|South Mountain Wander, AZ|
|South Mountain Wander, AZ|| |
South Mountain Wander, AZ
|Hiking||8.22 Miles|| 7 Hrs 56 Mns ||2.05 mph|
|2,099 ft AEG|| 3 Hrs 55 Mns Break|
|I wandered around South Mtn, enjoying a nice day and exploring some things displayed on TOPO maps. I made five stops along the way and had a few surprises.
I started at the Mormon Trailhead before dawn, and used the Mormon and National trails plus the use trail ‘Guadalupe Ridge - AKA Midlife Crisis / Scott’ trail.
All the trails I used were in great shape.
I quickly made it to my first stop, the ‘River’ Azimuth disk. The disk is very near the Mormon Trail, and it’s really beat up. Since 1947, hikers have been sticking their hiking sticks into it, making it look like it has a bad case of acne.
Next up was a hike up ‘Two Peaks’ to locate the only disk left, of the four that were put up there. (three disks were set in 1935 and one in 1959). I suspect vandals had an easy time pulling out the disks, as the rock on the peak is all cracked and fractured. Only River Reference Mark #2 survives, due to its inconspicuous, out of the way, placement.
The above disks (River) are on a published datasheet, and rather easy to locate.
My next wander was to find out if anything was at a location on a TOPO map that had a triangle icon and “BM” next to it. That was all my information.
I’m only 50-50 on finding anything at those locations.
I lucked out this time, as a US Army Survey Team set a disk named “TI-P-11” (1960), atop a huge boulder outcrop south of the trail with the long name. It took a bit to get to it, but it was a fun little off trail jaunt.
Next up was Harvester BM, which lives, basically, right on a high point of the trail with the long name. Harvester BM, and its reference mark #1 are in ‘OK’ shape. Harvester’s other RM, is right there by the trail also, but spends its time hiding under an inch of desert, so it’s in better shape. ‘Out of sight - Out of mind’ I guess.
Another TOPO ‘BM’ (and icon) was a surprise.
I, again, hiked off trail a bit and came upon a rather wide, flat area between two medium sized boulder outcrops, and started to look for a disk. It’s an unlikely place to put a disk, but ‘What do I know?’
Eventually, I broadened my view, and noticed I was standing on part of the TOPO depicted BM. The map icon designated a huge cross, made out of rocks and boulders. Each line of the cross was exactly 50 feet long and over six feet wide. It appeared to be formed a very long time ago, and since there’s a TOPO triangle icon and ‘BM’ on the map, it must have once been an official benchmark of some sort. It took alot of work to form that rock/boulder cross.
One last off trail stop produced only a ‘round hole in a boulder’, where a disk once lived.
Some disks don’t last long in city parks.
This was a nice ‘on a trail’, and ‘off a trail’ hike. The on trail parts would be a good choice for my non-hiking friends and relatives. Who knows, those trail hikes may give them some hiking enthusiasm.
|Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost|