Ascent of Cameron County High Point on 2004-01-15

Climber: Scott Surgent

Others in Party:Bob Martin
Date:Thursday, January 15, 2004
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cameron County High Point
    Elevation:70 ft / 21 m

Ascent Trip Report

We were now in Cameron County, the southernmost county in Texas. From La Feria, we drove to the town of Santa Maria on US-281, where I parked and then rode south with Bob. The highpoints are three 70-foot areas south of Santa Maria, two of them directly along the Rio Grande. There are also a number of man-made levees that reach as "high" as 76 feet. The topographical map is a nightmare to read.

We came to the first natural 70-foot area, about a mile south of town along River Road. We turned west onto a field road to a small hump of land featuring some irrigation pipes and switches, about a quarter-mile from the main road. The fields surrounding this small hump were significantly lower, in some cases, as much as 10 feet. After a few minutes, we backtracked onto River Road (now dirt) and drove south a half-mile to the levee road that fronts the Rio Grande. This road is used by the farmers in the area as well as the Border Patrol, and is raised 10 feet above the surrounding fields.

We drove west for a mile to visit two spot elevations at 76 feet and 75 feet, respectively. We then traveled east about 3 miles, keeping track of our position by the bends in the road. Along the way we visited the man-made 75-foot contours near the La Feria Pumping Station. It was here that we caught the attention of a Border Patrol agent out on his rounds. He passed us, then turned around to check us out. We chatted with him and he was content to let us be on our way.

The final two natural 75-foot contours were found by heading south along a levee road not shown on the topographical map. The road then runs along the Rio Grande, before ending just north of the southern region. We walked onto these berms and tried our best to sense any "high" areas. We could see the Rio Grande and across the way, Mexico.

Afterwards, we drove back for my car, and we were on our way to the Hidalgo County highpoint.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:5 ft / 2 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Trailhead:65 ft / 19 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country

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