Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Guns Guns Guns

You might say that one of the endearing things about the extreme eastern side of Arizona is it is far removed from everything.  Not isolated; but removed.  People stay to themselves and that makes it easy to hide in the wide open.  Western Catron County in New Mexico is the same way.  So you might say there is a geographic corridor that the remoteness lends itself to a variety of activities.

In one instance I had a nervous encounter with an unlicensed pharmacist who became very nervous at my presence and was holding a mini-14.  Luckily for me I made light of the situation and got him talking so he wouldn't shoot me.

In  another instance I came across an elderly lady who was convinced I was a spy from the government and held me in place by having me look down the bore of a .44 caliber hand cannon she was to weak to pull the hammer back on.  I got her talking to and she finally got tired holding the pistol.

And finally, I found out early that when a bullet goes by it does not make the same sound they do in the movies.  And when they hit stuff; it merely sounds like a smack or thud.  As an added bonus when the shooter is a long way off shooting at your truck you hear the smack of the bullet on the body of truck before you hear the report of the rifle.

I have been fortunate and have always came out on the better end of these deals but now that I am no longer ten feet tall and bullet proof; I am beginning to wonder if my luck will run out.  After the pharmacist in New Mexico; I decided to get my concealed carry permit.  Not because I like carrying a gun but because most people outside the military service go all their lives without being drawn on or shot at.  I have been shot at; and drawn on twice and in all cases I was there with my rod in my hand.

This last case with the pharmacist also made me think that he was really gonna do me in until I convinced him I was "cool" and didn't "see" a thing.  His nervousness made me nervous.  He also made me think about how many times he had put me in the cross hairs before I approached the mobile home.  I don't feel comfortable being confronted with my own mortality.

Its different when you go into a place and pick a fight and the fight escalates.  You went looking for trouble and you found it.  When I am out surveying I  am not looking for trouble.  I approach land owners to let them know what I am doing and why I am there.  I don't approach them to have them get twitchy and shoot at me.

So now I have a dilemma; I have been exposed to gun play have been able to calm things down and walk out of it.  If I start packing; I can't help but wonder; will that make things better or worse?  In the situations I have been in; the guy shooting at the truck was so far off we just hid till he stopped.  The pharmacist; was the one that made me wish I was carrying.  He was stoned, paranoid, and nervous; that bothered me.  I don't know when I will meet another shade tree pharmacist but I don't want to be the last man standing when the music stops.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I regret having to post this but........

I noticed something about myself the other day and when it hit I was struck with a sense of disdain.  Here is what happened.  There I was in the hinterlands miles from cellular service on an ATV with my GPS and running wild.  At a particular time of day up here all of the satellites gather together in a tight cluster and chat or something.  Anyway when this happens the GPS goes south and you have to wait it out. So there I am in the wide open waiting for the GPS to settle down so I can gather a shot.

That's when it hit me; If I was traversing with an instrument I would have done and gone.  Sometimes I wonder if all of these little gizmo's and tech-toys are actually making us work harder.  I started thinking about traversing and GPS.  When I was traversing I'd carry a few nails and a range pole with a prism.  GPS, I carry spare batteries, nails, a tape, a bipod, and ax just to guarantee a shot.  Now if your thinking why  the hell are packing all that crap along.  Well as soon as I leave the truck get to my search area; if I left any one of those things behind, that's the one I need.  So the superstitious side of me says better to pack it and not need it than need it and not have it.  By the way for those who are saying just go back to truck; well some days that commute is 1/2 mile horizontally and vertically so for me not an option.  

We used to survey differently also; traversing was along the line your were surveying because that was the shortest route; Toady we hit each end and hardly "walk the line"; be honest.  Also then we didn't limit our abilities based upon the equipment.  Today we do.  Then we cut through brush and traverse into a monument.  Today we get creative to try to use GPS.  Like the other day I saw a guy with a GPS unit on top of a 25' fiberglass leveling rod taking a shot on a property corner to get over the trees.  the base of rod was on the rebar.  The gps head was somewhere over the street.

Sometimes I get nostalgic and wish for the old days of traversing.  Then when I resurvey a section in hours instead of days; I wake up.  I guess my boredom is my own worst enemy.......  

Monday, August 20, 2012


First I want to discuss the Witness Corner Post.  I know what the manual says and for the government boys on government land that is fine.  HOWEVER, the manual does not stricly apply to lands in private ownership so I reserve the right to disagree about not re-establishing a witness corner and then re-establishing the true point. (see previous post).  I did not specify private versus government land; but since land surveyors under state authority have no jurisdiction on wholly government land I assumed it was inferred.

Let me explain the my stance on witness corners....

First - the original surveyor set a witness corner because the true point could not be set for whatever reason. So the true point NEVER existed in FACT.  it was merely a calculated position.
Second - to properly follow the footsteps of the original surveyor you would have to determine the position of the witness corner and then determine to true point.  Why?  because that is what the original survey did and that is what the land owners would have had to do.
Third - this is especially true if the line(s) have "heavy" bearings (or diverge from cardinal by a significant sum) then the proportioning with out the WC will vary drastically from the proportioning with the WC.

Therefore I would not completely disregard the WC if it was missing unless I had a good reason to do so.

Moving on.....

Out on a job the other day I had the opportunity to find an original corner tree.  it had been cut down but the blazes had been pitched over and preserved in the sand.  The tree was established in 1875.  It was witnessed by a dependent resurvey in 1937 and had bearing trees created in 1972.  There is a lot going on here.  It was a neat find and I have been dying to talk about it.

Anyway back to work...

And for the boys in the south...... VIVA LA SALSA.