Ascent of Miami County High Point on 2010-04-30

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Friday, April 30, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Miami County High Point
    Elevation:899 ft / 274 m

Ascent Trip Report

890+ ft.

Friday, 4/30/2010

I needed an excuse to mail an updated completion map. It has been over a year since I emailed my last update to be posted to the website. Today was a good day to remedy the situation. I left work in the early afternoon bound for Miami county, the nearest Indiana unfinished county.

I decided to follow Bob Schwab’s excellent trip guide to complete the county north to south. Following my GPS, I arrived at CR 100E. I turned north, drove past CR 1250N and continued on to the Macy-Gilead Road. I turned left, drove a bit to scout the area, then returned the way I came. I parked on CR 100E at the crest as Bob described, roughly at the “D” in ROAD on the topo map.

Area 1 was clearly seen to the NW, and area 2 was just as obvious to the SE. I decided to visit area 1 first. I carefully made my way through 2 fences to enter the planted field that was home to the contour. I carefully stepped through the field whose crop was later identified as wheat. I walked in the direction of the planting as much as possible to minimize trampling the knee-high, grass-like crops. I eventually made my way to the HP area which was NW from my truck and in the direction of the nearest metal buildings at the nearby farm. I wandered around a bit before returning to my truck.

From here, I hiked due east in the lowlands beneath the power lines until I reached the woods. I headed north and east around the woods perimeter until I reached the sloping ground I could see from my truck. From here, I followed a tractor path into the woods in a general east direction. I passed several old rusted vehicles, some piled on top of each other. Upon reaching the highest area, I wandered around to satisfy myself that I had visited the HP. Hearing trucks working in the nearby farm fields, I did not linger. I hiked back to my truck the way I came. Hand-leveling is not my strongest suit. I checked from area 1 to 2 and back again from area 2 to 1 with no conclusive results. Total statistics to visit the two candidates: about 25min time and 0.93mi walked.

Just south of my parked truck is another bump on the east side of the road, a prominent rise that I thought looked as high as the first two areas. This area 2A can be seen on the topo, but the woodsy environment is gone. I have the coordinates as N40.95695 W86.05631 (NAD 27). I made a brief stop to climb to the top of this bump, and I encourage future visitors to comment on its HP possibilities.

Bob’s notes are detailed to get you to the other candidates. I found each of them as described. The following enhancement notes are provided about my trip:

Area 3 – The No Trespassing postings here are from the Indiana Dept of Forestry. The posted area is a seedling project, and other signs indicate $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone damaging the area. The “seedlings” all appear to be mature in growth now, and there is no evidence of recent workings in the area. I believe the risk of visiting this area is low. Just get in and back out with as little damage to the environment as possible. I followed Bob’s route through the adjacent farm field until I was near the HP contour. 12 minutes, 0.6mi roundtrip from parking along the road.

Area 4 and 5 – There is now a cable and lock to block access to this lane. I hiked to area 4 and found it under the power line as described. I continued on to area 5 by hiking generally north, losing elevation in a dip before returning to a climb on the other side. The road eventually winds east and northeast as it passes NW of the lake shown on the topo map near the “P”. When the road turns north and passes a field on the left, a woods lane breaks off to the right. Continue on the faint path into the woods and wander around when you believe you are at the HP contour. Return the way you came. 30 minutes, 1.65mi roundtrip from parking along the road.

In my truck making notes about this leg, I was surprised to look up and see a doe standing not more than 30 feet away. She was as startled and cautious as I. She froze her movements before cautiously turning and bounding back the way she came. The standoff lasted about a minute. I guess I won. This was the first of 4 deer to be seen today.

Area 6 – Ed Tarter doesn’t live here anymore. CORRECTION: The HP is to the SW of this homestead, not southeast as listed by Bob. There was no one at the property when I arrived, but there were numerous cows in the adjacent fenced-in areas. I walked through the property and carefully slipped through the fence to move uphill to the higher ground. I kept climbing until I reached the highest, flattest area partially in the woods and partially in the field. I wandered around to satisfy myself. I then returned to the former Ed home to see a black truck driving up the lane toward my parked vehicle. It appeared to be tending to the nearby cows. As I walked to my truck, the other truck drove away. 15 minutes, 0.61mi roundtrip from parked truck.

As I returned to the main road, I saw the other truck in front of me. I followed as it pulled over to the side of the road. The driver was on the phone. I pulled alongside, and I rolled down my window to explain what I had been doing. She told me Ed has been gone for a few years now. She wasn’t concerned. She thought maybe I was hunting mushrooms. I told her I didn’t know a mushroom from a toadstool. Then I drove away.

Area 8 – I drove to near contours 7,8,9 and pulled over to the side to investigate my approach. While I was there, a truck pulled up. The driver asked if I needed any help. I told him I was looking at my maps, no problems. He drove away. I would later find that this was Mr. Lawrence See.

Though Bob’s notes say this area is lower than both 7 and 9, I decided to visit it. 18 minutes, 0.61mi roundtrip from parking along CR 100E.

Area 7 – I drove to Lawrence See’s farm to ask permission to hike his property. I arrived and was greeted by a hand, who told me Mr. See was in the nearby building. When I walked in, I was greeted by a large man who was just beginning to slip his hand into a large, elbow-length plastic glove. That was intimidating! I introduced myself to this man who had stopped in his truck a few minutes earlier. I joked that I was making the every-eight year visit to hike his farm. He immediately recalled that Bob had been there about that many years ago. As we talked, he informed me he was about to artificially inseminate a cow with a frozen embryo. We walked to the barn and continued to chat. Once inside, Mr. See positioned himself behind a cow. He was holding a long rod that reminded me of the kind of tool car mechanics use to retrieve dropped tools, bolts, etc. Before I knew it, his gloved arm disappeared (with the rod in tow) inside the cow nearly up to the elbow! So that’s how you “fool Mother Nature”.

He also told me about the proposed wind farm that was coming to the area. He was in line to receive 4-5 wind turbines on his farm if the wind studies could confirm the utility’s desire to locate here. Each turbine would give him about $10k in annual leases, and the footprint for each was a modest 14-foot radius circle. This was a minimal disruption to his farming operation and a no-brainer when/if a contract is offered to him. Actual wind-driven production was still about 5 years away though because the wind studies will last about 2 years.

I asked if I could travel out to the HP near his farm. He told me no driving through his wheat field, but foot travel would be okay. I walked through the wheat (as described above for area 1), looked around, and returned to my truck. 13 minutes, 0.42mi roundtrip from parked truck.

Area 9 - I drove my truck back to CR 50E near the spot I had previously parked. I hiked west into the unplanted farm field. Mr. See knows this farm’s owner well, and he did not believe the owner would object to the hike. I wandered around the high contours, seeing no evidence of where the spot elevation was taken. 10 minutes, 0.30mi roundtrip from parked truck.

This completes Miami county, Indiana. Total hiking statistics for the 9 (plus 1 potential) candidates: 2 hours, 3 minutes (+ time talking to Mr. See), 5.12 miles hiked.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear

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