Ascent of Jefferson County High Point on 2011-01-16

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:Rose
Date:Sunday, January 16, 2011
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Jefferson County High Point
    Elevation:49 ft / 14 m

Ascent Trip Report

According to PB and COHP.ORG this County has 41 Candidate Highpoint Areas ..... yes, 41 !!!!! The west-east chain of candidates are located along the Hwy #90 corridor at the northwest side of the County. For me to visit them-all will require numerous visits. I will have this-one-only TR, updated accordingly after each visit.
I have numbered the Areas according to PB and visited them in the order listed here.

VISIT #1 DATED 2011-01-16 - SEVEN AREAS SOUTHWEST OF NOME .... a successful visit to all the 7 Areas in 3 1/2 hours.

Our goal today was to visit the 7 seven Areas southwest of Nome (#1 thru #7), at the very west end of the chain of candidates (south of hwy 90 and all off of FM 1009). I started with the furthest north candidate
Area #7.
It was raining lightly as we left Beaumont this morning on hwy 90 west, through the community of China, to a left turn on FM1009 as we entered the community of Nome. We zeroed our odometer.

M 0.00 ... Junction of Hwy 90/FM1009, we left southbound on FM 1009.
M 1.12 ... AREA 7 -- paved road on left, the private driveway on the right leads to a farm house with the highpoint behind in the area of the silos, the lady had no problem with me walking the area.
M 1.43 ... AREA 5 & 6 -- turned sharply right at the unmarked road , a house at 60 yards on the left amid a huge flat field is Area 5, further up at .4 miles is Area 6, also in a large flat field on left, tramped both areas.
M 1.81 ... AREA 4 -- private driveway on right leads to a house amid a large a flat field, behind is Area 4, no one was home, so I took the liberty to walk the table.
M 2.00 ... Made a left onto Nolte Road at a bend and continued south.
M 2.18 ... AREA 3 -- came to an Overhead Power Lines with silos on the right, I walked left 100 yards along the Power Lines to the high ground.
M 2.37 ... Turned right on Wagley Road and traveled west (short road with 4 houses).
M 2.43 ... AREA 2 -- a private driveway on right leads 40 yards to a house amid Area 2, the guy working outside had no problem with our presence.
M 2.50 ... AREA 1 -- Arrived at left- bend of Wagley Road with a pond on the right. We parked here, the HP is to the west. The road continues/dead-ends just ahead at a house, I first went there for permission and found no one no home. Then I went to the house we just past on the left. The friendly lady knew that this area was the high ground of the County and had no problem with us proceeding.
We left the TH under spitting rain, a track heads due west with the pond on the right (swampy/tall woody area), stayed left at a fork and arrived at a T-Junction at 150 yards where we turned left and at 40 yards made a right turn at another T-Junction. The track continues west (to points unknown) with a slight bend to the right where it enters an open area with dense tall brush. The whole area is flat and impossible to pick "The" Highpoint. After stomping around I chose a spot at 60 yards (from second T-Junction) to the right side of the track by a small tree, my GPS read 30.00674, 94.44333. I tied an orange flag tape to a tree.
The whole hike is .3 miles RT, no bushwacking involved, we backtracked to the TH.

We went back to Hwy 90, then west through Houston, where all you see is roads and more roads, to Victoria for the night.
I found today's exercise on the flat table somewhat-like, "This is highpointing?".

VISIT #2 DATED 2015-01-21 - SIXTEEN AREAS BETWEEN NOME AND THE LOWER NECHES VALLEY AUTHORITY CANAL ON THE WEST SIDE OF CHINA .... a successful visit to 14 of the 16 areas .... 2.5 miles, 5:30 hours totals. I was unsuccessful at only areas #11 and #19

The goal for this VISIT #2 was to visit the 16 areas between Nome and the Lower Neches Valley Authority Canal on the west side of China (#8 thru #22 inclusive plus #40). We started at the same intersection as on our VISIT #1, Hwy 90/FM 1009. We zeroed our odo.

M 0.00 ... Junction Hwy 90/FM 1009, we went east on #90.
M 0.4 ... turned right (south) onto Avenue C.
M 0.7 ... left turn (east) on Kotz Road
M 0.9 ... AREA #8 (30.03072,-94.41633), successful .... parked at house #1635 Kotz on the right, lady was surprised with my request, she allowed me to walk around.
M 1.0 ... AREA #9 (30.03261,-94.41452), successful .... I continued east and parked in front of house #1625 Kotz on the right, on the left (north) is a driveway, I walked the driveway 200 yards north to AREA #9, at some shrubbery on the right. I continued east.
M 1.4 ... turned left (north) on FM 365, crossed #90 to FM 356
M 1.9 ... turned right (east) on Old Nome Road. This road is immediately north/parallel-to the RR Tracks and 50 yards north of #90.
M 2.0 ... AREA #10 (30.04161,-94.40273), successful .... parked at Sunoco Pipe Line sign. The high ground is .25 miles north inside the large flat contour in open field. I hopped over the ditch (narrow at this spot) to a track on south side of field, 50 yards east turned left on another track which led north to the flat contour. Has to be visited in the off-season. Returned to Old Nome Road and drove east.
M 2.7 ... AREA #13 (30.04256,-94.39462), successful .... "Douget Turf Farm" garage is on the left and the high ground is to the north. No one at the garage, took the liberty to proceed. I walked the service road north half+ miles and stomped the contour (stripped ground). Another impossible one, the high ground (????) is on the fence line on the right side of the road.
I backtracked west on Old Nome Road to Hwy #90.
M 3.5 ... back to Junction FM 356/Old Nome Road, crossed RR tracks and went east on #90.
M 4.4 ... AREA #11 (30.03753,-94.39315), unsuccessful .... 2 houses on right #23067 & #23000, both gated and therefore no access, left it for another visit . I drove east.
M 4.8 ... turned right (south) on Thomson Road.
M 5.0 ... AREA #12 (30.03741,-94.38727), successful .... parked at unmarked driveway on the right. I walked west 100 yards to an industrial garage, no one around, walked the area. We continued south on Thomson Road.
M 5.4 ... AREA #14 (30.03179,-94.38362), successful .... house #4179 is on left. We drove the long driveway east to the house, a guy working in his garage behind the house allowed me to walk around. A fence opening behind the garage allowed me to check out the woods to the north. Returned to Thomson Road and went north.
M 6.0 ... turned right (east) on #90.
M 6.3 ... AREA #15 (30.03975,-94.37981), successful .... House # 22021 is on the right, just before is a large sign "For Sale". I went to the fairly new house, Michael appeared somewhat confused with my request, "High Point, over here?". He allowed me to look around, "You can go to the house next door, it's a real dump, the guy doesn't live here. there is an opening between my fence and his."
I walked the back yard, full of donkey bump, 2 donkeys were at a rough looking shed. Nothing is really obvious, the high ground is behind the "for sale" house.
We continued driving east on #90.
M 7.2 ... turned left on McDermond Road and went north over RR Tracks,
M 7.3 ... turned left (west) on Old Nome Road.
M 7.4 ... AREA #16 (30.04535,-94.36661), successful .... Parked at house #1840 on the right, there was no one home at the little/fenced-in white house (north of the road) sitting on the high ground. I took the liberty walk the area. Back to the road and stayed west.
M 7.5 ... AREA #18 (30.04703,-94.36755), successful ..... an unnamed driveway on the right. We drove north 300 yards to the somewhat obvious high ground in the middle of the road. Stomped this pasture land, cows in the area.
We continued west on Old Nome Road.
M 7.6 ... AREA #17 (30.04600,-94.36950), successful .... house #2350 on the right, we drove north to the house sitting on the high ground. A guy was working on the tractor's electrical system at the garage in the back of the house. He allowed me to walk around.
We returned to the road, reversed our directions and drove east on Old Nome Road.
M 8.2 ... AREA #40 (30.04520,-94.36108) successful .... parked on the road, the high ground is north 40 yards inside the dense underbrush, fighting my way inside the dense brush was not easy. We continued east.
M 8.4 ... gated grass track on left, signed "Member Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Ass, Inc, Posted". We parked here (30.04533,-94.35854), this was my TH for Areas #21, 20 & 19. I hopped the gate and walked the grass track north 300 yards then entered the woods on the left (west), once inside the woods are fairly open.
AREA #21 (30.04770,-94.35896), successful .... found it at 25 yards west of the grass track. An animal food station is at 30 yards west, didn't think of looking for a service track. I continued west, slightly dropping to a low/wet area before ascending again.
AREA #20 (30.04756,-94.35972), successful .... at 100 yards west of #21, the underbrush somewhat denser. I backtracked east to the grass track and continued walking north.
AREA #19 (30.05057,94.36161), unsuccessful .... I walked north on the grass track for another 400 yards (.4 miles from TH), then wacked west 300+ yards. Dense patches, impossible to move around or locate the HP. This is a long north-south contour, decided to leave it for another day. It needs further study. ***** NB ??????? see note below.
I backtracked to Rose at the TH, and as I was getting cleaned up, a lady in an SUV stopped to question/advise me that this is private property. She was polite and didn't say as much but her body language told me that I had no business being there. Its noted that the sign only said "posted", nothing about No Trespassing. We continued driving east on Old Nome Road.
M 8.8 ... turned left on Blanch Road and drove north.
M 9.2 ... AREA #22 (30.05071,-94.35285), successful .... at the house #1705 Blanch Road on the left (west), no one home, took the liberty to walk the area.

***** NB ???????
When entering this TR I noted a possible small 50 foot contour (not clear), inside the Area #19 40 foot contour, west of Area #20. Is it possible that there is one only 50 foot contour at 30.04804,-94.36177, just west of Area #20 ???? thereby eliminating all of the other candidates ???? Access to it appears easy (from house to its south). Wouldn't that be great if this is correct. Needs to be pursued. ??????????
I later presented this subject to Michael Schwartz who in turn got the opinion of Andy Martin, Fred Lobdell and Greg Slayden. It was concluded that the small 50 foot contour is a depression and wrongly shown on the map .... Greg revised the site accordingly .... however it was generally agreed that a site visit needs to be made in order to confirm these opinions. Maybe on another visit ???

With this second visit I have now successfully visited 21 of the 41 areas.

Summary Total Data
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:visit to 7 areas, off of FM1009
    Trailhead:FM1009, Nome.  
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country

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