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Ascent of Allen County High Point on 2007-03-08

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Thursday, March 8, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Allen County High Point
    Location:USA-Indiana
    Elevation:910 ft / 277 m

Ascent Trip Report

Thursday, 3/8/2007

Time Out / In: 4:16pm / 5:30pm
Temperature: mid 30’s
Wind: Mostly Calm
Tools/Aids: None
Steps/Distance hiked: Not tracked

0.0 – Leave work (Tax return office) and head to US 33 – travel northeast
10.2 – Intersection with US 33 / McDuffee Road – turn right (north)
13.2 – Intersection with Duglay Road – continue north
13.5 – Intersection with IN 205 – continue north
14.2 – Intersection with Bryie Road – turn left (west)
14.7 – Harold Anderson farm – 12735 Bryie Road – number on sign next to mailbox
15.1 – John Anderson farm – 9499E CR 600N – number on sign next to mailbox
15.6 – Intersection with McDuffee Road – turn left (north)
15.8 – Pull over next to roadside HP


I had just met my last appointment of the day. I was (relatively) caught up with my tax return work. The day was sunny and clear. My mud boots were in the car. I decided this was the day to pursue the home county. Besides, I had a couple errands to run in that side of the county. This effort was spontaneous, a but no-brainer.

I approached the area by coming from Fort Wayne on US 33. At McDuffee Road, I turned right (north) and continued on to the intersection with IN 205. At this point, my route converged with the roads described by Bob Schwab’s trip report dated 5/6/2001.

I will refer to the areas using the same Area names that were assigned by Bob. I started my coverage by visiting the areas in the reverse order. First stop was the Harold Anderson farm located south from the Bryie Road / East County Line Road intersection.

I drove up to the farmhouse and parked near the garage. I knocked at the back door, and the homeowner, Ms. Harold Anderson, eventually met me. I told her why I was there and asked her permission to wander around her farm. She invited me inside and told me she had been visited 3-4 years ago (not too bad for a 90’s+ woman – Bob’s visit was actually almost 6 years ago). We chatted a bit longer before this pleasant woman gave me permission to visit the two contour areas shown on the topo map.

When I stepped outside, I saw a truck coming up the gravel driveway. The person in the truck was her son, John (Glenn, as referred to by his mother) Anderson. He told me he owned the farm just down the road. John also recalled the visit of “some man from Michigan” who set up some pretty elaborate equipment to gauge the elevations of the various Areas. I was familiar with this man’s name because of Bob’s excellent trip report, and I asked permission to visit his farm fields when I was done with this farm. He told me I could look everywhere except in the fenced pasture to the west. He told me he had a temperamental bull in that pasture. I told him that would not be a problem because that pasture was west of the county line, in Whitley County.

Both Ms. Anderson and John Anderson were aware that their farms were at or near the high elevations of Allen County. John told me the county highpoint was actually under the house, where the chimney now stands next to the garage. He told me the old farm windmill was previously located on that spot. He recalled many stories of watering the animals as a boy who used the windmill to operate the water pump.

He also gave me a tip about the Whitley County HP. He had heard that a large dairy farm operation was now at that site. I will keep that tip in mind as I verify that CoHP on some other day.

To prepare for this trip, I went online to the Allen County GIS portal, a free geological mapping system. One of the features of this GIS portal is a 2-foot contour mapping of the entire Allen County. I was told of this website by one of the civil engineers who makes office space available to me (the zero mile marker for this trip). Interestingly, the other civil engineer is the county surveyor for nearby DeKalb County.

The Allen County GIS portal website, using the public access point, can be found at:

http://www.acimap.us/website/allenco/gisportal.php

I reviewed the 2-foot contours for each area identified by Bob Schwab. In descending order, the 2-foot contours were listed as:
910ft – Area 6
908ft – Areas 1,3
906ft – Area 5
904ft – Areas 2,4

The contour map actually showed 4 areas between 904ft and 905ft in the field identified by Bob as Area 4. In addition to the largest area just east of the John Anderson farm, I have labeled the other 3 areas 4b, 4c, and 4d.

I went behind the house and walked along the fence that extends along the county line. The obvious high spot, Area 6, was observed to be under the white clothesline. My relative altimeter reading showed 922ft for this point. I then went into the field and walked around the high ground labeled Area 5. No altimeter readings were recorded there, but the area surrounding the house was clearly higher.

I then drove to the John Anderson farm. Bryie Road turns north and becomes E County Line Road (a clear referral to Whitley County) before it turns west again where its name is CR 600N, also a Whitley County reference. There is one house on the E County Line Road that uses a (Whitley) County Line Road address, and the John Anderson farm also bears a Whitley County address.

The farm fields were muddy but easily travelable. Most of the snow had melted, and steps each caused a sinking of a couple inches. I started by wandering around Area 4. My altimeter recorded the (relative) elevation there as 917ft. I continued southeast where I wandered around Area 4d. The altimeter recorded the (relative) elevation there as 914ft. I continued walking north to Area 4c, which appeared to be lower than Area 4d. I walked north until Area 4b was due east. It did not appear to be as high as areas already visited, so I skipped it. I returned to my car by passing through some of the northernmost extent of Area 4.

I drove back to McDuffee Road and headed north to the nearby high spot on the west side of the road about 0.2mi north of Bryie Road. This Area 3 could make a good challenge for the actual county high point. My (relative) altimeter read 923-924ft there, the highest readings I obtained at any of the sites. I then hiked through the corn stubs to the Area 2 in the same field to the northwest near the treeline. My altimeter recorded the (relative) elevation there as 917ft.

The final stop of this search was Area 1, located in the area surrounding and in front of the two barns lying left (west) of the house. I stopped at the house to ask permission to visit, but no one was home. The only living thing encountered was a large, young dog that was very friendly – a mutt that I believe had some golden retriever in its blood. The dog greeted me with a wagging tail, and it jumped up to say hello. Its large paws reached nearly to my shoulders. I was clearly glad this animal was a friend and not a foe.

The ground there was unremarkable, and my altimeter recorded the (relative) elevation there as 917ft.

To recap, my highest relative elevations were recorded in Area 3 and Area 6. This was confirmed by the 2-foot contours found on the Allen County website. My belief is that one of these areas is the true high point of Allen County. Areas 1, 2 and 4 presented lower relative elevations, which was also confirmed by the 2-foot contours. And Area 5 was visually lower than Area 6.

The usual disclaimer applies – future HP’ers should visit each area so they can make their own determinations.


MODIFICATIONS TO BOB SCHWAB’s trip report:
1. The key road on this trip is McDUFFEE Road, not McDuffie.
2. Paragraph 1 – the three areas are located to the north and WEST of McDuffee Rd.
3. Paragraph 4 – the John Anderson address is 9499E CR 600N. The mailbox lies along the east-west road called 600N.
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