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New Mexico,colorado Discussion

GEO*Trailblazer 1

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Wow! The Chile Line lives on! It's somewhat amazing; as a youngster interested in model trains, I heard about weird people who were fascinated by this little abandoned railroad somewhere out west called the Chile Line. Now I are one!

Since I've lived in northern New Mexico, I've made it a pastime to investigate and follow the old road bed.

As a surveyor I am also fascinated by benchmarks. When it came time to place a geocache, I of course, placed it along the Chile Line, using benchmarks as references you had to locate, to find the geocache.


Chile Line- Green cache


In preparing for the cache, my main reference was the U.S. Forest Service map of the Carson National Forest, which shows, as a dotted line, the roadbed of the Chile Line. USGS quads also reference the old relic.

What I have found is that USC&GS or NGS placed benchmarks in a string, every two miles along the road bed. In the area of my geocache there are three. "S30"


"T30"GM0394 and "U30"GM0395. You are right, you can drive right up to them, while driving along the railroad bed. Once, I located one, I just put my GPS in "Go To" mode and drove till I was two miles from the last locate and started looking.

The "30" series of benchmarks goes up in letters as it goes north. When the letters reach Z, the series starts over with "A" but another number is used, right off the top of my head I don't remember which number.

Since the interest in this subject continues I'll keep posting and after the first of the year, I'll get involved in the get-together.



Edited by JBAndersen
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After reading more about the Chili Line, it makes me more interested in following the line and getting all the benchmarks along the old ROW. However, if done during warm weather, gotta beware of unexpected crawling things. ;)

Edit: Those things bring back memories of when I was on the front end of chain hiking through the badlands of South Dakota in 1950. I recall one time being in the middle of a den before I knew it. My boss was a big Greek who always wore low cut shoes and would just stomp on them. I'd try to impale them with a stake, or else the end of the stadia rod.

Edited by Colorado Papa
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Well I got it.

Mrs. Santa went and done it.She got me the TOPO! New Mexico State series 7.5 interactive GPS ready version.

It updated some all the older marks now,that were just in the TOPO! SYNC!.


I have already looked at the upclose of a couple(that we plan to do at the event this spring) and it varies like on my other state series,it is alot closer on these.


Once I get it mapped out I will post it.

I will probably add it to the event page as well.

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If I may ask a favor, When you post this map, please just post a link to it here, don't post the picture. A million photos on a forum thread is a real bad use of bandwidth for all users. Downloads slow to an extreme crawl... I have had threads that will not load in 10 minutes. Please just put a link to your photos so if we want to see them, we can simply click the link and open it in a new window. Or not, if we so elect. Either way, one or two photos open faster on a separate link than a thread with 15 of them pasted up here...


Thanks! Happy Holidays,



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I was wondering if we might move the event up June 11.


One reason is to put us there close for this.



Fort Benton & Great Falls, Montana June 1 - July 4, 2005

Plan to "EXPLORE! The Big Sky" as the journals of Lewis & Clark unfold during this 34-day event. "EXPLORE! The Big Sky" commemorates the fateful decision at the Marias River confluence, commemorates the portage end in Great Falls, and honors the native cultures of the Plains Indian tribes. Families and Lewis & Clark aficionados alike will enjoy the activities offered each day in rural and metropolitan communities.

Immerse yourself in the traditional life ways of the Plains Indians by exploring a traditional village and the cultural displays presented by Montana tribes. Watch Indian athletes compete in horse and canoe races, or games of skill and accuracy, or play these time-honored games with new friends. Hear deep-rooted stories from the past. Enjoy an opera based on the story of Scarface, a legend in the Blackfeet Tribe’s culture, or attend a rock concert featuring nationally renowned Indian musicians.


Status: Upcoming


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Just finished reading a book about the history of the Chili Line. Makes me more interested in wanting to seek out the benchmarks along the old R-O-W. I only wish I was interested in these things back in 1953 when we drove from Santa Fe to Antonito on our honeymoon. The rails and bridges would have been gone only 12 years and much easier to find things. Probably could have found people living along the line who remembered it.


I didn't realize when I found the marker at the CO-NM state line that it had been such a historical place in 1904! For you other people, I suggest that you seek historical information about old benchmarks and why they were placed there. Makes for very interesting reading.

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