Ascent of Kleberg County High Point on 2011-01-18

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:Rose
Date:Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Kleberg County High Point
    Elevation:166 ft / 50 m

Ascent Trip Report

Another Highpoint in private fenced-in area .... at very northwest corner of the County at the Jim Wells County line. This County has 4 candidates, I came/tried-to-visit PB's Area 1 candidate 3 times ...... from the north side in Jim Wells County, a drive-up/walk of 1.4 miles RT.
All of the 4 candidate Areas listed in PB are on the County Line with Jim Wells County at the very north/west corner of Kleberg County. My research concluded that the shortest approach was from Jim Wells side so that's what I tried to do. Even if there was a fence at the County Line the topo showed that I would be at the high ground. I would find out later that this would be the case on the north side County Line but not on the west side Line, where apparently the fence is not on the County Line and well inside Jim Wells.

We found our way to the town of Alice , hwy junction 44/281 west of Corpus Christi, and drove south on 281 to Ben Bolt and FM 2508.

NORTH SIDE APPROACH -- My research concluded that this is the best approach. We drove east on FM 2508 1.7 miles and parked car beside the road fence on right, the coordinates here were 27.64519, 98.05801, this is Jim Wells County (proof that Area 1 in Kleberg is due south). To the right (south) is a north/south fence line leading in the direction of Kleberg County Line at .7 miles and the highpoint Area 1 ..... my goal.
A few hundred yards up the road just to the right is a large house set back in the field, the gated driveway is numbered #1112. No one answered the intercom system at the gate so I went to the house across the road for information, the guy told me that the large house owns the whole property.
We decided to move on, still thinking this being the best approach to the 3 Areas on the north Jim Wells/Kleberg County line (need the large house's permission for Area 1 , the other 2 not sure).
WEST SIDE APPROACH -- From Ben Bolt we continued south on 281 for .8 miles to gated house number # 6892, Howard and Becky Gafford, on the east side of the road. My GPS (at the hwy in front of the house) read 27.63532, 98.08655, this puts the Highpoint Area 1 exactly due east of this spot. The Jim Wells/Kleberg west County line is about 1.8 miles to the east behind their house. Howard, a real friendly guy, drove up to the gate and we chatted for a long time. He told us that the whole northwest corner of Kleberg County is owned by King Ranch, which I would find out offers Tours to tourists.
He told us that the Kings Ranch west fence line is not on the County Line but well inside Jim Wells County and therefore I couldn't get to the highpoint Area 4. He told us all about the King Ranch and how to get there, so we decided to pay it a visit.

We drove to Kingsville and then on to the King Ranch Visitors Center where we purchased a tour (17$) which lasted about 90 minutes. It takes you through a very impressive working ranch and the guide talks about the animals, cowboys, wildlife, housing for the employees, etc. It is the largest working ranch in the USA at 825,000 acres (in 4 parcels) with 60,000 cattle, 500 wild horses and 140 employees who most live on the property.
Richard King was a self made man, into shipping before getting into the ranching business. The King Ranch, a national historic landmark, is recognized as the birthplace of the ranching industry. Founded by Richard King in 1853 the ranch was enhanced by his wife and descendants. Today it is still privately owned and run by a Corporation with a Board of Governors. Richard King's wife founded Kingsville, the town of Alice to the north is named after their daughter. The ranches main source of income is oil, cattle and hunting. They have a museum and a saddle shop in town with their own line of products. The King Ranch produced the first registered quarter horses and raised the triple crown 1946 winner "Assault".
While at the Welcome Center I inquired/talked to, on the phone, with the Manager about permission to go the the Highpoint area. She told me that she couldn't give me permission without the Boards approval. I would have to send in a written request to her: Rhonda Silguero, PO Box 1090, Kingsville, TX. zip 78364, her phone number 361 221 0335.

We drove back to Corpus Christi for the night.

Yesterday we spent the day visiting the Corpus Christi area ( Padre Island, Mustang Island, downtown), this morning we left Corpus Christi for Kennedy and Willacy Counties. We were driving south on 281 passing through Ben Bolt, so why not take a short detour to check out the intercom at #1110 FM 2508 ..... again we lucked-out, no answer.
We continued on to Kennedy County.

After having lunch with our Ontario snow-bird-friends, Sharon and David, at Donna, TX. we decided to start our way clockwise-trip around the Gulf on the way to the Florida Coast. We would be stopping/visiting our Son/family, at north of Houston.
The plan was to again drive on 281 (north), passing by Ben Bolt and try the intercom at #1110 FM 2508 for the third time and continue/overnight at the town of Alice.
As we pulled-up at #1110 the driveway gate was open, Raul and his daughter (with a rifle in hand) were driving their golf-cart to lock the gate. After the usual introductions and the reason for our presence, the very friendly/hospitable Raul told us that he was coming to lock the gate before going hunting on his back property with his daughter. He offered to drive me to the back County Line fence.
Raul drove through a number of fences to get to the County Line (it's not one large area). The whole back area is grazing land with grass and tall brushy woods, a large flat-like 165 foot contour, very difficult to pick "The Highpoint". I got off the cart and walked Area 1 County Line fence (on Jim Wells side) to a spot right on the fence line, my coordinates were 27.63578, 98.05802. No way to go to the other side of the fence.
The other 2 areas to the east (at about 1 1/2 mile) are not on Raul's property.
From here we drove/overnighted in Alice.

One should try but probably difficult to get King Ranch's approval.


Summary Total Data
    Distance:1.4 mi / 2.3 km
    Route:from north side FM 2508 road to Area 1
    Trailhead:Ben Bolt, FM 2508 road  
    Route Conditions:
Open Country

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