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Ascent of Grant County High Point on 2007-04-26

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Thursday, April 26, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Grant County High Point
    Location:USA-Indiana
    Elevation:950 ft / 289 m

Ascent Trip Report

Thursday, 4/26/2007

0.0 IN 26 and IN 22 south of Upland, near Taylor University – drive north on IN 22
1.1 In town, IN 22 becomes Main St; intersection with Berry – turn right (east)
1.5 Intersection with Silverman Blvd – Kershner Commons duplex development; turn left (north)
1.8 Park at Hess Road (currently undeveloped)

Leaving Blackford County, it was raining. And it was getting dark. But I knew Grant County would not be too far away, so I had to try. In about 10 miles, I was parking and pursuing another CoHP.

This area is being developed and will probably look different to the next visitor. New roads and duplex housing are being constructed north of Berry back toward the HP area. From where I parked, it was obvious my trailhead was farther north from where Bob Schwab parked. I remember crossing only one cornfield as I headed to the northeast corner. But I clearly reached the same spot when I noticed the hunter’s stand in the large tree in the northeast corner. This first point was easy compared to the area 2.

From the tree with the tree stand, I followed Bob’s directions west and north into the woods. I then followed my nose up as I came to ground that went higher. I eventually came out of the woods in a field near the railroad at the northern perimeter of the area, and I knew I was not there yet. Looking around, I noted a serious drop to the east near the railroad tracks. My topo maps confirmed this hill. As an added bonus, I got to enjoy a large male deer bouncing through this field down below me. Eventually the deer bounced into the woods and out of sight.

It was getting dark, I did not bring a compass or a light, and I was concerned about finding my way. I considered jumping the fence and following the railroad tracks that I knew would lead me out of the woods. But I decided to stay in the field. My map-reading suggested I was south of the target, so I walked north in the field since the land appeared to gently slope upward. Soon I reached a bend in the field, and the farmland made rather sharp rises in the contour. Looking at the contour map once again, I realized this was the HP contour. I followed this land to the highest point and was satisfied to put another HP in the bag.

Darkness was getting thicker, but I knew I was not really that far from my car. (I walked just shy of 2mi to complete the loop to the two HP areas). So I just decided to head south, follow some lights through the trees, and find my car when I saw some recognizable landmarks. This worked fine until I reached a flooded creek. It had rained a lot in the past few days, as my trip notes and topo maps will attest. I tried to find a low spot to cross, but I was not successful. I had on plastic boots, but I was not surprised when the waters came rushing in. I just moved quickly to get across the water. In retrospect, it was not too bad. Temperatures were in the 50’s-60’s, so the water was not too cold.

I exited the woods at a spot west of my parked vehicle. When I spotted it, I finished my hike and took off my boots and soggy socks. It was dark, but I had bagged Grant County.

You might be familiar with Taylor University due to a recent tragedy that brought some national news attention. Exactly one year ago today, a college van traveling on the interstate was struck by an oncoming semi-tractor. The semi drive fell asleep, crossed the median, and killed 6 people including 5 Taylor University students. To heap more on this tragedy, the grief was compounded when the local Grant County coroner misidentified two of the students. The wrong family held a funeral, and the mistake was found when the living girl woke up in the hospital. (Both student bodies were so badly disfigured that even their families did not know who was who until the living girl regained consciousness.) Being in Upland today, I drove past the University at the exact moment a large memorial service was being held.

On a brighter note, visitors to Upland should be sure to stop in at Ivanhoe’s Drive-In as a successful culmination to their highpointing adventures. Renowned for its large servings of ice cream, Ivanhoe’s is known for miles around this basically-just-a-college town. Be sure to bring your sweet tooth to this establishment that sits right at the intersection of Main and Berry.
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