An exciting find perched on the shoulder of a small rocky ridge overlooking Quartz Creek and the Sterling Highway - complete with the nearly-intact wooden tower over the mark! This was like an archeological find for me - and thrilling to see when I popped up over the edge of the climb onto the first 'bench' of the now-forested ridge. The stumps from where trees had been cut away to provide the surveyors a clear view to other stations were barely visible in the mossy undergrowth, but the station's wooden accessories from its original placement and use in 1964 were still in decent enough shape to remain nearly vertical above the mark. Placed as part of the US Coast & Geodetic Survey's extensive field work in 1964 following the 'Great Alaska Earthquake' (rated at 9.2 on the Richter Scale, this earthquake caused permanent elevation changes of between -8 to +30 feet across southcentral Alaska, with horizontal ground displacements in the immediate area of this mark of nearly six feet), the station shows no signs of use since the summer of 1964. It's likely the mark was used as part of the highway upgrade project around the year 2000, which may be why the tower is tipped off to the side so the station could be occupied with today's more modern surveying gear. The reference marks were not searched for, as I did not want to disturb the layers of moss and soil which have accumulated on most of the rock outcropping here. I accessed the mark by parking at the east end of the rock cut and walking up its outer (cleared) edge, then turning and clambering uphill northward edge up the ridgeline to the first bench and the mark. Coordinates are (of course) right on the money for this 'adjusted' triangulation station, but extensive clearing would be necessary to occupy the station today with GPS instruments. Recommend you search for this off-winter, with plenty of mosquito repellent (or a headnet, as I used). The view on the approach of Quartz Creek valley is stunning, as is the condition of the mark and its accessories. This station was the primary objective of my drive down from Anchorage this morning, and it was worth every bit of effort I'd put into finding it!
[Photos:]UW7731 QUARTZ 1964 (closeup) Kenai Pen Boro, AK
UW7731 QUARTZ 1964 (closeup2) Kenai Pen Boro, AK
UW7731 QUARTZ 1964 (area) Kenai Pen Boro, AK
This was my first view on approach to the station - when I realized there was a tower nearly intact above the mark. It's visible dimly in the center of the photo, right at ground level under the trees.
UW7731 QUARTZ 1964 (view N) Kenai Pen Boro, AK
Looking north across the mark & the tower. Note 46 years' accumulation of forest debris around the area.
UW7731 QUARTZ 1964 (view S) Kenai Pen Boro, AK
Looking south across the station
UW7731 QUARTZ 1964 (area N) Kenai Pen Boro, AK
A closer view, looking north
UW7731 QUARTZ 1964 (area S) Kenai Pen Boro, AK
Looking south across the station, the downslope of the ridge can be seen. This falls away to the Sterling Highway and Quartz Creek valley below.
UW7731 QUARTZ 1964 (access S) Kenai Pen Boro, AK
A view south to the Sterling Highway & Quartz Creek from the access route up the ridge.
UW7731 QUARTZ 1964 (access E) Kenai Pen Boro, AK
Looking east towards the Kenai/Seward Wye from the top of the rock cut along the Sterling Highway. My vehicle is parked on the shoulder below, at the point where I began my walk up to the station.
UW7731 QUARTZ 1964 (access W) Kenai Pen Boro, AK
Looking west down the Sterling Highway and Quartz Creek valley towards Kenai Lake (beyond the ridge in center of photo). This station was a good link in the corridor from the north-south Seward Highway route westwards along the Sterling Highway towards Kenai/Soldotna/Sterling and the western lower Kenai Peninsula.