It’s a new day. Now that we’ve passed our defensive driver course, we started off on our day’s adventure…
Pin Hunting and walking the COE property boundary lines. We set off with one of the rangers and followed him way out into the boonies. We were given a map with about a three mile section of line for Marti and I to cover.
Why are the pins and boundaries so important? With over 1000 miles of shoreline around Thurmond Lake, and even more miles of COE property set back from the shoreline, constant inspections of the boundary lines are necessary to prevent people from encroaching on the COE property. You’d think this wouldn’t be much of an issue, but it is an ongoing problem resulting in lawsuits and structure removals that were built on COE property.
As a result, the entire boundaries are walked and inspected in increments over a five year cycle, so every five years the entire COE property lines are inspected. The work is divided up amongst all the rangers in the COE Shoreline division, each ranger has to annually cover 15 miles of boundary line in their assigned area, along with all the other duties they are responsible for. It is a huge amount of work. Volunteers like us help get this task accomplished.
We started off near a property that had encroached on a chunk of COE property in the past. After a lawsuit, the property owner reached a deal with the COE to purchase the property that part of his house had been built on. We checked the pins to ensure they were in place. In no time we found them.
Marti marked the pins with pink tape.
You’d think this homeowner would have learned, but no. After all the trouble they had in the past, they built a deck and a brick fireplace on COE property. You can see the pin by the base of the tree and the ribbon lays out the 90 degree turn. Half of the deck is right on the COE property.
Looks like the COE legal department will be contacting these people shortly.
We continued on, following painted marks on trees all along the boundary lines.
Some tree markings were easy to see,
others were hidden by brush and were hard to see.
Most of the boundary line was in deep woods, it took a lot of patience to pick our way through the heavy brush, over fallen trees, up and down hills and across deep ravines.
Despite the heavy woods and brush, we still located pins.
We found more encroaching property issues. Note the orange mark on the tree, indicating the property line with a fence built about six feet over the line. Oops!
Some of the pins were actually markers put on concrete poles many years ago, in fact these markers had the “War Department” stamped on them, circa 1940s.
There were signs of life from the long ago past deep in the woods, a collapsed house,
and its outhouse, still standing. No, we didn’t make a pit stop here.
There was even some old, rusty stuff, here were the remains of an old car.
We hiked about two and a half hard miles through the woods in about three hours and located all the pins and boundary lines on our section of the map. We would have continued on further, but I was attacked by a fierce resident of the forest, it dropped out of a tree onto my head.
It was a close call, but I survived the encounter.
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