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Sunday, 16 November 2008

LOG – Part II

This is one of our favorite “finds” even if the disk itself was gone. This took multiple trips over a 3 month period to find, research, and log. We made extra trips and research forays in an attempt to ensure we had truly found the monument base.

Bushwacking was definitely required! The scaled coordinates were unfortunately some distance from the ultimate location so we were off to a bad start. Brush here is thick – made up of “sticker bushes” and Scotch Broom. Scotch Broom can be a scourge around here and this location was a prime example – sometimes it was up to our necks. There was no clearing anywhere – all brush. It took a good part of the day just to find a portion of the R.O.W. fence. It was not continuous – part of an old cedar fence post here, some barbed wire there, and 2 or 3 rusted metal posts. We would find one portion and then work outward from there to try and find another. Searching often required using the weight of your body to “fall through” the brush to create a hole to advance a foot or two. As we got farther away from the scaled coordinates we begin to worry that maybe there was nothing left of the gate. (Finding the gate was our only hope for an east-west clue to where this was.) At the end of the first day, towards dusk, after falling down though another mass of brush, we saw a rusty tubular piece of bent metal on the ground. Following the bends of the metal led to one of the highlights of the search: It ended at a cedar gate post that was still standing and still held one side of the hinged gate! Since it was getting dark, we took a very rough guess of where the mark might be and fought our way to that location. We made a few tentative probe stabs but came up with nothing. Darkness brought the search to a halt for that day.

We came back the next day ready to battle the Scotch Broom. It required extensive work just to be able to see the ground. Since the description was not clear as to which part of the gate the CGS monumenters were measuring from, or whether they were measuring from the closest rail or the center of the tracks, we had quite a bit of ground to probe. We set up a grid with flags and would probe every 6 inches. Mark and probe, mark and probe, was our rhythm for the day. After a lot of searching and brow wiping we finally had a hit with the probe. The initial probing was discouraging. The “hits” butted up against a tree stump and did not seem to extend 8 inches away from the stump. This suggested that maybe we had found a rock instead of an 8x8 inch concrete monument.

We commenced digging around the area of the hits. We reached concrete! (ahhh – the thrill of finding concrete at the end of probe tip instead of a rock). Unfortunately, as we cleared off the top of the concrete we did not find a disk. It turned out that the concrete top was broken off (sad face).
We were able to determine the reason we initially thought the area of probe hits was too small to be the monument: the tree whose stump this was next to, had grown over a portion of the broken top of the concrete. We chipped away at the wood and eventually discovered a full 8 x 10 inch concrete post base. The 1934 monuments along this railroad are 8x8 at the top. However, on what was left of the base, we could see forming board marks with a slight inward tendency on one side that led us to believe that when the concrete reached its original apex it could be an 8x8 size instead of the 8x10 size at the subterranean base.

Continued on next log…

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