Thursday, April 19, 2012

Look What I Found!

For the last couple of nights at work Jason (same Jason from A Day Out) and myself have been making plans for today to get back out into the woods and do a little more exploring.  We had the day set, but not really what exactly we wanted to do.  I woke up this morning with an idea.  I wanted to get back into a section of woods I haven't been into since 2005.  

Prepare yourself for another one of my sentimentalist moments.  Back when I was in high school and up until they declared the entire area still hunting only, I spent a lot of time in the falls and winters out in the woods around my grandpas camp.  There was a big group of us that hunted together that include my grandpa, some uncles, and occasionally my non-hunting father would even come along.  So, needless to say that entire area brings back a lot of good memories for me.  

Soon after declaring the area still hunting only, the next step was taken (for conservation) and the entire area was also declared walk in only.  Trucks were brought in and large earthen mounds were built in front of all the access roads to block any motorized access to the management area.  I don't have any problem with this because it has actually cut down on a lot of the use in general and now you can really get a more solitary experience out there.  

So, this morning we headed out there to go look around.  We ended up walking in a lot further than we had anticipated, but it was worth the trip.  All the different spots brought back memories for me.  Although a little grown up now, nothing has really changed.  The one thing that was different was they removed some of the culverts that used to channel the small branches below the road.  The last time in was in this bottom I got my jeep stuck and had to walk about 3 miles back to the camp in my rubber boots to get my grandpa to come pull me out.

April 2005


We walked FAR FAR back to an old camp that was on Red Creek.  I was interested to see if it was still there and it was, but getting a little more worn with time.  On our way down there we found our most interesting item of the day.  If you have read more than a couple of posts here then you've probably read about my obsession with all things history.  There is just something about history that intrigues me.  As we were walking down one of the old logging roads, Jason pointed to an out of place concrete block.  Upon further examination we were able to read the disk on top as being placed by the US Geological Survey in 1946!  This thing is in the middle of nowhere too!  

I see things a little differently than most.  When I look at this bench mark I don't just see a piece of concrete.  I see a crew of men in a post WW2 America slowly surveying the entire country.  This is the mark of their hard work.  The fact that it's still there is really a surprise to me.  This is the same area where all the signs are shot and there is just a general disrespect for everything.  How does a historic marker survive out here?  I don't know the answer, but the fact that it's there makes me happy.

After we had made it back out of the woods I started thinking about that little marker.  How many of these are out there?  Is there some kind of database that I can look in?  Do people actually look for these?  When I got back to my place I started doing a little research and the answer to all the questions was yes.  Apparently there is a fairly large community of individual that search for different landmarks.  There is a Geocaching website that is devoted to all of these different hobbies.  People even place hide and seek with GPS coordinates.  They have a section of the site that is all about benchmark hunting.  You can search for benchmarks and add any that you find.  Not that I need another hobby, but this does have an interesting appeal to me.  

If I start finding anymore I will be sure to let you know.

Until Next Time,


John Wesley Leek said...

Folks here want to me to explore geo-caching. Maybe someday I'll find time. :)

Anonymous said...

I must say HATS OFF to this post. History is indeed very un appreciated. Good to know there are still folks out there who indeed appreciate it.