Jump to content

Why Rock Outcrops == Evil.


Recommended Posts

Today we chased a line of benchmarks along route 340 and route 277 in Warren County Virginia. Almost all of the marks were set in rock outcroppings. Bah, I now hate rock outcroppings. Why?


Most importantly, they are often inaccessable. They are further off the road, which is good, but they are in fields which have fences. Around here the evil barbed wire kind you couldn't jump even if you wanted to. Many of the marks are just not accessable without finding the property owner. When dealing with large fields that's often hard, and we didn't even try for the most part.


Even where you can access them, they get covered with dirt, weeds, and other stuff. Yes, I know all marks do, but rock outcrops seem to have this problem to a large degree.


There is almost NEVER a witness post, can't drive it into rock. If there is a witness post it's often far from the mark, which is better than nothing but still less helpful.


And finally, several of the fields are HIGHLY overgrown. Farming has been ending here for 15 years, with housing moving in, and those who aren't farming are waiting for land values to go up before selling. Bottom line, you might have to walk through a field that's been left to grow for many years to find the mark, which leaves you some right nasty fields.


Bah, just had to vent a little, today was quite frustrating.

Link to comment

Why rock, simple









Edited by Z15
Link to comment

Warren County includes Front Royal, about an hour west of Washington. I've had some reasonably good luck out there. Better, certainly, than I had in Montgomery Co., Maryland, today. (That's just outside DC.) I went one for eight, with two hard-to-classify items:


JV4371, a Catholic school turned into a Postal Service training center. The station is the base of the cross, but the cross of course has been removed. Found or Not Found?


JV7111, which should have been an easy find, except for some unexpected stamping on the disk.


Ah well, there are times you just shrug your shoulders and look forward to enjoying a cold one when you get home.



Link to comment

Heaven forbid that you really have to do some work to find a benchmark. In most of New England there are no witness posts and a good portion of the stations are in bedrock or outcrops up on moutains, in deep woods covered with years of dirt and mulch. That is what makes it so interesting trying to find them.

Link to comment

Outcrops are definitely a challenge, but that can make them fun, too. Some of them are hopelessly lost -- there are a couple in my hunting grounds that were only marked by blazed trees 60 years ago. There was one (LY0762) that had ties to a house and barn, but when I got to the location, both the house and barn were gone and no sign of foundations or anything -- except for hundreds of boulders on a hillside, of course, guarded by dense thickets of multiflora thorns.!


In more than a few cases I've resorted to the information about "2 feet above the road" or such. Sometimes there are only a couple of places along a road that could possibly be at the right height, because most of the land was well below or above the road surface. One of the ones I'm most proud of is LY0427 because the scaled coordinates were very misleading, and there were plenty of candidate boulders in the neighborhood. I'm still looking for some of its siblings a couple of miles up Clinton road.

Link to comment

I think my biggest annoyance is access. Around here I've driven up to a half dozen where it's 40-70 feet off the centerline of the road, and yet right next to the road is a barbed wire fence. I've driven around a few of the fields, and some are just bare fields, with a locked gate on one side. Not even a house to go up to and ask. Without digging through property ownership records there's no way to get in.


In a couple of cases where it was stone fences we've hopped the fence, taken a picture, and moved on. Most of the fields are good barbed wire though, and there's no way to hop them without getting sliced up. It's just really frustrating because you know you're < 100 feet from it, and can see rock in the field, but can't get to the mark.


Of course, yesterday was also a bummer because we couldn't find two marks the Power Squadren found about 7 years ago, but I swear nothing in the descriptions fully lined up on either of them.


Also, here's a hit of what counts as a "rock outcropping" around here, a mark we found:




Notice in the area photo how little of the rock is exposed. This one was in a yard, so it was easy to find. Compare with this mark:




1100 feet from a house, 300 feet from a side road. Both of those are probably good measurements, however being round I assume they are approximate. 51 feet from the centerline, well, the road has been improved since the mark was set, so that measurement is suspect. 4 feet from a fence? Well, the fence in question is much newer, one can only hope it's in the same place.


The house 1100 feet away can be seen, but is no tresspassing keep out, so I couldn't even go up and drop a waypoint to estimate 1100 feet. We did 300 feet down from the side road with the GPS (showing 6' accuracy) and ended up 30 feet short of the knole pictured, but it's the only thing with rock that makes sense.


We uncovered a half dozen rock faces, but no sign of the mark. So, even when we could access, this was typical of our frustration.

Edited by bicknell
Link to comment

OK, What am I missing about the barbed wire fence thing? I generally have little trouble with them.


If the fence is in good shape, you can climb over at about any post. Just be sure to step on the wire withn about a foot of the post and it will support you.


If the fence is not in good shape, go halfway between the posts and push the wire down to step over, or go between wires.


And if there is a "No Trespassing" or a "Keep Out" sign, I would usually take heed and keep out.



Edited by GH55
Link to comment



I appreciate your frustration with the rock outcrop mountings!


On that JW-0259 mark, the coordinates by topo map are:


N39 4.43

W078 5.42


These are slightly different from the SCALED coordinates in the NGS data sheet. They put the mark slightly to the east. Check your personal E-mail for a message from me with some additional info which might be helpful in recovering this station.


Best regards


Link to comment

There was a rock outcrop in the field about 300' from the lane. The problem is it would have been well over 51 feet off the road (I would estimate 50-75 feet inside the fence). I'd like to go to the house across the street and drop a waypoint and try to measure off 1100 feet. Perhaps it was up in the field. If it is, the board fence is easy to get over in this location, but the cows were very interested in us looking around, and I'm not sure I want to be in with cows.

Link to comment

Something I've run across recently with marks that reference the centerline of a road arises when the road is widened. In some cases the centerline shifts 10 feet or so, if an extra lane, or just widening, is added to one side or the other. That might account for some of your discrepancy.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...