N 41.73565° W 74.1954°
Bench Mark Disk
Rock Outcrop
Year Established:
Established By:
National Ocean Service
Good as of September 3, 2005

Just ten minutes into our hike along the Shawangunk Ridge to Gertrude's Nose, Rich, Aaron and I stopped at the first of many breathtaking views to—what else?—take in the view, and catch our breath after a steep climb. As has become customary this Summer, Rich and I were scanning the mountains to the southeast in search of Storm King. I suddenly turned away from this view, to the north and looked down. To my surprise (Aaron and Rich both groaned) what did I spot on the rock but ... a disk! This was a new style for us, a National Ocean Survey benchmark of some sort. I asked for a few moments in order to photograph it and take a good solid reading (Aaron and Rich groaned again, but all in fun). The disk appears to be in very good condition, and the views from this location are stunning.

The rest of the day was filled with sunshine, shell cookies, salami sandwiches and lots of laughter. Just like the first time Rich and I visited (which was debated—was it two years ago or three?), we made sure not to come too close to the edge, nor to come close to even joking about pushing people over. We explored the cool (both meanings!) cave and napped on Gertrude's Nose after a damp and winding hike through her nasal passages. Without coordinates, Fraggle Rock was impossible to find this time, but we gave it a good effort. This time we managed to get out of the woods before dark, too, and we trotted as if on little otter paws to the Gilded Otter for sandwiches, pizza, and of course—beer!

Update: My efforts to research this mark weren't successful; I was unable to find any information in the NGS database or on the NOS website. USGS likewise has no information on this mark. Apparently this mark has stumped the very best at NGS, as well. At this point, Dave Doyle believes the mark may have been an "honorary" benchmark set near the home (or favorite hiking spot?) of a retired NOS employee. The symbol indicates that this is a tidal benchmark, though I couldn't understand why such a mark would be useful in this location. Dave Doyle confirms that despite the symbol, this cannot be a tidal marker.

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