Box 100 R#1
June 6, 1943
I suppose you are still wondering what I am doing and what it is all about. That address is a farmer’s down the road about ½ mile. They call them ranches out here tho. One of the fellows was talking to him and he said it would be alright if we used his mailbox. So we are. So far there has been a trip to town every morning but if it gets so we can work all day we probably won’t get in to town more than once a week. So that mail box will be handy.
I’m not sure what I told you but I don’t think it was much. I didn’t know much about the project then. I still don’t know everything but I know a lot more than I did.
The purpose of our surveying seems to be to make an accurate map and find out the true location of the present (?) section corner. This area was surveyed in 1855 and they did a very sloppy job so the thing to do is find out how far they are off. We are surveying public land that is in alternating sections so by surveying the public land lines we also find the lines of the private land too. We don’t change any of the corners no matter how far off they are we just record the error.
The instrument we use is called a solar compass and takes its bearings from the sun. That is they set it in the sun and by reading it and applying certain deviation corrections they can tell where true north is. Is that clear? (as mud)
I guess I told you there were 8 of us C.P.S.ers on the crew and a Gov’t Engineer. Out of the 8 men there is one instrument man, one truck driver, one corner man, two chain men and 3 ax men. I’m an ax man. We have light double bitted shorthandled axes that work pretty good in the brush.
We ax men carve a good enough trail out of the wilderness for the chain men to follow. That isn’t a very clear path either we just cut of the waist of it. The chain that I speak of is a steel tape 330 feet long (5 chains) it is divided into 500 parts called links (66 feet to a chain, 100 links). We slide down and climb up slopes that run from 20°-40° slant. It is pretty hard work but interesting and not monotonous. I like it pretty well. We see some pretty big trees once in a while but most of them aren’t as big only 2 or 3 feet.
Did I tell you about our beds. One day when it was raining we started to make beds. Some of the fellows made theirs out of some old canvas we had but I made one out of a couple of poles with small sticks across and fir boughs over them almost as soft as a mattress. It isn’t bad at all. I sleep very well. I have taken two bathes in our creek. It is pretty cold but it gets you clean. I have washed some of my clothes too. We are away from the luxury of washing machines.
Well, I’ve writing 2 ½ pages about myself. I was glad to hear that you got the corn and beans in before it rained. I suppose by the time you get this you will be plowing corn. I hope you get that little cultivator.
I’m getting a little sleepy guess I’ll have to quit. We have a pretty good cook he’s from N.Y. City and is a nature lover. Knows the names of plants and bugs and stuff. He just goes wild about this country. We have very good food and rationing don’t bother us much. The boss got a special batch of points for us cause we have to go deeper into the wilderness on pack-mules. That will really be something. Oh boy!
There are some loggers working about 1 ½ miles up the road we saw them work one day that was something new too.
The other night we drove into Drain to see a show. One of the guys has a ’40 Buick. I think I’ll have a very good summer.
God is good. Better than I deserve.
P.S. Enclosing Drivers License. See what you can do. Thanks.
P.S.S. I found that sugar stamp I told you about in my other letter I guess I forgot to put it in.
I signed the application on my Drivers license but didn’t know which box to put an X in you find out which on and X it will you