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215 triplogs

Jan 18 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
ET 4 JEK, AZ 
ET 4 JEK, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 18 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.17 Miles 1,458 AEG
Hiking4.17 Miles   5 Hrs   3 Mns   1.95 mph
1,458 ft AEG   2 Hrs   55 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My car was covered with dust from a previous hike, so before I washed it I decided to do this hike, knowing that it would get even dustier on the drive up Seven Springs Rd/FR 24.

In 1966 the USGS set a series of 5 survey disks north of Phoenix, roughly going from west to east, starting on Perry Mesa and ending on West Cedar Mountain. All five are part of a ‘traverse’ survey.
The five survey disks are officially ‘Electronic Traverse Stations’ and not Triangulation Stations.
(Electronic Traverse Stations - - Google it for more)

This series of five survey disks starts with a disk named “ET 1 JEK” on Perry Mesa, and ends on W Cedar Mtn with ET 5 JEK. Physically, they’re just normal looking disks that we all come across. The “ET” tips you off that they’re “Electronic Traverse” stations. My guess on the “JEK” is that it’s either the initials of the head surveyor, or the name used for this specific traverse ID.

I have already located the first disk, ET 1 JEK, and the last disk, ET 5 JEK.
This hike was to the #4 in the series, NW of W Cedar Mtn. It was a rather easy hike, up to a no-name mesa, with all the normal desert vegetation that was easily avoided.
This is still active cattle country, so my major hike obstacle was ‘cow flops/cattle scat’. It was all over the place.

After locating the disk, I hiked straight down the steep ridge, crossed a few drainages and hiked FR 24 back to my TH. It made for a nice loop.

Soon, I’ll hike to #3 (ET 3 JEK), but I doubt I’ll ever get to the #2 in this series.
ET 2 JEK is very remote, with no passable roads to even get close. It would be a very long hike, to even get to the base of the high mountain where it’s located.

By the way, in 1966, all 5 of these disks were monumented and reached using a helicopter. No hiking was involved.
If you rent me a helicopter, I’ll take you to ET 2 JEK.
I’ll supply lunch at the electronic traverse station. :)
Fauna
Fauna
Cow
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
Named place
Named place
West Cedar Mountain
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Jan 12 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Black Cross Butte 4806Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.67 Miles 3,188 AEG
Hiking5.67 Miles   8 Hrs   48 Mns   0.90 mph
3,188 ft AEG   2 Hrs   32 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I consider this hike a “Big Boy/Big Girl” hike, and since I believe I’m just a “Medium Boy” hiker, this one was quite the challenge. The distance and AEG were no problem.
However, I spent half my time trying to determine how to go around or through some very nasty vegetation.

There are three “gaps in ridge-lines” to climb up through, before you get the privilege to actually hike up Black Cross Butte 4806. Each gap is laden with thick brush. Then there’s a wash you must cross, that has almost impenetrable vegetation on both sides. It seemed like the shrubs near the wash were locked together. It was like going through a maze of thick, wooden spiderwebs. All this made the hike very slow going for this Medium Boy hiker.

Once I finally got to the base of 4806, the climb up was a bit steep, but nothing out of the ordinary. It actually was a relief.

Black Cross Triangulation Station lives on the Butte, and so does its reference mark #1. Someone decided to rip out and remove RM #2, and take it home.
I re-erected the wooden Height of Light over the station, to let it pretend it was 1946 again.

The location of Black Cross Azimuth Mark is a tease.
You come across the azimuth disk only 1 mile into the hike, and before the heavy brush shows up. You might think you’re almost there, time wise.
In a straight line, the azimuth mark is also only about 1 mile away from the top of 4804, but you’d need a “reverse” zip-line to get there in a straight line. Hiking an arc through the three gaps is probably the best and safest route to get to the base of 4806.

The plant of the day, that administers pain, was agave. They’re all over the place. Very few prickly pear or cholla etc, made the scene.

My hike back down was a tad easier, as I could more easily see and determine the “least thick, of the thick” areas to maneuver through.

Even with the above mentioned “plant” adversity, the hike and the area are winners. The visual ruggedness of this whole area is quite a treat for the eyes, and actually made this hike worth the effort.
Named place
Named place
Apache Lake Black Cross Butte
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Jan 08 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Armer Mountain - C-47 Memorial Site & Armer BM, AZ 
Armer Mountain - C-47 Memorial Site & Armer BM, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 08 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking6.30 Miles 1,763 AEG
Hiking6.30 Miles   6 Hrs   22 Mns   1.64 mph
1,763 ft AEG   2 Hrs   32 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
(A bit long - Sorry about that)
(At least read the last portion about protecting the memorial paperwork).

Armer Mountain is north of Roosevelt Reservoir, and has a couple bits of unique history.

Timber was harvested there in the very early 1900s, for the purpose of building Roosevelt Dam. The harvesting went on for a couple years, and a rudimentary road was built to facilitate this endeavor. Now, over 100 years later, that mountain road is barely recognizable.

The other noteworthy event was a plane crash in the early 1950s. A military C-47 cargo/passenger plane crashed into the side of Armer Mountain, killing all twenty eight people onboard. After reading the accident report and a couple other detailed reports, my opinion is, this fatal accident never, ‘ever’, should have happened. It was totally preventable.
(Sorry for the soap box - I despise preventable, aviation accidents).

Kingsnake recently uploaded to HAZ, some info about a memorial plaque that was established next to the south-southwest cliff band, so I decided to go up and look around. That’s the area where the C-47 impacted the side of Armer.

Also, on the high point of Armer Mountain, lives a USGS survey triangulation station, appropriately named “Armer”.
Of all the Armer Mtn triplogs and photosets on HAZ, no one has mentioned seeing the Armer benchmark disk, so I continued from the C-47 accident memorial area to the top of the mountain. Locating a disk that’s in a boulder “flush with the ground”, in a pine forest full of leaves and debris sounded like a good challenge.

The first part of the hike starts on that defunct logging road (FS152) that mostly uses a drainage named Rose Creek. Once near the southern cliff band, the road makes a 90 degree turn, out of the drainage and works its way up the mountain. Yes, if you squint, you can see parts of the road - Part of the time. It’s covered in alot of vegetation now.

I actually did not use the road from the memorial site to the top of the mountain. Instead, I stayed near the cliff band, peering out and down, looking for wreckage. I saw none, and I didn’t think I would. The big pieces of wreckage were removed, and the rest is hidden in vegetation below the cliff band.
I did use the remnants of the logging road going down from the high point.

The accident memorial plaque etc, is a very nice tribute to the 28 “souls on board” that perished that fateful afternoon. The memorial looks rather new, and I hope it holds up for many years. Also, at the memorial, there’s a large zip-locked bag with many pages of good information about the accident, plus the ziplock has many photos for your viewing.

Yes, I located the benchmark atop Armer. Good for me.
The rocks for the cairn on the high point were scattered all over the place, and the known summit log is gone. I did re-erect the cairn, however.

========================

I have a favor to ask anyone going up Armer Mountain.

The large zip-locked bag by the accident memorial needs much better protection from the elements.
Please bring a waterproof container, large enough to hold folded or scrolled-up 8.5 by 11 paper, and put the paperwork & photos in the container. The way it is now, the paperwork etc will never make it long-term, with the zip-locked bag secured by just a rock.

Send me a PM via HAZ and I’ll give you detailed info on where the memorial site is located.
Also, let me know how much money the container cost you, and I’ll reimburse you the cost.
Thanks.

Enjoy the photos.
Flora
Flora
Manzanita
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Jan 05 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Fountain Hills Wander, AZ 
Fountain Hills Wander, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 05 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking8.23 Miles 1,515 AEG
Hiking8.23 Miles   3 Hrs   42 Mns   2.33 mph
1,515 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
A friend of mine is in town, and wanted to get in a little hiking exercise.
I obliged him and took him into the Fountain Hills preserve.

We were the first ones at the tiny trailhead, but the lot was full when we got back. Even with a full lot, we only saw two hikers all day.— :?

A fun little hike, with a long time friend.
Named place
Named place
Dixie Mine East End Peak 3804 - MSP
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Dec 30 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Saddle Mountain - Winkleman, AZ 
Saddle Mountain - Winkleman, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 30 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.60 Miles 1,756 AEG
Hiking4.60 Miles   6 Hrs   15 Mns   1.74 mph
1,756 ft AEG   3 Hrs   36 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This particular Saddle Mtn (there seems to be many) is near Winkleman. It’s about 35 miles south of the Superstitions, and about 35 miles north of the Santa Catalina Mtns.

There are four little “Saddle” disks associated with the mountain. The three at the high point were in plain sight and quite close together, as the peak’s top is tiny.

The hike up was bit of a dance. Two thick cholla fields had me practicing my ballet moves. No pirouettes were attempted, but I had to “dance” very slowly around my cholla friends.
For my next adventure going up, I had the cholla fields make a handoff to a couple prickly pear fields. I was moving sideways as much as straight ahead.
I won this “up-the-mountain” dance contest, but I wasn’t as fortunate on my way down, while using a different, wider ridge. Oh well, at least I found a horse shoe on the way down.

Prior to my descent down to a corral/tank, I hiked over to the “horn”, that makes this mountain look like a saddle, when looking at it from the west. The horn is a bit lower than the BM high point.

After hiking off the mountain, I looked for the fourth disk, Saddle Azimuth Mark.
It turned out to be quite a challenge.
Just as I told myself (for the third time), “This is the last place I’ll look”, I spied something very circular, deep in a row of bushes.
There it was, hidden in the grasp of some thick vegetation. Lucky me.
I assume it’s been hiding for most of the last 73 years.

All in all, a fine hike. I’m getting quite good at dancing around sticky cholla and prickly pears.
Named place
Named place
Saddle Mountain
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Dec 11 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Golf Course Wander, WI 
Golf Course Wander, WI
 
Hiking avatar Dec 11 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.31 Miles 228 AEG
Hiking3.31 Miles   1 Hour   5 Mns   3.48 mph
228 ft AEG      8 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Disclaimer - My track is correct, but the time stamps are erroneous. I had to go home and charge my iPhone part way into the hike. I then “glued” the two tracks together.
(So - The track is good, and the hike took about an hour, and not “over 4 hrs”).

I’m in the midwest for the holidays, visiting a zillion relatives, going to basketball and soccer games (grandson’s), band concerts (granddaughter ‘s and grandson’s), and watching my favorite ballerina (granddaughter) perform in the Nutcracker Musical. All fun times.

When I’m not traveling around doing those things, I’m trying to walk/hike as much as possible, to combat eating too many Xmas goodies etc.

Two years ago this month, I uploaded a golf course hike while in Wisconsin. On that hike, it was 65 degrees and sunny on 15 Dec. (Unusually high temps for Dec).
Today’s golf course hike had more normal December weather - 28 degrees and snowing most of the time. Just that light, fluffy snow.

The 9 hole golf course is closed for the winter, but hiking the course is OK. There’s only a light dusting of snow on the ground, and the nearby lake is trying its best to freeze over. Canadian Geese (the ones that do not migrate) are either in open portions of the cold lake or sitting on the very thin ice along the shores. Their tolerance for the cold water and ice fascinates me.

Anyway, I hiked from tee to green on all nine holes, then wandered around a bit, ending up using a forested area as a way back home. In the forest, I became transportation for some midwest cockleburs.

Next time I do this GC Wander, I’ll mix it up and hike it in reverse order, green #nine to tee #nine etc.
Gee ........... I hope I don’t get lost doing that!!! :)
Flora
Flora
Common Cocklebur
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Nov 27 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Joe and Bruces Height of Light, AZ 
Joe and Bruces Height of Light, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 27 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking6.12 Miles 1,921 AEG
Hiking6.12 Miles   6 Hrs   6 Mns   1.86 mph
1,921 ft AEG   2 Hrs   49 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Once upon a time, Joe and Bruce went on a hike into the White Canyon Wilderness.
It was one of their shorter hikes (about 16 miles).

Along the way, they came across a Height of Light that was on a small, nondescript peak.
Bruce said it seemed an odd place for a triangulation mark to be set. [ photo ]

Joe just teased Bruce about him rebuilding the rock pile so the Height of Light would be more stable. [ photo ]

After seeing their photos, I wondered:
Is there a disk under all the rocks supporting the Height of Light?
Are there any reference marks on the little peak?
Oh, so many questions…………..

Well, it’s all their fault that I had to risk my life going through a “cliff band”, in order to hike up there and look around. :)
If you ever want to go up (or down) that cliff band, do Not use my “up” track to get above it ….. You may die.
However, definitely do use my “down” track, (when going up or down).
My “down” track was about 100 feet away from Joe & Bruce’s “up” - And probably even better than their choice. I certainly wasn’t the first to use it, as there were a couple cairns to guide the way. Actually, what I took for 2 cairns could have been a broken drift fence, to keep cattle off the plateau. Whatever it was, it was a safe way to get ‘through’ the cliff band.

Once atop the plateau, I sauntered over to the Height of Light area.
There it was, still standing proud.

Observations:
It’s definitely a Height of Light - old and weathered wood, with many wires to hold it firm.
I found no evidence (wood) for a survey platform.
I completely de-rocked the large ‘pile-of-rocks’, holding up the Height of Light, to look for a disk. No disk was found, and no evidence that a disk was ever there.
Sans a disk, I looked for carvings on the rocks beneath the Height of Light, knowing that surveyors sometimes did not use disks, but just carved a cross into a rock to ‘mark’ the survey spot. I found no carved rocks below the Height of Light.
I looked all over the peak perimeter for reference mark disks (or boulders with carved arrows) - None found.
Furthermore, there’s no listing online or on TOPOs, plus an email to me from the USGS, listing all their benchmarks in this area does not include this LAT/LONG.

Possibilities:
— (Possible) - Maybe the little bump of a mountain itself, is the “actual benchmark” - Like Smith Peak in the Harcuvars, and Eagle Tail Pk (the ‘mountain top’ itself has a datasheet named “Needles”).
— (Remote) - Maybe there IS a disk there, but underground. However, I see no reason for surveyors to ‘pick-axe’ down to set a disk below the rock surface, especially in such a remote area.
— (Or) - Maybe someone took the little defenseless disk, and expertly covered up their vandalism.

Conclusions:
— I have no conclusions - Heck, I’m just a hiker - We need an expert benchmark historian.

In any event, it was a fun hike, (except for “up” the cliff band, when I almost needed to be bubble-wrapped and equipped with a hang glider).

I thank Joe & Bruce for the adventure, even though I failed to locate anything.
It’s all about the journey anyway, and the White Canyon area is very easy on the eyes.
Culture
Culture
Height of Light
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Nov 21 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Harcuvar and Bullard, AZ 
Harcuvar and Bullard, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 21 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking12.59 Miles 3,042 AEG
Hiking12.59 Miles   7 Hrs   6 Mns   2.60 mph
3,042 ft AEG   2 Hrs   15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Last March, while hiking in McMullen Valley to locate a few benchmarks and county boundary markers, I took this photo - ( [ photo ] ).
I thought, “I have to hike in the Harcuvar Mountains”.

Well, I just completed a hike to Smith Pk, the tallest peak in the Harcuvars, and home to a communications antenna farm. Also, after a bit of research, I discovered there’s a benchmark (Bullard) in the far eastern end of the mountain range. So, I decided to locate Bullard’s four affiliated disks and then continue on to Smith Pk.

The Bullard Benchmark (1944) is named after Bullard Mine, which was just southeast of Harcuvar Mtns. The mine started in 1885, and produced a bit of Silver, gold, copper, lead, and zinc.

After locating the four survey disks, I actually ended up hiking to, and past Smith Pk, toward the west. I continued past the peak until the little, crumbling road abruptly ended.

HA ! - I felt a bit like Forest Gump, when he came to an ocean.
I smiled at the abrupt road end, turned around, looked at the crumbling road, then started back the other way.
- Just like Forest. :)

From the ridgeline, I had unobstructed views in all directions - Excellent.
The Harcuvar Mtn Range is 25 miles long and about 5 miles wide. There’s a huge amount of mining/ranching roads criss-crossing the valley to the south, giving decent access to alot of the range.
I highly recommend the area. Lotsa fun out there.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sun
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Nov 17 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
White Benchmark, AZ 
White Benchmark, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 17 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.48 Miles 966 AEG
Hiking3.48 Miles   4 Hrs   23 Mns   1.86 mph
966 ft AEG   2 Hrs   31 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The benchmark is In the area of the Skyline Regional Park, just north of Buckeye.

I made my way up to a rocky, narrow ridgeline and followed it to the benchmark peak. There are no trails in this area.
After the BM peak, I continued along the ridgeline to some artifacts (a dilapidated, wooden beacon tower and remnants of an old electric line or possibly a telegraph line).

This narrow ridgeline partially encircles a valley to the north, and has steep, but sloping terrain to that valley. To the south is a long, straight down drop to the desert floor. The ridgeline rock is loose stuff, so I didn’t venture to “right on the edge” of the ridge-top very much. . There are many little peaks along this ridgeline, and the narrowness made it slow going.
This narrow ridge reminded me of a miniature Seven Mile Mtn near the Estrellas.

The White Benchmark (1934) is gone. I dug and scraped around the location and found no sign of the disk. Flaky, fractured rock must have made it easy to dislodge the disk. However, both reference marks are still up there, and are cemented into surface bedrock boulders.

Ironically, I parked the car within feet of where the azimuth mark was set. After a thorough search, I declare the azimuth mark is gone also. I even moved the car in hopes I actually parked over the disk. No such luck.

I planned on hiking the ridgeline a further distance, until it started to rain. A narrow sheet of drizzle from south to north started to make the loose, ridge rocks slippery, so I bailed the ridge earlier than planned. (I didn’t want to plummet off the “straight down” south edge).
This shortened the hike, but I was done with the area anyway.

All morning, I was entertained with Air Force fighter jets, returning to Luke AFB, from their southern practice ranges. I yelled up to them to give me a ride, but I guess they were too busy. :)
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunrise
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Nov 06 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Peak 3804-McDowells, AZ 
Peak 3804-McDowells, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 06 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking8.93 Miles 2,220 AEG
Hiking8.93 Miles   6 Hrs   2 Mns   2.17 mph
2,220 ft AEG   1 Hour   55 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I visited the top of Pk 3804 again (4th time up there).
Some books refer to Pk 3804 and Pk 3585 (next door) as “The Twins”, and from North Scottsdale, they do look similar. (The Twins are the third and fourth bumps south of Thompson Pk).

I went up Pk 3804 via the steep, unofficial, (and disappearing) trail, and bushwhacked down the east-southeast edge. The off trail down was slow due to steepness, and scree. I ended up on a ridgeline that leads to the Western Loop Trail, and from there I took a couple “No-Name” Trails and finally the Dixie Mine Trail back to the TH.

There are some new trails in the Fountain Hills Preserve. They have no signage yet, but it’s rather easy to determine where they go and what known trails they connect to.

I saw no hikers all day. Too bad for them, as it was a great day to hike.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro - Crested
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Nov 03 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Miners Needle LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 03 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking9.14 Miles 1,586 AEG
Hiking9.14 Miles   5 Hrs   11 Mns   2.37 mph
1,586 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
This was my first hike in Az since April, and my initial plan was to make it a short 3 or 4 mile hike, check out some of my new equipment, and also see if I still knew how to hike off trail and locate things.
I foiled my own plan, and ended up hiking about 9 miles. I had a great time.

I started at Peralta TH, took the Dutchman Trail a bit, went off trail, and visited the Circle Azimuth Mark.
(I initially located Circle Azimuth Mark about 5 years ago, so this was just a revisit - No detailed searching involved)
I then rejoined the Dutchman, but instead of hiking directly back to Peralta, I took the Dutchman to Bluff Spring Tr and looped back to the TH on the Bluff Spg Tr.

When I started out, Peralta had 3 cars in the lot, and when I returned, it was filling up.
Also, while I was hiking, my Jeep Wrangler “made friends” with one of its own. A different model, but from the same family. You have to watch these “young-folks” all the time. :)
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Apr 24 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Lake Geneva Benchmark, WI 
Lake Geneva Benchmark, WI
 
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking0.67 Miles
Hiking0.67 Miles   1 Hour   10 Mns   2.01 mph
      50 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The midwest probably has five times as many benchmarks as the western states, but most of them are right next to roads, railroad tracks, or in other boring locations. Since most of the midwest is private land, accessing the more remote benchmarks is very difficult. With that said, I did manage to locate a couple benchmarks that were in forested areas and on public access land.

The city of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is located right next to a very beautiful lake, also named Lake Geneva. Both are about 14 miles south of my house. I went out and located its namesake, Lake Geneva Triangulation Station.

In 1957, surveyors set the benchmark on what is probably the high point of the city, and far north of the actual lake.
Remember - This is the midwest - When I say ‘High Point’, I’m talking about 300 to 400 feet higher than the surrounding area. Wisconsin is mostly rolling hills, produced by receding glaciers, and is nothing like Arizona’s terrain.

I did this short hike in the spring, before the area got thick with summer undergrowth.
As I mentioned, the benchmark is in a forested area and also near a trail. I didn’t know the trail existed, until I bushwhacked to the BM. Being near a trail meant the BM wasn’t covered in fallen oak leaves and dirt, so it was an easy find.

The two reference marks were another story.
Both RMs were over 200 ft from the BM, so measuring out the distance and direction through the forest was almost impossible. When set in place, the RMs were “near a fence”. I finally found the remains of the fence and got lucky locating the two RM disks.

Both RMs were buried under piles of leaves, and under about 6 inches of muddy dirt. I bothered a lot of earth worms while digging up the disks. That fence the RMs are near is a cemetery fence, and some of the cemetery visitors gave me very strange looks as I was digging through the leaves and mud. I gave some of the onlookers a couple long stares, to reinforce whatever they were thinking. :)

The two Lake Geneva reference mark disks are red and the BM disk ‘appeared’ to be red, until I cleaned it up.

After this hike, I got in the car and drove about 6 miles further southeast, to another forested area and located another benchmark. I’ll get a triplog up on that little endeavor soon.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Apr 04 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Bald Mountain Benchmark, AZ 
Bald Mountain Benchmark, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 04 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.37 Miles 1,481 AEG
Hiking4.37 Miles   5 Hrs   49 Mns   2.03 mph
1,481 ft AEG   3 Hrs   40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This was one of my favorite benchmark hikes, mostly because so many artifacts are still up there, and intact. Some items have been on Bald Hill for 71 years, and a couple items date back more than 100 years.

Bald Hill is about 10 miles southwest of Camp Verde.
Bald Mtn Triangulation Station is on Bald Hill, and was set in place by the USGS in 1902 - That’s 115 years ago, and the original 115 year old disk still looks brand new.
44 years later (1946), surveyors set more disks, two reference mark disks and an azimuth disk.

These 1946 surveyors are also the ones who put up a still standing, 6 foot ‘instrument stand’ over the benchmark and supported the floor boards with a triangular wall of rock about 2 feet high.
Even the rock cairn the 1946 guys mention is intact. I also found remnants of a ‘spent’ flare or two, possibly used for the Height of Light. The Height of Light was probably on top of the instrument stand, in order to be high enough to be seen over the many juniper trees on Bald Hill.
Bald Hill artifacts seem to be in a time warp.

I made the hike into a loop. The hike up to the BM was straight forward. I just moved across the high side of one mountain, then went straight up Bald Hill. After I was done on Bald Hill, I hiked in an arc to climb up, what surveyors said locals called ‘Little Baldy’. That’s where the azimuth mark was set. The arc approach avoided descending into a deep valley prior to going up Little Baldy.

From the azimuth mark, I continued my loop and ran into thick vegetation that looked very much like cats claw. Whatever it was, it had no ‘claws’. Maps call this cats claw look-alike area, ‘Brushy Basin’. I weaved my way through the thinner areas with only a few backtracks.

This turned out to be a fun hike, and sadly, my last Arizona hike for awhile. I’m heading back to the midwest for the summer. I have to launch a couple boats and do a bit of water skiing.
So, all you HAZers - Hike safe, and have a great summer.

See you in the triplog and photoset comment section. :)
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 28 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
WILD on Pine Mountain, AZ 
WILD on Pine Mountain, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 28 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking6.46 Miles 1,633 AEG
Hiking6.46 Miles   4 Hrs   47 Mns   2.31 mph
1,633 ft AEG   1 Hour   59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
The ‘boulder crawl’ drive:
It’s a 21 mile drive from I-17 to the north TH for, Verde Rim Trail #161.
The first 14 miles of road are OK, with the last 7 miles being mostly a boulder field. I was literally at a 2 or 3 mph boulder crawl, over very large boulders for most of those last 7 miles. I knew about the road conditions prior to using it, but I had another hike I wanted to do from this road, if I had time. I ran out of time.
As many know, there is an alternative road/TH, for hiking the Verde Rim Trail #161, by connecting to it from another trail. I recommend that TH.

The Hike:
Excellent hike - In a pine forest, with views to the east that never quit. Trail #161 is in great shape, with just a bit of encroaching growth & a bit of deadfall.

The high point of Pine Mountain is a very nice, relatively flat area, with alot of open space. Surveyors placed Wild Triangulation Station on the high point, near the rim, in 1946. They also set reference mark #1. A Forest Service Disk was already established up there in 1938, 17 Ft from Wild BM, and surveyors used it for their Wild RM #2.

Once done with those three disks, I went further south on the trail and located Wild Azimuth Mark, which is even closer to the rim, and only a few feet lower than the BM’s high point. The ‘line of sight’ from Wild Azimuth to Wild BM is over the drop off of the rim. There are great views from the azimuth disk also.

Yes - The arduous drive was slow and tedious, but worth it. However that other, addendum hike I’d like to do, may have to wait until I buy a helicopter. :|
Named place
Named place
Horseshoe Reservoir Pine Mountain
Meteorology
Meteorology
Virga
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 24 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Rotten, AZ 
Rotten, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 24 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.24 Miles 1,411 AEG
Hiking4.24 Miles   5 Hrs   56 Mns   1.99 mph
1,411 ft AEG   3 Hrs   48 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was a “Rotten” adventure, west of Red Rock and SASCO. Surveyors must have had fun, naming this benchmark.
I hiked up two peaks (within a series of peaks), attempting to locate benchmarks. I had very little to go on for the first peak. I had just a hunch, (and some data) for Peak 2428. I looked all around, for over an hour, and found no sign of a disk.
I did find some discarded clothing and other ‘spotter’ stuff.
In fact, I found spotter stuff on both peaks and on the journey between the two. Both peaks have an unobstructed, 360 degree view. I later read that sheriff’s officers know about these locations, and have apprehended some of the spotters and their ‘spotter suppliers’.

The second peak (Peak 2454) was not a fun climb, as I didn’t stick to my planned climb route. I went straight up to the peak, and had no fun in the scree and steepness. I did use my planned descent and that was fine. Rotten Triangulation Station (1936) and Reference Mark 2 are up there, but RM #1 is gone.

This last peak is tiny, with basically no vegetation. Among other things (spotter trash), a car battery is up there, and after finding alot of mule scat, I’m thinking spotters, (or their suppliers) used a pack animal to get supplies up the mountain. In fact, while descending a more gradual track, I could see disrupted ground areas and more scat.

This was a fun little adventure, with 50% success in locating stuff.
I guess I was lured by the benchmark name also.
HMMM …… I wonder if there’s a disk out there named ‘Putrid’, or ‘Rancid’ or ‘Noxious’ or ……..
Fauna
Fauna
Cow Talus Snail
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 19 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Barnhardt Trail #43Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 19 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking13.12 Miles 2,278 AEG
Hiking13.12 Miles   6 Hrs   45 Mns   2.83 mph
2,278 ft AEG   2 Hrs   7 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
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I’m calling this an ‘exercise hike’, as I wanted to stretch my legs a bit. My recent hikes have been (for me anyway) fun and interesting, but not very long. I chose Barnhardt Trail, as it takes basically no planning. Just jump out of the car and get on the trail.
No bushwhacking, no plants with needles to contend with, plus no need to bring a shovel to dig up little disks, & no need to bring ‘Fliver Dust’ to dress up the disks. It was a nice change of pace.

Barnhardt Trail is very popular, with a zillion triplogs etc uploaded to HAZ, so there’s nothing I can add, to this well documented trail.

I started at 7 AM, with the sun just getting above the mountains to the east. A beautiful day was at hand, with very few hikers on the trail. I stopped at the falls, and a few other scenic places.

I hiked to the end of Barnhardt - Then went south on Divide Trail for about 1/2 mile, had lunch and hiked back. It felt good to get a nice pace going and be able to keep it, as opposed to most of my off trail endeavors that have me stopping often, to evaluate my next 100 feet of maneuvering.
I should hike on trails more often. :)
Named place
Named place
Mogollon Rim
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Mar 13 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Webb Mountain - Gila Bend Mountains, AZ 
Webb Mountain - Gila Bend Mountains, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 13 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking1.85 Miles 785 AEG
Hiking1.85 Miles   3 Hrs   23 Mns   2.27 mph
785 ft AEG   2 Hrs   34 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
A friend of mine needed a ride to Buckeye from Mesa (and back), to meet with some of his clients. I told him I’d be his taxi service if we could leave before the AM rush hour, and return before the PM rush hour. He agreed, and off we went.
I dropped him off, and proceeded to do a quick hike before I drove him back to Mesa.

Webb Mountain is just under 4 miles north of Woolsey Pk, and it was just the right size mountain for my time period.
Most of the planning was figuring out what roads to use to drive to the north side of the mountain, where the Webb Azimuth was set. With the drive plan done, I chose to hike straight up Webb. That’s not a big deal as this mountain ‘range’ is wider than it is high.

I was almost certain the Webb benchmark disk was gone, but while up there I did some measuring and digging. As I thought, the benchmark disk is probably far away, hanging on someone’s garage wall.
The rock atop the mountain is very split and fractured, and I’m sure it didn’t take much effort to pull out the disk.

The two reference marks are still up there and in great shape, as no one would ever see them if they weren’t actually looking for them.

The azimuth mark is gone also. The surveyors placed it “IN AN OLD CONCRETE BLOCK”. The once circular concrete block is probably an artifact from the Hargan Mine, which was defunct even before the 1934 surveyors did their work. Someone pried the azimuth disk out of the block.

This little hike did the trick in filling up my time, while my friend was working away at his Buckeye business meetings. We easily beat the PM rush hour back to the east valley also.
Flora
Flora
Brittlebush
Culture
Culture
Reference Mark
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 08 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Frustums - #1 - #2 - #3, AZ 
Frustums - #1 - #2 - #3, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 08 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking8.79 Miles 250 AEG
Hiking8.79 Miles   4 Hrs   19 Mns   3.10 mph
250 ft AEG   1 Hour   29 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I drove to the western end of the Maricopa-Yavapai shared county border, to locate three frustums.
Frustums #3, #2, and #1 were the last three, west of Wickenburg, on my list. With these three in the “located” column, I only have two more frustums, (out of a total of 31) to hike to, and those two will have to wait until conditions are correct.

(FYI - Maricopa/Yavapai county boundary monuments are in the geometric shape called - frustum).

I also located each frustum’s associated benchmark, plus an assortment of other non related stuff in close proximity to the monuments. For example, Yuma County also set a huge, 6-sided frustum out there in 1918. Of course now - That ‘Yuma monument’ represents the county border of La Paz county.
In my planning, trying to sort out ‘what monument relates to what disk’ etc was a bit confusing, as the surveyors gave some of these artifacts ‘double duty’. Plus some of the data on some of the datasheets was totally inaccurate, making things even more difficult to figure out. I was finally able to sort out all misleading info.

My GPS track is 50-50 drive and hike, as I had to hop out of the car three times, along Aguila Valley Rd to locate all this stuff. Aguila Valley is flat and thinly vegetated, and hiking through it is very easy. The valley is bordered by the Harcuvar Mtns to the north, and the Harquahala Mtns to the south.

While hiking to an azimuth mark, I saw alot of animal tracks in the semi soft sand. I also saw an inordinate number of active ant hills, some with winged ants leaving the nest.

While driving out of the area, I had some friendly, domestic horses greet me on the road. It appeared that one of the horses wanted to jump in the car with me.

As I mentioned above, my last two frustum hikes will have to wait awhile, as I need a forest road to reopen for one frustum hike, and I need to ‘ford’ the Verde river for the other. With all the rain we’ve had lately, fording the Verde won’t be anytime soon.
Fauna
Fauna
Ants
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Mar 03 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Ruins in SRC Wilderness, AZ 
Ruins in SRC Wilderness, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 03 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.16 Miles 872 AEG
Hiking4.16 Miles   3 Hrs   23 Mns   2.31 mph
872 ft AEG   1 Hour   35 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A couple years ago, I went up Black Mesa, northeast of Roosevelt Reservoir, and located five survey disks. Since that hike went faster than anticipated, I began to wander around the mesa, locating some things that I had noticed on Google Earth. Most items were from a bygone era of cattle grazing.
With encroaching rain, I cut my ‘mesa tour’ short, prior to hiking to something further away that, on Google Earth, puzzled me.

I devoted today’s hike to that ‘something’ on GE that I didn’t get to a couple years ago.

The hike - Plus an Extra:
I didn’t have to go back up Black Mesa, as my destination was far northeast of the main part of the mesa.
I left Cherry Creek Rd and drove down a now, ‘retired’ ranch road and parked near Chalk Creek. I hiked south, down the creek and then up a small wash. Eventually, I went up a hill to a small mesa to see what I viewed on Google Earth.

It appears to be, what I believe, is an Indian ruin. (I’m a novice at this ruins stuff).
What ever it is, It’s certainly man made, and it’s huge.

The ruin is almost a perfect rectangle, with a ‘ walked-off ’ length of about 152 feet, and a width of about 92 feet. Some of the still standing walls are over 7 feet high. The outer rock walls consist mostly of large, flat plate rock. There are remnants of inner walls constructed with natural rock outcrops, along with the aforementioned flat plate rocks. I located one small doorway in the outer wall that is about three feet high.

I left the mesa and went further south to a small butte, thinking another ruin might be there. This butte has a view of the Salt River. I concluded the little butte had no ruins, as the rocks there are very large and naturally scattered. It would make a great lookout though.

I then went back to the rectangular ruin and looked for artifacts on the ground. That was tough, because the smaller, flat plate rocks strewn on the ground look very similar to pottery sherds, in color and size. So, I’ll say I found no pottery sherds, plus no metates or artwork-on-boulders in the area.

Finally, I wandered through a valley, filled with now forgotten ranching artifacts, including many broken segments of black water hoses that lead down to some troughs and tanks.
Once back to the car, I did an extra little hike.
———————————
My ‘Extra’ little adventure:
After the ruins hike, I had time to drive down Cherry Creek Rd and locate a benchmark, and its two RMs, plus its azimuth disk. They were ‘easy pickins' - Good for me.
———————————
The Black Mesa area is a long drive, but it was worth the effort (and a tank of gas), to view this huge, man-made structure/ruins.
With the Salt River nearby, and the many creeks feeding the Salt, this whole area seems to be a good place for ancient human habitation.
Named place
Named place
Black Mesa Chalk Creek
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Feb 26 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 187
 Photos 8,068
 Triplogs 215

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Iron Azimuth Peak 5169 and Trail BM, AZ 
Iron Azimuth Peak 5169 and Trail BM, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 26 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking6.20 Miles 950 AEG
Hiking6.20 Miles
950 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My plan was to do three ‘Things’ - On three different little hikes:

Thing 1 - Locate the azimuth mark for Iron Benchmark.
Thing 2 - Climb up Peak 5169, which is just SW of Rogers Trough TH to locate a TOPO depicted BM.
Thing 3 - Hike up Montana Mountain, and locate TRAIL Triangulation Station.

I parked about 1/2 mile short of Rogers Trough TH, in a small one car pullout, right where FS 172A and FS 650 meet.
—————————
Thing 1 - The actual Iron benchmark is atop Iron Mtn, just north of Rogers Trough. Four years ago I plowed thru brush to get up Iron Mtn and located Iron BM, but ran out of time to look for its azimuth disk. It’s supposed to be “20 paces from the road”…………
The azimuth search today, turned out to be a long, failed effort.

I hiked through the brush, from the car to Rogers Trough twice, with side trips left and right of my GPS generated azimuth line and found nothing. I quit searching, when I figured out why I couldn't find the azimuth disk.
In 1947, (the year the azimuth disk was set), that portion of the road was way different than today. It was narrower and barley passible. The 1947 surveyors had stopped their ‘truck travel’ (as they called it) a mile prior to this area, and hiked the rest of the way. My conclusion is the improved, wider road, wiped out the azimuth disk. It turns out, my azimuth search had me traveling ‘3-miles-to-nowhere’, before determining the disk is gone.
—————————
Thing 2 - Peak 5169 was a fun little hike. Part of the hike up this little mountain had me laughing, as it reminded me of a gravel pit sand pile I used to try to climb when I was a little kid. Those sand piles were easily 70 feet high, and all I ever did was climb up about 5 feet and then slither down 3 of those 5 feet. No traction and no stability. It felt like ‘going-nowhere’ on a treadmill.
Well, I decided to take a shortcut up Peak 5169, that turned out to be like that long-ago sand pile, except with the added attraction of possibly slithering into an agave etc. I soon got off the mountain’s steep sand pile and used adjacent boulders the rest of the way up. I took a different way down.

As mentioned, TOPO maps depict a BM icon up there, and that’s all I had to go on. I’m about 50-50 on locating benchmarks with only a ‘map clue’.
Bottom line on Peak 5169 - I found no benchmark disk - Nor a ‘chiseled cross’, which some of these BM’s are represented by. I may go back up there someday and devote more time, as it may still be up there.
The views up there were great, by the way.
—————————
Thing 3 - I drove down FS650 to where AZT #18 leaves FS650. I hiked down the trail for awhile, then made a sharp left and went up Montana Mtn to locate TRAIL Triangulation Station (1946). TRAIL BM has a datasheet as verification of it’s existence.

The Montana Mtn hike sounded simple enough, as this portion of my 3-hike day was very short.
When I got atop Montana, no disk was visible. The top is rather tiny, and strewn with rocks. Trail BM has only one reference mark, and it is literally a “cross, chiseled in a rock”, about 40 feet away. It was no help.
After digging here and there, I finally got serious and got my GPS out. I soon uncovered the dirt blackened Trail BM disk. Success !

I didn’t stay long on Montana Mtn as the wind was at least 30 mph, and the 45 degree temp included a bit of drizzle.

For the day, I covered a little over 6 miles, on the three endeavors, and the sun was hiding most of that time.

It was a long bumpy drive from, (and back to) highway 60, but still a fun day in the Superstitions.
Fauna
Fauna
Cow
Meteorology
Meteorology
Virga
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
average hiking speed 2.07 mph
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