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PLSO Issue 4, 2014 July/August

CADASTRAL TALES, continued from page 13 #7 Th e bearing trees I HAD NOT PLANNED TO WRITE VERY MUCH ABOUT SURVEYING in a technical manner but I can’t let this tale go by. I’m quite sure this took place in Grants Pass. It should have been only a couple of weeks’ work and done quickly. Th e catch was we were missing a key section corner. We had searched like the dickens for it but had no luck. So Al White, the party chief, said we needed to begin a survey to proportion the missing corner position. We started the survey running out the three directions to fi nd controlling monuments. Al White hated to proportion a corner, “By G––, it should be there.” He said that at almost every corner that we didn’t (or couldn’t) fi nd. Al had a sign in the offi ce trailer which read “Why can’t you take the time to do something right, but you always fi nd the time to do it again?” Th e next day aft er we started the additional survey line, I got back to camp and was walking by Al’s offi ce, when I heard him shout, “You son of a b––––” I knew he was by himself, as he would not say that to a crew member (well, maybe under extreme circumstances). Th e next morning as everyone arrived to go to work, Al was waiting for me. “Taylor, you’re with me.” So I drove Al to the area near the missing corner. I walked him into the temporary corner location. He pulled out his compass (we all have one don’t we?), got his bearings and began to look up. He stared for about two minutes and then he muttered, “you S.O.B.” He then handed me a copy of the original fi eld notes and under the date (Nov.), day, and year, he pointed to a note, small but readable: “8 ft . snow.” Sure enough, about 10 feet up the tree was the healed over scar of a bearing tree. We pulled off the bearing and distance and as Al turned the remaining bearings and distances, I fl agged all the remaining trees, each with scar about ten feet off the ground! Good catch, Al. He was the best and I do miss him. ◆ Th e new surveyor #8 SINCE THE BLM WAS A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, the people hired for a position were not always the person you might have chosen, but you had to make do with what personnel they sent you. Th is was the world that Al White lived in. Once in a while he got to choose a temp, like me, when he was in the fi eld and needed someone in a hurry. He had an eye for the good, the bad, and the other. I learned early on that Al was not angry all the time; he was hard of hearing and was always yelling “WHAT?” He just sounded loud. Th e other type of new guy (sorry, ladies, but that was the reality of the times) he got was a transfer from some other agency (but not the Cadastral Branch). Please remember we had no electronic devices. No GPS, no electronic measuring instruments, etc. Our world was sun-shots, compasses and chains. We almost always set up a baseline at a new job and took a sun-shot to check the instrument and set the deviation on the compass. With someone like John or his brother Jake, they could get done in 10 minutes once the “gun” was set up and the back site taken. Th ree shots at the sun direct the three shots reversed. I just loved taking the notes for them using Al’s stop watch. Th e normal procedure for running a traverse line from a known corner was to set the original bearing on the compass and then stay on that line the next 40 chains. If you found the original corner, you tied it in and kept going to the next found corner. If you didn’t fi nd it, we set a “temp” corner and kept going. If we hit a large enough tree, we made a 90 degree off -set with long back sites and turned a 90 degree parallel line to the original traverse line. Th e reason for all this was aft er we had the corners found or set new ones, we then blazed along the true line between corners. Keeping the temporary line close made blazing easier. The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 37, No. 4, 2014 14


PLSO Issue 4, 2014 July/August
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