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|