Ascent of Marinette County High Point on 2017-04-23

Climber: Doug Urban

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, April 23, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Marinette County High Point
    Elevation:1660 ft / 505 m

Ascent Trip Report

After bagging the county highpoints of Oneida and Forest counties on Saturday I settled in at Richards Motel and Restaurant in Dunbar. I left the motel at 7:00 AM on Sunday morning and drove west on US Hwy. 8 to County Line Road and turned north and drove 2.5 miles to Christnovich Road/Sugar Bush Drive where I turned east on Sugar Bush and drove to the end of the road where there was a gate with "NO TRESPASS" signs on it. I looked at the trailer house and farmhouse on the south side and seeing no activity decided to continue my hike. I left Andy Martin's COUNTY HIGH POINTS book on the dash so the landowner would know my intentions.

I checked my Garmin etrex Venture HC GPS and it indicated that I was about 0.56 miles from the highpoint. I walked east down the two track road until it split and went north to a cabin where I continued southeast on an old logging road. A deer ran off to the north as I hiked. When the logging trail branched off to the south I continued on to the highpoint as indicated by my GPS. As I was searching for the boulder mentioned by Gustav in his trip report I saw a big black bear and her cubs. They seemed to be walking away from me, but then she turned and started walking towards me. I shouted at her and raised my arms and "made myself big" and she continued towards me. I shouted again and she kept coming. I snapped a picture with my camera that I figured they could post at my funeral. The bear stood up on her back legs to get a good look at me and I noticed that she had a diamond-shaped patch of white on her chest. When she got down I noticed that one of her cubs had climbed a tree behind her. I slowly turned and walked away. When I got back to the logging trail I looked back and did not see the sow. Nervously, I walked back to my Jeep Grand Cherokee. There were two deer in the yard by the farm. The farmstead still seemed quiet and I wondered if anyone still lived there.

It was early in the day and I had planned on doing several more county highpoints, but considered driving 160 miles home. Figuring my odds of seeing another bear that day were low I decided to keep highpointing. I bagged the highpoints of Florence and Vilas counties without incident and stopped at Timms Hill on the way home. It was an interesting weekend of navigating logging roads, bushwacking and wood ticks.

When I got home I looked at the picture that I snapped of the bear. It was blurred slightly, but you can see that it is running towards me. Next time I will have to be sure to keep the camera still when I take the picture.

Summary Total Data
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)

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