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Always Worth A Second Look.


bicknell

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We went 9/21 today, clearing out the northern part of the county. Of great pride to us, we visited several marks that were previous not finds, and we managed to find two marks that were previously marked as not found by other searchers. Granted, both were attempted in the summer with lots of vegitation and we had it easier, but still it's a great feeling to find a previous not found!

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Can you give us some examples, please? Were the previous unfound reports from fellow geocachers — I hope it wasn't me — or from the NGS datasheet, e.g. US Power Squadron?

 

My experience is all over the map. Sometimes I've found found a mark that was previously reported as unfound. (That's my favorite!) Sometimes I've been unable to find a mark that had recently been reported as found. (That makes me really feel stupid!)

 

Sometimes the findability of a mark can depend on the time of day or time of year: lighting, fall leaves, spring growth, and recent rain call all have an impact on your ability to find a mark. And yes, sometimes it's just the d'oh! factor.

 

-ArtMan-

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Ah ha, ArtMan decended into my trap. :blink:

 

First up we had JV3085 not found by ArtMan. :blink: Admittedly he found the witness post, but we dug up the disk.

 

Second up, we had JV3102 not found by garman. We just walked up from below, rather than try from above.

 

We checked several more today. Basically I stopped at ones people had already checked if one of two things was true. First, if they said come back in the winter, we did that today. Second, if the description didn't state what they did or did not find (eg, just "did not find") we went back. Third, I went to a few on hunches. We marked several not founds as us concurring with the not found.

 

We still have a pile we want to go back to when we have a metal detector.

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Is that a shovel in one of the pictures on JV3085? I try to be more inconspicuous than that....

 

Funny how seeing the picture brings back the scene, even two years on. I remember that one very well. I had a pretty good feeling it was still there, just inaccessible. Glad you took up the challenge and found it. Really!

 

-ArtMan-

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Just to take the scenario a tad further, This supports the not found theory. Sometimes we look and look with no Joy, and another person has maybe a different season or perspective, what have you. and they find it.

 

Had the NGS version of Rules been different, someone could have given up and tried to have it destroyed, leaving the Monument in tact, with the data stricken from future use. In another scenario, some person just playing the game with a shorter attention span or different attitude may have concluded it is really gone and filed it as destroyed on GC.com... That may leave future hunters with no reason to revisit this ever again either. But here is a case where one hunter, an accomplished hunter, didn't find it, and another did. There are good days and bad ones, easy and hard, and some where our ability to find the station eludes us. But the Station is still there, Hiding from us, just waiting for the right question to be asked in the hunt, so it can be found.

 

No harm and no foul. This station will live another day. And the database in either case is in no harm. A not found can easily become a found good or poor any day. No matter the former status.

 

Good Hunting Bicknell!

 

Rob

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One advantage experience gives you here is a sense of whether an unfound mark is really lost, or whether it's just elusive.

 

Often while working in my primary benchmarking area - D.C. metro - I arrive at the indicated location and pretty much instantly know that a mark originally set 30, 40 or more years ago is gone, the victim of a 7-11 or Exxon station or strip mall or road widening.

 

In the case of JV3085 (M 252 in Loudoun County, VA), the area was totally rural, and there was no reason to suspect the disk had been disturbed, and I indicated in my write-up that the disk "very possibly" remained in position. It was pretty overgrown, it turns out, but right where it was supposed to be, as bicknell found out. And good on him!

 

In between uber development and pastoral stability, of course, there are many other situations where the continued presence of a mark will be much more ambiguous.

 

-ArtMan-

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Experience is a big part of it. Many of the disks around here were monumented in 1942. That seemed to be the year to survey loudoun. If you look at the pictures for one of our not founds, and one of our founds, they give you some idea what the old road looked like then:

 

JV3060 - A not found along a segment of the old road.

 

JV3065 - A found on an old bridge along a segment of the old road.

 

Note things like "IN THE NORTHWEST WING WALL, AND 7 FEET WEST OF THE CENTER LINE OF THE HIGHWAY". Even on the most narrow two lane roads today a lane is at least 8' wide, usually 10'. Major roads are 12' wide. To be 7 feet off the centerline and be in the wing wall says it is a VERY old bridge. Had there been no old bridge at the site that's a pretty large clue it's destroyed.

 

How discrete I am with the shovel depends on where I am. That particular mark was out in the middle of a very lightly used country road, outside the fence. Didn't seem like a big deal. When I had to use it on VA287 to clear some briars for JV3066. We were a bit surprised when a county sherrif passed us in both directions and didn't stop and ask what we were doing. :rolleyes:

 

To restore Artman and garman's honor, we did agree with both of them on a large number of not founds around here. Many things are just gone.

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I have a folding camp shovel with me at all times and don't hesitate to use it, as long as I am not on private property. And I have had cops drive by me with barely a glance too. One stopped to ask if I needed help, and I said I was just looking for something, so without hesitation he drove off without asking what exactly I was looking for--I guess he was confident I wasn't looking for my drug or bomb stash!

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So the observation would be that officials are less likely to question the intentions of someone who looks like he is doing serious physical work?

 

The problem with digging is that you need to be very aware of any buried utilities around. Some of them (like a lot of telephone wire, cable tv coax, and one fiber cable I know of) are not as deep as you would wish. Check for signs up and down the road before you dig. If I can do the job with a garden trowel I don't break out the shovel figuring I'll be less likely to do damage with hand power than foot power.

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Yes and no.

I think for the most part if you look like you belong there people leave you alone, even the "authorities". They are looking for suspicious people and as a benchmark hunter you are doing a great public service and can stand tall and proud as you dig in someone's flowerbed. Or as tall and proud as you can while using a short shovel!

 

As for my shovel, it is a $10 cheapie from Cabellas and won't stand actual use as a shovel as you would normally think. I can't put any pressure on it with a foot, so I just use it as a large garden trowel. I also am careful where and how I dig. I will use it to dig and scrape dirt and plants off a bridge abutment, which is pretty safe, or to dig where I have previously prodded with my Walmart "camp fork minus the fork part" and am pretty certain there is something resembling a concrete monument just under the dirt. Granted, that something can end up to be a rock, but I would be surprised if it ended up being a cable of any sort. I haven't gone deeper than 3 inches yet.

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I've found the single most helpful tool is a pruner-cutter-thing. (I'm not a gardener; I don't know what its official name is.) With a 2-3" blade it's useful for shallow probing. It's good at clipping grass and weeds around a mark set in a lawn. Perfect for snipping thorns and brambles, and excellent for cutting back roots that seem to always overgrow culverts.

 

-ArtMan-

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Always worth a second look (especially if the DNF is USPSQD). And sometimes, it's easier to find benchmarks during daylight hours.

KU4567

Also had my second 'Destroyed' logged at NGS today. Guess most benchmarers (or is it the surveyors) don't bother with obviously destroyed monuments? KU3967. Of course, we probably should not have run across the northbound lanes of the Henry Hudson Parkway looking for the cache at this site. But, once we were there, we couldn't help noticing that the flagpole was no longer there...

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Do you guys spend much time on no-PIDS in your areas i.e. the ones marked on the quad map but not listed in the database (NGS)? I always have a look-see when I'm in the area. Finding those is the most fun to me.

I enjoy looking for the non-PIDs. I've found a few, most of the were USGS and not USC&GS, as is typical of the GC database. Most of the marks labeled on maps for my area I've found to be destroyed when the culverts were replaced, but a few remain.

 

For another challenge, you might try looking in the NGS Destroyed database, as I've already found one mark that was listed as destroyed in 1958.

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Do you  guys spend much time on no-PIDS in your areas i.e.  the ones marked on the quad map but not listed in the database (NGS)? I always have a look-see when I'm in the area.  Finding those is the most fun to me.

mrh,

 

Both SquareNail and I search them in our neck of the woods, the reason being is that most of them around here (Montana) were set in the 1800's to early 1900's. We both have the USGS spirit leveling books which were printed around 1916. These books make reference to all of the old pipe caps, railroad iron ties, bridges and whatever they may have used when they ran the original leveling for the state.

 

The USGS has produced these for all states and they are a wealth of historic information. We are very lucky around here, in the fact that we have had excellent luck finding these 100+ year monuments in great supply. Last week I was back in Indiana and did find a few very old monuments, but did not find any of the old pipe caps that I did search for. There is just too much construction going on back east.

 

As some people have made reference to, I enjoy visiting the Intial points around the US, and did get to the Second Principal Meridian near Paoli, IN and went to the First Principal Meridian on the OH-IN border near Decatur. There is no monument at that position, due to road construction; it may be there under the asphalt. I also tried to get to the two Michigan Initial Points, but they are in a swampy area and blocked by private property; if I would have had more time I would have attempted to contact the land owners. The original monuments do reside in the Surveyors Historical Museum in Lansing, which I did get to see while I was up there.

 

There is just a curiousity about what might be on the ground, when a quad map shows some sort of BM or Boundary symbol.

 

CallawayMT

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We both have the USGS spirit leveling books which were printed around 1916.  These books make reference to all of the old pipe caps, railroad iron ties, bridges and whatever they may have used when they ran the original leveling for the state.

 

The USGS has produced these for all states and they are a wealth of historic information. 

CallawayMT,

 

Can you give a better reference for these books. Exact title, etc.

 

I assume they're long out of print, but maybe they can be found in libraries or in the used book market.

 

Worth scanning and posting online, I wonder?

 

-ArtMan-

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We both have the USGS spirit leveling books which were printed around 1916.  These books make reference to all of the old pipe caps, railroad iron ties, bridges and whatever they may have used when they ran the original leveling for the state.

 

The USGS has produced these for all states and they are a wealth of historic information. 

CallawayMT,

 

Can you give a better reference for these books. Exact title, etc.

 

I assume they're long out of print, but maybe they can be found in libraries or in the used book market.

 

Worth scanning and posting online, I wonder?

 

-ArtMan-

Artman,

 

I use www.abe.com and then search by title; use "spirit leveling" and then you will get a lot of hits for different states.

 

Here is one that would interest you:

 

Marshall, R. B.

Results of Spirit Leveling in Virginia, 1900 to 1913, Inclusive. [u.S. Geological Survey Bulletin # 1030-E]

Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. 1914. Paperback 8vo, Paperbound, covers somewhat brittle, otherwise vg condition 68 pp.

Bookseller Inventory #99110415

 

Price: US$ 11.00 (Convert Currency)

Shipping: Rates & Speed

 

Bookseller: Tiber Books, 24 West 25th Street, Baltimore, MD, U.S.A., 21218

(Search this Bookseller's Books) (More Bookseller Information)

 

This will also give you a good reference for going to your library for the same books.

 

I have found some on ebay also.

 

Good Luck!

CallawayMT

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Callaway,

 

Glad to hear some of the real old marks still exist around the State back here. Were you using the NGS database or one of the manuals you talked about for marks to search for? I have started a county by county database to use with GSAK to pinpoint interesting marks in the area around Terre Haute. I've been waiting for better weather before getting out to do any more searching.

 

Where all in Indiana were you searching? Also, I'm curious about the meridian at Paoli.

Is there a mark there? Would you mind posting coordinates and how about a photo if you have one.

 

I can see where mloser is coming from as far as getting a geocaching "find" or going all the way and reporting to NGS goes. I think it's even more fun to see a BMxxx on the topo and go out there with no datasheet or other info. and see what's there. I have to admit a certain temptation to order the control sheets from USGS to swing the odds a little more in my favor :lol:

 

mrh

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