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. This County has 4 high point candidate areas all at very northwest corner of the County, just inside the Jim Wells County line but all inside the fenced-in King's Ranch It will take more than one visit to complete.

VISIT #1 DATED 2011-01-18/23
On this 1st visit I came/tried-to-visit the Areas from the north side in Jim Wells County, the shortest approach, even if meant dealing with a fence at the County Line. I would find out later that the 3 E-W northern areas would be just inside the County Line but not the furthest west/southern area, where the ranches N-S property fence is not on the County Line but further to the west, 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 .... We drove east on FM 2508 1.7 miles and parked car beside the road fence on right (coordinates 27.64519, 98.05801), this is Jim Wells County. To the right (south) is a N-S fence line leading to the E-W Kleberg County Line at .7 miles and the highpoint Areas..... my goal.
Too risky to try it from here, so we drove a few hundred yards up the road to the large house on the right (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.
I didn't want to proceed without permission so we decided to check out the west side.

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 N-S 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 the 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. 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 County Line fence (not what I wanted, I would have preferred being alone????).
Raul drove through a number of fences to get to the County Line. The whole back area is grazing land with grass and tall brushy woods. I got off the cart and walked the county line fence at AREA 1 (on Jim Wells side) to the highest point right on the fence line, my coordinates 27.63578, 98.05802.
The other 2 Areas to the east (at about 1 1/2 mile) and inside the fence are not on Raul's property. No way to get to the other side of the fence line in the presence of my hosts. So I thanked my host and left it for another day.
From here we drove/overnighted in Alice.

One should try the legal way - 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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