My Favorite Survey of All Time: San Xavier del Bac (2004)
When I was surveying in Tucson, I had the distinct pleasure of working on a survey at San Xavier del Bac. It is located on the Tohono Od'ham Nation reservation just south of town. We found a bazillion GLO brass caps out there, even at 256th corners. The research -- oh, the research -- was both intriguing and difficult. I had to work closely with the reservation, which was a challenge, and required many trips to their "surveying" office. I couldn't just waltz in there, I had to be escorted by officials. But I will never forget it. It's my crowning achievement in surveying.
I also had the pleasure of working with two of the greatest surveyors I've ever known -- J.O. Teague and Doug Jacobson. J.O. is a stalwart of Arizona surveying, and we used to review each others' surveys with red pens until they were "bloody". I'm happy to report that I'm still in contact with him and enjoy our random email exchanges. Doug was the epitome of a field surveyor -- that dude was a monument bloodhound. You could be standing in the middle of nowhere, with all of your surveying experience and training, totally lost as to where to look for an elusive monument, and Doug would stroll on out there and say, "dig here" -- 7 feet later, we'd find an original GLO brass cap. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
Speaking of digging, I found an old backup drive today and stumbled upon PDF files of the San Xavier del Bac Record of Survey I created. I just finished looking at every page, at every detail I created, and remembered all the work I put into it -- not just the physical aspect of the survey, but the many complicated calculations, legal considerations, and map creation. Drawing up the surveys was something I really latched onto. So much so, that I ended up creating CAD standards and a symbol library for the entire office. Again, I'm getting a bit off-topic.
But this project was, and still is, something very close to my heart. How does one get so attached to a single project? I didn't really enjoy living in Arizona due to the heat and allergies, but the work that I did and the friends I made deem it all worthy of my time there. Geez, here I go again, on another tangent.
So. Anyway. I wanted to share my survey with you all. Keep in mind it's from 2004 and I would consider the CAD work itself pretty cutting edge for the time. But you can't necessarily tell from the PDFs. You are welcome to critique the survey if you want, but this is intended more as an exhibit for your enjoyment.
Oh, and one more tangent: I recently found out that my good friend Daryl Moistner once worked on that project, sometime after my survey was completed. We both decided that he probably made good use of my survey, but hard to say for sure. 🙄
Well told story.
Well drawn maps.
Memories. Like the corners of my mind.
Well done Wendell!
Nice and readable, I like it. This must be back before legends were a thing. 😏
One thing I noticed is the pin labeled the SE corner of section 26. If it's not the section corner then how come it's labeled the corner? 🤔
This must be back before legends were a thing.
There's a legend on page 1, including very extensive descriptions and drawings of typical monuments. 😋