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Palmyra Tri Mark - Little Prairie Quad
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mini location map2013-05-07
43 by photographer avatarFLYING_FLIVER
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Palmyra Tri Mark - Little Prairie QuadSoutheastern, WI
Southeastern, WI
Hiking avatar May 07 2013
Hiking1.70 Miles 206 AEG
Hiking1.70 Miles      53 Mns   2.83 mph
206 ft AEG      17 Mns Break7 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My summertime exercise is water skiing. I water ski literally every morning, either skiing through a slalom course 4 or 5 times, or “free-skiing”, and simulating a course. I don’t enter tournaments anymore though. Too time consuming.

Well, I’ll launch the ski boat soon, but before I do, I thought I’d try my hand at hiking to a benchmark here, in southern Wisconsin. Most benchmarks in the midwest are on private property, or next to roads or near train tracks. I find no fun or challenge in going after those benchmarks.

Today however, I hiked to Palmyra Triangulation Station, which is located in the Kettle Moraine State Forest. This forest’s terrain was formed a zillion years ago by receding glaciers, and is very hilly, with alot of kettles and moraines. (Google those terms for more info).
The station disk was buried under dirt, and located right next to a Survey Marker sign. The sign wasn’t visible until I got about 8 feet from it, due to dense foliage.

The Kettle Moraine forest has many trails for hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding, snowmobiling, etc. It’s interesting that they have trail “Stop” signs and “One-Way” trail signs in some areas, mostly for the bike competitions that occur later in the summer.

I used trails for the first part of this little hike, but I eventually had to go off-trail to get to Palmyra Triangulation Station. The surveyors, (1957), placed the station on a high point , off trail in what is now very thick brush and undergrowth. I purposely did this hike before the real spring/summer growth starts, as off-trail would be impossible later in the summer.
The negative on hiking here, early in the season is - no flowers yet.

Well, I found out that going “off-trail” even now is almost impossible due to this thick brush, trees, vines etc. The vines tend to weave between the brush, making off-trail travel laughable. None of this foliage has needles or prickly parts, but I still paid the price for thrashing through the stuff. Bloody arms was my off-trail reward.

This triangulation station has two reference marks (the marks with the arrows on them). They’re both located about 60 feet away in that thick growth, so I didn’t venture further to locate them.
There’s also an azimuth mark about .3 miles away, on the other side of 2 kettles. I’ll assume it’s fine also, as I did not venture over to look for it. I was scratched up enough.

In a forest like this, the surveyors had to build a “Height of Light” tower (usually temporary), so visual observations could initially be done, to other stations. In 1957 this station had a 59 foot temporary tower erected, to clear the height of the trees. All signs of the tower are gone.
On Arizona mountain tops, these “Height of Light” wooden staffs (not towers) are usually only 5 feet high, and the wood remains of these staffs is what we many times find, near a mountain top survey mark. There’s no need to build and climb a tower for visual observations - on a mountain top.

It was a fun (although bloody) hike, early in the local hiking season.
As a bonus, I had the forest to myself.

Now ............ I’ll launch the ski boat and get busy water skiing. :)
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
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