a program that lets you view and calibrate topographic maps, then that should be a useful approach to determining the coordinates of benchmarks. For years, I've been using calibrated raster maps from the California Spatial Information Library in conjunction with MacGPS Pro to derive coordinates, and it's been very successful. I was just out benchmarking with a friend in Yosemite last weekend, and the map-derived coordinates took us right near the actual locations in many instances. (Yes, we were also reading the descriptions, but "in a rock outcrop near five pine trees" isn't a whole lot of help in Yosemite. :laughing: )

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---

---

---

In the case of CZ0862 & CZ0863 the datasheet lists them as being in Pinal County, but I'm pretty sure that is a clerical error, since the description clearly says the marks are 2 miles and 4 miles "S FROM GU KOMELIK". Komelik is at the Pinal/Pima border. Careful reading of the descriptions tells you that GU KOMELIK is in Pinal County and the benchmarks are in Pima County. From the descriptions for them it should be an easy recovery, but we will not have the time to go locate them when we are there. Any volunteers?

 

John

 

Thanks southpawaz.

 

John,

 

I'll likely be doing a birding/benchmarking road-trip through southern Arizona sometime this winter and will try for these using Delorme 9 laptop maps pinned two years ago from NGS ShapeFiles info (w/year set in name for hi-grading), backed up by last Feb's GSAK downloads for approximate LAT/LONG's to start looking for a place to park and read the GSAK linked DATASHEET on a split screen; and if my Verizon air-card is operational go to Google Earth via DSWorld for a cute picture and the very latest DS.

 

I almost never have my Garmin Etrex Vista preloaded because I seldom know if I am going left or right at the first road intersection of the day.

 

Note on a GSAK glitch: Unknown set dates default to the first dated history. With ShapeFiles in an Excel spreadsheet it is easy to change the UNK's to a SWAG.

 

Mike

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Now that I think about it, if I was trying to do something like that myself, I could use MapSource. (My guesswork coordinates were being done via Google Maps. :P ) I'll have to remember that if I decide to go looking for a benchmark with really messed up coordinates.

If MapSource is a program that lets you view and calibrate topographic maps, then that should be a useful approach to determining the coordinates of benchmarks. For years, I've been using calibrated raster maps from the California Spatial Information Library in conjunction with MacGPS Pro to derive coordinates, and it's been very successful. I was just out benchmarking with a friend in Yosemite last weekend, and the map-derived coordinates took us right near the actual locations in many instances. (Yes, we were also reading the descriptions, but "in a rock outcrop near five pine trees" isn't a whole lot of help in Yosemite. :laughing: )

 

MapSource is a Garmin program that can be used to manage data (and maps) for Garmin GPS units. While it can have topographic maps, the only Garmin maps my copy has are different versions of City Navigator. (Routable street map.) So it can be useful in the case of road directions, like the directions in K-22's datasheet. MapSource can load GPX files too. People with more advanced GPS units then the one I've used it with can plan out whole routes and such and send them directly to the GPS. Not likely to have any immediate need for it though as most of the benchmarks in the areas I would be searching are either relatively recent, (say 1990s) or likely long gone and on private property anyways. (Benchmarks along an old railroad bed or inactive railroad tracks.)

Edited by EdrickV

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We were down in Tucson this past weekend and tried to find K 20 & K 22. Could not find either, bummer. K 20 says it is close to Professor Hemingways 2 story stone house (ruins). Regrettable, but that whole area is 1 BIG sub-division and there is no way to determine where the Professor's house was located.

 

K 22 was measured from Ryan Field which is still an active airfield. When we got to where the Topo showed S Avra road was supposed to be located we couldn't find any crossroad let alone a benchmark. What we did find was backpacks, day-packs, and plenty of empty water bottles, plus other trash. We made 2 attempts on this one with 4 adults and 2 kids all looking for the mark/concrete post. We talk to 2 different people that lived in the area and neither knew anything about the mark or had ever seen it or the concrete post it was set in.

 

K 22 may still be there and we were at the wrong spot. I need to get detailed topo maps for that area and see what the area looks like on the topo maps. It will be worth another look since there has been very little development in that area.

 

We did find D 61 CZ2380. It has not been correctly found on GC until we recovered it. It was exactly as described an we had to do a little probing with screwdrivers. It was only about an inch under the surface, so to avoid excess probing I did a quick sweep of the measured position with a metal detector and then about 2 or 3 pokes with the screwdriver revealed the mark. we uncovered just enough to get the pictures and re-buried the mark.

 

We may not have found all three, but we sure had fun trying!

 

John

Edited by 2oldfarts (the rockhounders)

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I think that the word on these two in a row that I logged last week is: Obfuscation (or beclouding) is the hiding of intended meaning in communication, making communication confusing, wilfully ambiguous, and harder to interpret. (From Wikipedia)

 

Maybe should have figured right off that 'road' meant abandoned county road, now a ranch lane.

--- 0.5 MILE SOUTHWEST OF THE WHITESIDE RANCH HOUSE, ON THE CREST OF A HILL, IN SECTION 7, T. 17 N., R.43 E. 360 FEET NORTH OF THE JUNCTION WITH THE ROAD TO THE RANCH, 53 FEET EAST OF THE CENTERLINE OF THE ROAD, 12 FEET SOUTH OF A TELEPHONE POLE, IN LINE WITH A ROW OF POLES, ABOUT 1 FOOT LOWER THAN THE ROAD ---

 

TELEPHONE POLES ARE GONE

 

7fac9520-0fa3-434e-ab11-22a512f7471d.jpg

 

On this one 'road' equals 'highway'.

--- 230 FEET EAST-NORTHEAST OF AND 6 FEET HIGHER THAN THE CENTERLINE OF THE ROAD, ABOUT 250 FEET WEST OF A SMALL BUTTE OVERLOOKING A VALLEY TO THE EAST, 812 FEET NORTH OF AND ACROSS THE ROAD FROM A GATE IN THE WEST RIGHT-OF-WAY FENCE ---

 

MARK ABOVE TOP OF STEEL POST

 

2f035f98-964a-4034-a00d-6c8bfebe0641.jpg

No mention that the mark is only 375 ft from a useable gate in the east ROW fence and 35 ft east of the very visible old road center line.

 

Always something unusual popping up. kayakbird

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Here's one I'd like to get a couple thoughts on.

 

PID: EE1863

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=EE1863

 

 EE1863'DESCRIBED BY US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 1966
EE1863'ELLIJAY, 17.6 MI NW. OF COURTHOUSE, ALONG STATE HIGHWAY 52 TO
EE1863'ENTRANCE OF FORT MOUNTAIN STATE PARK, THENCE CONTINUE THROUGH PARK
EE1863'0.6 MI TO T-RD. LEFT, THENCE STRAIGHT AHEAD TO ABANDONED TOWER,
EE1863'CENTERLINE OF TOWER DESIGNATED---FORT MOUNTAIN FIRE TOWER---.

A friend that was beta-testing my app, and NOT a benchmark hunter found this as his very first. However, I'm slightly confused at the wording. Usually when I see the phrase 'designated --<name>--', the part between '---'s is usually the stamping or designation of the station. On top of that, I'm not sure what the 'centerline' is. Horizontal up the side of the tower in (any? one?) facing angle of the tower? Or a line drawn across the top of the tower? How is it designated? Is it carved into the tower?

 

My friend found two drill holes with pins in them on the south wall, and took a picture of them.

 

But I'm just trying to figure out if this is an intersection station, and if so, what exactly was it? The tower's apparently rather tall, and square.

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Here's one I'd like to get a couple thoughts on.

 

PID: EE1863

 

A friend that was beta-testing my app, and NOT a benchmark hunter found this as his very first. However, I'm slightly confused at the wording. Usually when I see the phrase 'designated --<name>--', the part between '---'s is usually the stamping or designation of the station. On top of that, I'm not sure what the 'centerline' is. Horizontal up the side of the tower in (any? one?) facing angle of the tower? Or a line drawn across the top of the tower? How is it designated? Is it carved into the tower?

 

My friend found two drill holes with pins in them on the south wall, and took a picture of them.

 

But I'm just trying to figure out if this is an intersection station, and if so, what exactly was it? The tower's apparently rather tall, and square.

Here are my uneducated opinions:

 

- It is Third Order Horizontal and it mentions “FIRST OBSERVED”. I thought those two things were good indicators that it is indeed an Intersection Station?

 

- My guess on the “designated” thing: I believe they are just using the “ - - “s in place of quotes and they are just saying that the typical nomenclature used when discussing this structure is that it is

referred to as the “Fort Mountain Fire Tower”.

 

- My guess is that when they say “centerline” that they were referring to the very center of a horizontal cross section of the tower and then that point is projected up to the top to be the intersection point (if the structure is square, draw diagonals from the corners and the intersection of the diagonals is the “centerline” – then project that point up to the top).

 

It would be interesting to see pictures of the structure and the pins. It looks like a great find.

 

From snooping around online, it looks like this is now purely a stone structure. However, there are indications that it used to have a wooden lookout cab on the top that had a roof that came to a point (in the center). I am still guessing that that top point is what they meant by the “centerline”.

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Here are my uneducated opinions:

 

- It is Third Order Horizontal and it mentions “FIRST OBSERVED”. I thought those two things were good indicators that it is indeed an Intersection Station?

 

- My guess on the “designated” thing: I believe they are just using the “ - - “s in place of quotes and they are just saying that the typical nomenclature used when discussing this structure is that it is

referred to as the “Fort Mountain Fire Tower”.

 

- My guess is that when they say “centerline” that they were referring to the very center of a horizontal cross section of the tower and then that point is projected up to the top to be the intersection point (if the structure is square, draw diagonals from the corners and the intersection of the diagonals is the “centerline” – then project that point up to the top).

 

It would be interesting to see pictures of the structure and the pins. It looks like a great find.

 

From snooping around online, it looks like this is now purely a stone structure. However, there are indications that it used to have a wooden lookout cab on the top that had a roof that came to a point (in the center). I am still guessing that that top point is what they meant by the “centerline”.

Hey Tilla - thanks for the thoughts. I agree with just about all of it. :) The first point I did recognize, but I've come across stations that were incorrectly typed up in a datasheet (something marked as intersection when it wasn't, etc.) before so I didnt' want to assume. :)

 

I'll be logging it for my friend here shortly, and will post one of the pictures of the holes.

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