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Usery Reset-Peak 2972 - Usery Mountains, AZ
mini location map2014-03-03
73 by photographer avatarFLYING_FLIVER
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Usery Reset-Peak 2972 - Usery Mountains, AZ 
Usery Reset-Peak 2972 - Usery Mountains, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 03 2014
Hiking4.51 Miles 1,547 AEG
Hiking4.51 Miles   7 Hrs   29 Mns   2.15 mph
1,547 ft AEG   5 Hrs   23 Mns Break
1st trip
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I hiked into the Usery Mountains.

Trivia about the word …. Usery ....

Trivia #1 — All things named Usery are named after a convicted, stagecoach-robbing, horse thief.
Prior to all that, he had failed at ranching in the now, ‘Usery’ named areas, north of Mesa.

Trivia #2 — The Usery Mountains are NOT in Usery Mountain Regional Park.
They are west of Usery Pass Rd., and are mostly in the Tonto Natl Forest.
In fact, there are NO mountains in Usery Mountain Regional Park. (Except very small, tiny ones).
‘Pass Mountain’ (and Wind Cave Trail ), are actually out of the park to the east, in the Tonto Natl Forest.

Trivia #3 — The huge white “ < PHOENIX” sign on the side of Peak 2959, (pointing to Phoenix) is in the Usery Mountains. It was painted by boy scouts in the 1950s, and re-painted in the 1990s, under great disapproval by many - for defacing natural scenery.

Trivia #4 - (and most important) :)
— Usery Triangulation Station was monumented in 1935, on Pk 2972, the highest point in the Usery Mountains.
Ironically, (another minor trivia), Usery benchmark’s Azimuth Mark is actually in Usery Mountain Regional Park boundaries.

By the way - No tests will be administered on any of the above. ;)

My planned track to get to the benchmark changed when I received last minute, and unique permission to hike down the gated and locked Microwave Tower Rd. Since the azimuth mark is just south of the road, about 1/2 mile in, the use of the road was handy. I got off the road, soon after ‘not finding’ the azimuth mark on my way to Pk 2972.
(After a bit of sleuthing, I did find the azimuth mark on my hike back to the car). 8)

I first climbed up and visited a peak that had an Arizona state flag waving in the breeze. I then went to the peak with the benchmark. I knew ahead of time that the benchmark would probably be ‘underground’, and it was. After doing some true course and distance stuff from 3 reference marks, I started digging, and found the benchmark seven inches below the ground.

Most of us have seen (or heard of) benchmark disks being vandalized and stolen.
Well in this case, the surveyor’s datasheet states that sometime after 1946 —I quote - “Original Station Mark and Boulder in which it was set were removed by vandals.”
YIKES ! They took the whole boulder !! (probably rolled it down the mountain).
In 1973, surveyors installed another disk in the exact location, in a ‘below ground’ boulder, where the original boulder had been. By their rules, they called this new benchmark ‘USERY Reset’.

Of the three reference marks, one is in good shape (hidden off the peak), one is gone (with just it’s stem left), and the third one isn’t even a disk. It’s an official cross, carved in a boulder, with one longer line (arrow) aimed at the benchmark.

All this measuring, digging, cleaning up the mark, and photo-taking took a long time. I didn’t mind though - It was a beautiful day up there. Great views in all directions. Once done with the benchmark stuff, I wandered over to a couple other peaks, and then down to a saddle, then to a wash, and back on the road.

I again looked for the azimuth mark. The datasheet was misleading at best, as to it’s location, so I broadened my search and finally found it. Good for me. :)

It was a successful, fun hike in an area I had never been to before. Excellent.
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
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