|Hiking||8.10 Miles|| 9 Hrs 28 Mns ||1.27 mph|
|2,667 ft AEG|| 3 Hrs 5 Mns Break||18 LBS Pack|
|This was an out-and-back. Bell Pass then up (cholla, cholla galore going up).
Initially to McDowell Pk, where that old emergency antennae lives, then .42 miles over the ridgeline to the other side. Four or five little peaks in between to hop over.
This hike was alot of fun, but I did not accomplish my main goal.
My main reason to hike up the McDowell Pk ridgeline was to find and document MCDOWELL RESET Triangulation Benchmark, and its two Reference Marks. I had unconfirmed information that only Reference Mark #1 remained, so I was aware I may not find anything more than RM #1.
Background info - - - Surveyors left Phoenix in 1924 and used ranch/mining roads and dim track roads to get to the area we now know as Windgate Pass Trail, and then "packed" south, up to the mountain ridgeline. I find that direction an interesting choice on their part.
Ironically, the surveyors (1924) did not put the benchmark on McDowell Pk, even though they thought that was the highest point in the McDowell Mountain chain. The surveyors "monumented" the triangulation benchmark (datasheet quote--"On westerly and lower summit of McDowell Pk, highest point in McDowell Mountains").
They called that whole little range, McDowell Pk.
We now call that "westerly lower summit", Drinkwater Pk, and we also now know that East End Pk is the highest point in the McDowells. (Not McDowell Pk)
By the way, the surveyors set no reference marks in 1924.
Surveyors went up again and checked on the Tri Mark in 1935, and found it vandalized/stolen. All that was left was the steel rod/stem in the rock outcrop, so they installed another disk and stamped it "1924-1935" and classified it a "RESET". They placed it in the exact same location. 1935 is when they set the 2 reference marks, (disks with arrows pointing to the actual survey benchmark), and stamped them 1924-1935 Ref Mark #1 (& #2)
In 1946/1947/1960/1974, surveyors reported all 3 disks in good shape.
Well, after a 2 hour search, using the Tri Mark's datasheet info, my GPS, a measuring tape, a shovel, a probe, and my common sense, I found nothing more than the already reported MCDOWELL Reference Mark #1. I have to believe, sometime between 1974 and now, the triangulation mark and ref mark #2 were vandalized and stolen. Their locations would be right on the ridge line, and easily seen by anyone hiking along this rather narrow stretch. Ref Mark #1 however is more secluded. It's lower and off the ridgeline, 55 feet away, and maybe that's why it survives.
What really surprises me is this vandalism usually doesn't happen in such a remote location. This area is not easy to get to and isn't visited very much.
I did find alot of wire, wood strips and nails strewn around, that the surveyors originally used to erect a vertical staff above the Tri Mark. That's a very normal find, however.
I vow to come back and look one more time, after I do a bit more research.
Who knows, maybe I should bring a metal detector & search further under the dirt.
One thing is for sure, the views are amazing up there, in all directions. That was worth the hike in itself.
|Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost|