We're always looking for opportunities to search for marks (usually triangulation stations) with interesting designations. It's not too
surprising that there are none, to our knowledge, with the designation ZHANNA. But there is a RICH in southern Pennsylvania, not too far from home, and there are several marks in various New England states designated MOOSE that, of course, are very high on our wishlist. As a cactus enthusiast, no designation was higher on our list when visiting central Arizona than CACTUS!
Although CACTUS a triangulation station, it's not deep in the woods or far out in the desert—it's actually right alongside Arizona Route 79. We stopped to search for it this morning on our way from Tucson to Phoenix. When we arrived at the site, it was obvious that very recent construction had taken place. The culvert looked like brand new concrete, and the soil and sand that make up the sides and bottom of the wash were disturbed.
Fortunately, the station mark was still in place, and it was an easy find. It was found in excellent condition, lightly covered with soil excavated from the wash but undamaged by the recent construction. It differs from the datasheet description only in that it's set into a round concrete monument instead of a square one as indicated in the SP_SET field on the datasheet. Even the witness post and sign are still in place.
We found RM 1 in good condition as well, and then we began our search for RM 2. We had little hope from the beginning because it was obvious that the culvert had been replaced, but we searched the headwall and the surrounding area thoroughly, just in case. A check of recent logs on Geocaching.com confirmed that RM 2 had indeed been set into the previous culvert and that sometime between March and November of 2010, the culvert was replaced. Without a doubt, RM 2 is lost.
Regardless of the fact that the we weren't able to recover the complete set of marks, CACTUS is still one of my favorite designations. This will remain a memorable search for Rich and me. It's just too bad that there wasn't a huge saguaro standing guard nearby!
The station mark and RM 1 were found in good condition. The station disk is in a round concrete monument, not a square monument. The witness post and sign are still in place. RM 2 was not found. The culvert headwall was extended eastward in 2010 and RM 2 is presumed lost.
Handheld GPS coordinates for RM 1 are 32 57 21.9(N) 111 19 51.2(W).