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First Benchmark Hunt


Team Red Oak
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I just got my GPS for Mother's Day and last night my husband and I went looking for our first cache and our first benchmark. We found the witness post just as described in the datasheet, the marker should have been 2 feet NW of the post. However, there was a hole in the ground where we believe the marker should have been. We don't have a metal detector to find the marker if by some chance it sank into the dirt and was covered by grass. My husband had his leatherman and he pulled out the blade and started sticking it in the ground, both in the hole and around the hole but everything he hit was a rock. This marker is supposed to be 1 inch above the ground. Is this enough evidence and searching to declare the marker gone?

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Red Oak -

 

Welcome to the hobby of benchmark hunting! It is unfortunate to find such a sad evidence on your first benchmark. :anibad: Many of us have found this sort of thing. It happens very seldom, but I have found 2 places where it appears that the entire monument has been dug out; probably vandalism.

 

It is also possible that the disk is still there down in that hole. Sometimes places are re-graded and then a surveyor has to get to the mark and will dig for it. I have seen several deep holes with a disk at the bottom when the description says that it was at the surface. That's actually the fascinating thing about benchmark hunting - the mark is sitting there quietly all the time while time and circumstance happen all around it.

 

I would log a "Didn't Find It" for this one.

 

I hope you continue on and find some benchmarks!

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Thanks for your reply, now I have one more question. Since this one will be marked as did not find do I report it to Deb Brown? If I've understood her posting the answer would be no because I have no proof its been destoyed and I have no proof it's still intact. I just want to make sure I'm doing this right.

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Red Oak -

 

I think at this point, especially being somewhat new at benchmark hunting, it would be good to not report this one to the NGS.

 

I report to the NGS only the ones I find, since I figure that, as a non-surveyor, it is not important or even particularly interesting to anyone who reads the NGS database when I can't find a mark. :anibad: I'm pretty conservative that way when it comes to reporting to the NGS, although others might report some Not-Founds. Perhaps if I find a few more benchmarks......

 

On the other hand, I freely log Not-Founds on the geocaching site. I think you should do the same thing, but note how deep in the hole you probed, etc. That way, yourself or someone else who goes to check out the PID will know what to prepare for (perhaps a bit more digging, and/or a metal detector).

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Red Oak,

 

I add my welcome to benchmarking! It's an interesting hobby where you will find yourself learning a bit about this history of your area and an appreciation for some of the infrastructure we normally take for granted.

 

One helpful hint: when posting a question about a particular benchmark, it's often a good idea to include the PID (e.g. DW1234) so we're all on the same page!

 

Like Black Dog, I would recommend you hold off reporting to NGS for a while, until you get a lot more comfortable with some of the issues and problems of benchmark placement, description and such. For example, bizarre as it seems, sometimes in a description "north" means "south."

 

I, too, have found several marks at the bottom of a hole a foot or more deep, and usually I see the hole and assume at first that the mark is gone, only to find it under the muck, debris and general nastiness that collects at the bottom of a hole in the ground.

 

Anyway, we all started knowing nothing, and there is now a lot of collective knowledge that many of us enjoy sharing. As always, read the FAQ, and you'll learn a lot -- maybe more than you wanted to know -- browsing some older threads in these forums.

 

Incidentally, I see from your profile that you're in the DC area. Black Dog and I are in Northern Virginia, and this area probably has the biggest concentration of benchmarking talent (!) in the country, but I think we're all west of the city. Fairfax, Arlington, Loudon and other jursidictions have been heavily mined for benchmarks, PG County and Southern Maryland have a lot of marks that remain unvisited, so you should have some good benchmarking close to home. One thing in the DC area that remains constant, however, is that construction has obliterated many, many marks over the years.

 

Good luck!

 

-ArtMan-

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Thanks Art Man. I am looking forward to more benchmark searching. There are several within a few miles of my house. I actually live in Anne Arundel County, I work in PG county (just corrected profile). I've looked at other threads and pictures of other types of bench marks both in the US and Europe. I've discovered while living in Gemrany, I came across many benchmarks I mistook for a mason's mark in the stone of older buildings. If only I had known.

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Thanks for your reply, now I have one more question. Since this one will be marked as did not find do I report it to Deb Brown? If I've understood her posting the answer would be no because I have no proof its been destoyed and I have no proof it's still intact. I just want to make sure I'm doing this right.

Welcome to Benchmarking Red Oak!

 

You have access to some great resource in this forum to answer all your questions. Sometimes, you may get a much larger answer than you ever wanted.

 

:unsure:

 

FYI, Deb Brown should only be contacted for Destroyed marks. If you are interested in reporting your marks to NGS, and I hope you are, take a minute to read the NGS Forum FAQ

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=95774

It has a bit of info on what reporting to NGS entails.

 

Have fun,

 

-Casey-

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