Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I am glad for my rubber boots today.  The lower parts of the farm are becoming wetter and holding more water from each of the fall rains.  The creek is just a few inches under the log bridge, which means it is nearing 4 feet deep.  There is a bit of hail and snow mixed in with the grass and as I arrived the cleared hillsides well below a 1000 ft high were white.  But, the sun is coming through as the clouds part.  As I walk the hallway of golden cottonwoods, I cannot help but think of how fortunate I am to be here.

I spot a mature bald eagle down on a gravel bar just as I reach the river, and this time I have spotted that eagle before it sees me.  It is not so much that I have sharp eyes as much that I have a good memory and that large dark shape was not on that gravel bar last time I was here.  I drop some of my gear, crouch and sneak closer, taking a photos when there are views.  Eventually, I am discovered and the bird flies to the far side of the river.

As I continue up the road, the eagle spots me first.  This time it sits high in a snag topped alder on my side of the river.  It leaves.

I head straight up to the squatters cabin to continue measuring details.  I am also planning to lay out a string grid inside the cabin to help map the artifacts that remain.  If I am lucky, I will finally find the witness post again.

interior with string grid in place

...a couple hours later...
I have my numbers and photos, so I pack up and drop back down to the grove.  Here, I leave my gear and begin searching for the witness post that stands near the corner of the state property.  I flush two deer as I walk, the first two deer that I have seen while on foot.  I catch partial glimpses of them as they move towards the cabin.  I find pink flagging that runs true north-south and note that the ground feels and looks as if a road or a tractor trail has been here before.  I also have a hunch that someone altered the drainage on this hillside at some point.  I wander south looking for the witness post, but don't find anything other than some nice large cedar stumps.  I end up back at the grove (I'm starting to recognize individual trees having been here a few times) and try once more, this time not thinking about it too much, because that is kind of how I found the post the first time.  Again, I don't spot the post, until I am heading back towards the grove and catch the orange marker to my left.  I find the monument in the leaves and from there, I walk a line directly east until it intersects with my own trail to the cabin.  The cabin lies just 50 yards from the boundary.

corner monument - a witness post helps you find this

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