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Details for Benchmark: MG0664

N 41° 45.282 W 090° 13.976 (NAD 83)

Altitude: 722

Coordinates may not be exact. Altitude is SCALED and location is ADJUSTED. (more info)

Location:
In WHITESIDE county, IL View Original Datasheet
Designation:
MARAIS D OSIER
Marker Type:
pipe cap
Setting:
setting not listed - see description
Stability:
Mark of questionable or unknown stability.

Reference Points

Must Read!

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This was probably the absolute best benchmark find yet. (And what makes it even more enjoyable is that the latest data sheet reports that someone with the Power Squadron had reported this as "not found" in 2003. ha!)
The day was fabulous, warm, and breezy.
I happened to see a farmer out starting his old tractor right near where I needed to park, and asked him if I could go up to the top of the bluff to find the benchmark. He was a bit baffled as to what I was doing this, even after I explained things to him. He said that on top of one of the line of knolls in the area he'd heard there was a monument of some sort and that it was the highest spot in Whiteside county. I promised to show him some pictures if I found it, and he unlocked a gate for me and went on to pull some junk out of the way with the tractor.
There was a road/path paved with huge chunks of gravel leading right up the steep slope, so I followed that. It was very steep and went straight up the incline. I was pretty beat by the time I reached the top. (checking the topo map later showed that the path rose 100 ft in about 250 ft. Pretty steep. The elevation of the pipecap above where I parked was 145 ft. in about 350 yds.)
On top of the steep bluff there was a graveyard of various rusting farm wagons, etc. and what looked like a collapsed chicken coop. There was even the remains of a horse-drawn wagon.
The mown path curved around and into a sunlit clearing with woods on either side and many birds flying around as well as yet another rusted farm implement.
My GPS indicated that the benchmark was to my left, north, and so I whacked my way through some light brush to find a barbed wire fence with a pasture on the other side.
After getting over the fence without emasculating myself, I found myself in a beautiful pasture mown short by cattle, leaving only huge thistle plants blooming with gorgeous huge purple flowers.
I threaded my way through the many cow pies and followed my GPS. Then I glanced up, and THERE IT WAS! The old iron pipe!
It was right on the very highest spot for many miles and the tallest hill of many in the pasture.

And to my great excitement, it had the original pipecap still in place!! The best find before this one was the ROCKS pipecap, (MG0670,located about 6.5 miles south of here)and it too was on top of an almost vertical cliff/hill. But when I at last reached it, all it was was the pipe. The cap had vanished.

But this one had the cap in good shape, considering that it's been standing there, spring, summer, fall, and winter for over 73 years! It even had one brass dowel/screw holding it in place, though the other was gone.
As you can see in the photo, the cap reads "U.S. Mississippi River Commission 1891"

The views were spectacular, and there wasn't a building in sight. It was so peaceful, isolated, (not even any cows. Well, live ones.. read on.) and beautiful that I could have spent the entire day there. Not a soul around and on the highest spot for many miles, on a beautiful day in a beautiful meadow. It doesn't get much better.

I took many pictures and enjoyed it as much as I could. I then began my trek back.

While on the summit, I'd noticed a dark object in the distace. As I walked toward it to see what it was, I realized it was a dead cow! I also noticed several large birds, which I imagine were turkey buzzards, circling overhead. I approached as close as my nose would allow, took a quick picture and made my way towards the fence.
I crossed without injury again, but found myself in a very thick wooded area which was difficult to get through. But I finally found the path again and enjoyed the downhill walk.
I found the farmer and showed him the pictures, thanked him, and headed on my way.
A great find all the way around. Highly recommended.

[This entry was edited by CacheBar on Thursday, June 24, 2004 at 2:02:30 AM.]

[This entry was edited by CacheBar on Thursday, June 24, 2004 at 2:04:22 AM.]

[This entry was edited by CacheBar on Sunday, June 27, 2004 at 11:28:42 PM.]

[Photos:]
photoPipecap with GPS
This shot shows the elevation to be 718 ft. (can see it better if you click on photo to maximize it.)
photoAHA! I found it.
photoView North from pipecap
On a clear day, you can see forever...
photoView West
photoThistle flower
photoThis cow is not napping..
Can't imagine what happened to this cow, but it was the only one I saw, despite abundant evidence that they have been all over this pasture.
photoBuzzards?
Don't know if these were large hawks, eagles, or turkey buzzards. I don't know if hawks and eagles eat dead meat or not.
photoBuzzard
riding the updrafts near the bluff
photoBuzzard
Wheeling around in the sky.
photoDetail of Pipecap
U.S. Mississippi River Commission 1891
photoOld farrow
This piece of farm equipment likely served for years before ending up in this isolated high meadow.

Documented History (by the NGS)

01/01/1931 by MRC (MONUMENTED)
DESCRIBED BY MISSISSIPPI RIVER COMMISSION 1931 (HWH) STATION IS 2-3/4 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF ALBANY, ON A VERY HIGH GRASSY KNOLL, THE HIGHEST ONE OF SEVERAL KNOLLS, AT THE NORTH END OF THE GROUP, ABOUT 1/4 MILE EAST OF THE ROAD, ABOUT 1/4 MILE SOUTH OF A BROWN HOUSE AND RED BARN, AND 40 METERS WEST OF NORTH-AND-SOUTH WIRE FENCE RUNNING OVER HILL. TO REACH STATION FROM ALBANY, GO VIA DETOURED RIVER ROAD AS FOLLOWS--GO OUT OF TOWN ON DETOURED RIVER ROAD TO POINTS SOUTH TO ROAD INTERSECTION AT POINT WHERE DETOUR TURNS SOUTH. CONTINUE ON MARKED DETOUR FOR DISTANCE OF 2.6 MILES TO STATION SITE AS FOLLOWS, AT 0.5 MILE TURN RIGHT, AT 1.6 MILES TURN LEFT AND CONTINUE TO 2.6 MILES WHERE STATION IS ON HIGH GRASSY KNOLL ON LEFT HAND OF ROAD. MARK IS A 4-INCH CAPPED IRON PIPE, PROTRUDING ONE FOOT ABOVE SURFACE OF GROUND. HEIGHT OF SIGNAL ABOVE STATION MARK - 4 METERS.
01/01/1952 by CGS (GOOD)
RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1952 (LWQ) A NEW DESCRIPTION FOLLOWS-- STATION IS 2-3/4 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF ALBANY, ON A VERY HIGH GRASSY KNOLL, THE HIGHEST ONE OF SEVERAL KNOLLS, AT THE NORTH END OF THE GROUP, ABOUT 1/4 MILE SOUTH OF A BROWN HOUSE AND RED BARN, ABOUT 1/4 MILE EAST OF THE ROAD, 40 METERS WEST OF NORTH-SOUTH WIRE FENCE RUNNING OVER HILL. TO REACH STATION FROM ALBANY, GO SOUTHWEST ON HWY 80 ABOUT 1.1 MILES TO GRAVEL ROAD LEADING SOUTH (TO THE LEFT), FOLLOW THIS ROAD SOUTH 1.4 MILES TO FARM BUILDINGS ON THE LEFT, THE RESIDENCE OF MR. H.L. SWANSON. THE STATION IS ABOUT 1/4 MILE SOUTH OF THE HIGHEST GRASSY KNOLL IN THE AREA. MARK IS A 4-INCH CAPPED IRON PIPE, PROTRUDING ABOUT ONE FOOT ABOVE SURFACE OF THE GROUND.
01/01/1957 by CGS (GOOD)
RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1957 (VES) THE STATION WAS RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION AS DESCRIBED. THE STATION DESCRIPTION IS ADEQUATE EXCEPT THE H.L. SWANSON RESIDENCE IS NOW OWNED BY MR. GERALD F. KEEVER. IT IS A MISSISSIPPI RIVER COMMISSION DISK STAMPED U.S. 1891.
10/07/1994 by USPSQD (GOOD)
RECOVERY NOTE BY US POWER SQUADRON 1994 RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION.
05/07/1999 by USPSQD (GOOD)
RECOVERY NOTE BY US POWER SQUADRON 1999 RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION.

Control Text

  • The horizontal coordinates were established by classical geodetic methods and adjusted by the National Geodetic Survey in October 1999.
  • The orthometric height was scaled from a topographic map.
  • The Laplace correction was computed from DEFLEC99 derived deflections.
  • The geoid height was determined by GEOID99.

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