My 200th benchmark find! That is, my 200th according to the geocaching website. I have already passed 200 by finding marks that aren’t in their database, but are reportable to the NGS. Sorry for the long log.
Background: I always assumed this area was a farm, and part of it still is. But after seeing some ‘land for sale’ type of signs in the past, I figured this land was pretty much going to be in abandoned condition. Today I parked by the Loew’s theater to the east and from the nearby dead-end road, I followed some tire tracks most of the way thru this field. Many plywood stakes with pink flagging tape adorn the field; clearly this area will soon be developed.
Upon nearing GZ, the weeds, wildflowers, and prairie grasses were waist-high or higher, but I made my way through. Right there amid a bunch of high prairie plants sits Tryner 2, complete with witness post and also a plywood stake with pink tape. The mark is in good shape.
To its south I found a reference mark; it is stamped TRYNER 2 NO 2 and has a witness post. Over the second “2” is stamped the number 5. So obviously this was the original reference mark #2 but had been re-used for Tryner 2. EDIT: per a recovery report in 1967, RM2 was re-stamped and re-designated RM5. I will still log RM2 as found.
I sought RM1 with no luck. I even checked out the coords provided for the RM’s per the NGS, but nothing was there & that’s no surprise. I also checked out some of the other plywood stakes to find nothing.
As I was heading out from the field, a fella in a combine was passing the edge of the field from south to north. As I was about to exit the area of the waist-high prairie plants, he happened to be right there with the combine. I waved at him, but then he stopped. Dang I thought he was gonna yell at me. Long story short, he is a nice fella named Jerry. He thought I was “working on Sunday” as a surveyor. I told him I was just a hobbyist and volunteer seeking the marks. He is aware of the marks in the area, and even told me that he thinks the other mark (RM1) may be gone. I apologized in case I was trespassing and he shook his head -- he didn’t mind and was absolutely cool about me being out there. He further told me about the history of the land and the previous owners (they were politically connected and thus avoided having their land taken over by an I-57 & I-80 interchange), and how the area around the benchmarks will soon be a neighborhood.
He also showed me what different plants were in the area, and he was mowing down the Ethiopian grass to bale it and feed it to some cattle. In chatting about many things, I also found out I know his sister from the place I used to work!
Jerry’s a nice fella. I wouldn’t say the land is open to all, but again he was cool about me being out there. I wish I could have found all the marks related to this one, but this milestone find is exactly why I like BM hunting: for the history and for chatting to people like Jerry who gave me more insight about the whole place. See pics.
[This entry was edited by CoyoteTrust on Monday, August 25, 2008 at 12:15:42 AM.]
ME1954 overview - viewing NE toward mark
ME1954 - viewing east from the mark