Rich and I were enthusiastic about getting out of the house for a little local benchmark hunting this afternoon (I think the promise of pizza at the Waymart Hotel helped a lot, too!). My first goal was to search for a mark that I had somehow overlooked on the datasheet last time we were in this area—a PDH disk that serves as a reference mark for USGS bench mark 35 ETL. We realized there was a chance the grass had been cut since our visit in May and the USGS disk would be accessible too.
Unfortunately that wasn’t to be. The grass obviously has not been cut, and I’m not going to wade through it and pick up ticks on the way. But the PDH disk on the nearby bridge was an easy find and very easy to access. Rich even saw it from the car. The disk appears to have been a victim of PennDOT’s aggressive plowing as one side of it is missing and the edge is curled up toward the center of the mark. With such damage I doubt it would be a reliable elevation mark, but it’s probably fine as a reference mark for 35 ETL.
After our first find of the day, we continued on our planned route. We turned onto Crystal Lake Road from Route 106, crossing slowly over a new bridge. Rich thought he spotted a survey mark set into the wingwall—he was right! He pulled the car ahead and parked in a safe spot while I checked it out. Not surprisingly, it’s one of the new PennDOT marks that they seem to be setting in each new bridge. It is set into the northeast wingwall of the bridge over Fall Brook. The disk is not yet stamped.
Our final find for today, that was coincidentally (…or not) on our way to the Waymart Hotel, was 41 M. Even though it was a side-of-the-road mark, which are typically not that exciting, this was a fun and challenging hunt. By this point in the summer the roadsides are typically overgrown with weeds, and that’s what I found along Dundaff Street near the coordinates for 41 M. I walked up and down the road but couldn’t find a single boulder among the weeds or in the woods behind. Finally a breeze blew a small tree’s branches aside and the sun hit at just the right angle, and I spotted the mottled gray surface of a boulder! I hopped over the ditch and lifted the tree branch to discover the disk set into the high point of the boulder.
I wasn’t so lucky with the reference mark, which was supposed to be a chiseled square on a boulder on the other side of the road. There were a few boulders but they had obviously been placed there more recently than 1942, and they weren’t in the correct location.
As promised, we made our way to the Waymart Hotel to enjoy a pizza lunch! It’s always fun to enjoy a few slices and some beer, and then wander around the grounds. We tend to arrive here early enough that we basically have the place to ourselves.