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Ascent of Escambia County High Point on 2020-02-21

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, February 21, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Escambia County High Point
    Location:USA-Florida
    Elevation:280 ft / 85 m

Ascent Trip Report


Took 3 visits for the 32 Areas ........ allow 3 days or 2 long days.

PB and COHP.org gives 32 Candidate High Point Areas for this county, all located at the very north end of the County, on or south of the AL/FL State Line . Rose and I came here guided by Bill Jacobs TR of 2004, which one must read. We thank Bill for his excellent work.
I went to all of the 32 candidates, taking a number of visits, all as per this one only TR. I came here with the coordinates for all the candidates - which one must have.

I have divided the 32 candidates in 3 Sections, numbered them al la PB and visited in the order listed in the TR.
As a rule and without having to repeat myself, candidates are in flat open areas or in extremely dense/brushy woods, impossible to find "the" spot. I stomped the areas to my satisfaction and called it good.
1) WESTERN SECTION (16 AREAS WEST OF HWY#97) took 2 visits.
2) CENTRAL SECTION (11 AREAS BETWEEN HWY#97/#99)
3) EASTERN SECTION (5 AREAS OFF-OF THE N-S HWY#4A, NORTH OF BYRNEVILLE).

NB: This multiple area county is another classic example that IMO the powers-to-be of COHP.ORG need to address the rules as they apply to these counties. Having to visit 32 areas for a HP hinges on insanity. The club should be renamed County High Contours Association (COHC.ORG).
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VISIT #1 DATED 2011-01-10 .... A successful visit to 3 Areas (#1, 2 & 3 in the Western Section ....... a xcountry/whack
We found our way to the northwest corner of the county, the T-JCT Pineville Road/ Jones Road on the "AL/FL STATE LINE". To the east on the State Line is Jones Road and to the west is the continuation OF Pineville Road which after 200 yds turns left (south again).

AREA #3 is at this fore-noted T-JCT "AL/FL State Line" - spot elevation 286 on the CalTopo Map, nothing obvious, stomped the area south of this JCT.

We continued on Pineville for half a mile to a right turn on Jakes Road, then west on Jakes for half a mile to a gate and parked on the right where a grass track heads north. This was my TH for Areas #2 & 3
I walked north on the grass track (Rose waited in the car) along a tree/hedge line on the left and a huge cotton field on the right. At 250 yds turned left (west) through the hedge to a grass track that heads west along the south side of dense evergreen woods. At a fork at 80 yds I stayed right, the track bends north and after another 80 yds bends west (a Hunter's Blind is at this bend). The goggle satellite map clearly shows this route.

AREA 1 ... I continued west on the grass track for 225 yds (dense woods on both sides) before turning north and bushwhacking/fighting my way in the dense woods ..... chose 2 spots as possible HPs (30.99418, 87.58358) and (30.99414, 87.58333).

AREA 2 ... I walked back east to the bend with the Hunter's Blind and continued/bushwhacked east in the dense woods for 40-50 yds to the other candidate, also tough. Chose spot at (30.99431, 87.58074).

As I returned to my TH Rose was talking to a gentleman beside a truck. Eddy, the owner of the land in the Highpoint area, had no trouble with me being on his land as long as I wasn't a Hunter. He was aware that this was the high ground of this area but not the Highpoint of the County.
Prior to Eddy's arrival Rose had gone to the house across the road from the TH to chat with the house. She found an elderly lady and a relative of Eddy's chatting outside the house. After the usual introductions and small talk the lady told Rose, "I was just about to call the law on you". They must have called Eddy.
Eddy told me that there are a lot of Rattlers in the area, he always wears Snake Boots (hunting boots) which he showed me as he pulled up his pant leg, "You should get yourself a pair when wandering around in these woods". I would end up taking his advise .... I added a pair of Snake Chaps to my hiking gear, "Thank you, Eddy."
He lives in Daphnee, east of Mobile Bay, future Highpointers might be wise to ask at the elderly lady's house for permission. I do not know what the reception would be however.
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VISIT #2 DATED 2020-02-20 ..... a successful visit to the remaining 13 Areas in the Western Section .... took a full day
We divided the 16 Areas in the WESTERN SECTION in 3 sub-sections.
1A) The 7 Areas off-of the N-S Pineville Road.
1B) The 4 Areas off-of the E-W State Line.
1C) The 5 Areas off-of E-W Nokomis Road.

1A) 7 AREAS OFF-OF THE N-S PINEVILLE ROAD.
We went back to the same northwest corner of the county and zeroed our odo at the northend of Pineville Road where it turns east on the State Line.
0.00M ... northend of Pineville Road at the "AL/FL STATE LINE" (30.99754,-87.57096), we drove south on Pineville.
0.43M ... 4-WAY JCT with Jakes Road - a right turn (west) leads to AREAS #1 & #2 per my first visit above - a left turn leads east 0.68 miles to the crest of the road and AREA #4 on the left in a fallow field at 50 yds north. This is one huge contour, checked out both sides of road, nothing obvious.
0.68M ... Tullis Road on the left leads east 0.37 miles to AREA #9 on the right (south) in extremely dense underbrush at 100 yds. Good luck. I did not go to the brick house #6451 referred-to by Bill Jacobs.
0.93M ... 4-WAY JCT with Nokomis/Rease Seals Road - a right on Rease Seals Road heads/climbs west 300 yds to its crest, this is AREA #7. The pasture land to the north is lower, I checked out the south side fallow corn field - A left on Nokomis is for the Areas on sub-section 1c), per below.
1.55M ... Hollingsworth Road (paved) on right heads west to AREA #8. We drove 0.3 miles and parked at the end of the pavement (30.97368,-87.57632). The depression talked about by Bill is evident, however the ArcGIS-World Topo map shows a 281 spot elevation to the west of this depression, so I checked out the area.
From my TH I walked south on grass track 200 yds then west 250 yds to the obvious high ground (this is the area of the spot elevation, south end of a large grass field to the north). I chose my HP (30.97188,-87.57920) amid a small patch of dense brush with remains of a shed.
2.17M ... Pineville Road crests just past the pavement, AREA #11 is immediately to the left amid some dense/nasty stuff, good luck.
We drove back north to the State Line

1B) 4 AREAS OFF-OF THE E-W STATE LINE.
0.00M ... JCT Pineville Road/State Line (Jones Road) (30.99754,-87.57096), we drove east on Jones Road (dirt).
0.12M ... Pineville Road northbound in Alabama is on the left, AREA #3 is to the right (per my first visit).
0.75M ... field entrance on the right is for AREA #5 in fallow corn field.
1.12M ... AREA #14 on the right in fallow grass field.
1.25M ... Jones Road turns right (south).
1.37M ... crest of road with red-brick-house on right side. We parked a just ahead at field entrance. AREA #6 is in a grass field to the east. This is a huge contour, impossible to pick a spot, longest hike of the day (3/4 mile RT).

1C) 5 AREAS OFF-OF THE E-W NOKOMIS ROAD.
We found our way back to the 4-WAY JCT PINEVILLE/NOKOMIS ROADS per subsection 1A), above, zeroed our odo.
0.00M ... 4-WAY JCT Pineville/Nonkomis Roads (30.98343,-87.57140), drove east on Nokomis.
0.40M ... large industrial building on the left is home to AREA #10, don't know what's natural. Walked its perimeter and also checked out woods on south side, nothing obvious.
1.77M ... Jakes Road on left leads north 350 yds to crest with an underground cable marker on right. AREA #12 small contour is to the left at 100 yds. A nice/open pine-forest with some dense underbrush. I should add that my eye level told me that this area is at about same level as the Nokomis/Jakes JCT.
2.20M ... parked on right side (30.97927,-87.53563) for AREA #13, signs "TREE FARM' & "STEWARDSHIP FOREST", 2 woods road leave in different directions. I walked the eastbound gated woods road 250+ yds to a left turn (ignored the first road on left at 150 yds), then south 100 yds. The AREA #13 N-S contour is 100 yds west in extremely dense underbrush. Good luck in finding "the" HP.
3.38M .... Rockaway Creek Road on the left leads to AREA #15. We went north Rockaway 0.8 miles to a left onto Circle Road (dirt), then 0.25 miles west to a right bend. I hopped the gate and walked southwest in a knee-high-grass-field 150 yds to the small contour. We returned to Nokomis.
4.81M ... This AREA #17, huge N-S contour with fallow fields on both sides off road, everything looked flat, impossible to chose a spot.
5.00M ... Hwy #97, gas station on right, filled up.

Drove back to our hotel in Pensacola for a long day. We had rain off-and-on most of the day, used my golf umbrella where I could, however I finished the day completely soaked. Will be back tomorrow to hopefully complete the county.
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VISIT #3 DATED 2020-02-21 ..... a successful visit to the Central and Eastern Sections (16 areas) .... allow the day.
We came back for a third time for THE CENTRAL SECTION AND THE EASTERN SECTION.

WE FIRST TACKLED THE CENTRAL SECTION (11 AREAS BETWEEN HWY#97/#99) - by dividing it in 2 subsections;
2A) 7 Areas at the north end of the Section starting at the 4-WAY JCT #97/Greenland Road.
2B) 4 Areas off-of the E-W Hwy#4.

2A) 7 AREAS AT THE NORTH END OF THE SECTION.
0.00M ... we zeroed our odo, 4-WAY JCT HWY#97/Meadows(west) & Greenland(east) Roads and drove east on Greenland.
0.68M ... JCT with Cassidy Road is AREA #19. Stomped the contour to the south on both sides of Cassidy, nothing obvious.
1.25M ... MB#6799 on right (30.97698,-87.47000) with a rough driveway leading south to a house at 0.8 miles (AREA#22 is to the southeast at 150 yds at spot elev 283'. All grass fields. We met and chatted with the owner, Thelma, who was well knowledgeable on the high ground. "My land slopes in all directions as you can see." Checked out the all grass area, the high ground appears to be half-way down her driveway 200yds to the east and not at the spot elevation. Nothing obvious.
1.68M ... Greenland Road bends right (south).
2.49M ... AREA#23, I checked out the N-S flat contour to the east, nothing obvious.
2.73M ... T-JCT, turned left (east) on Dortch Road
3.73M ... turned left (north) on McElhaney Road, but before doing-so we went straight on Dortch 200 yds and parked. AREA #25 is to the right (over a one wire electrical fence) in a grass field at 75 yds, nothing obvious. Back to McElhaney as it makes a left-right jog on its way north.
5.28M ... parked at road side, AREA #24 is the the east at .5 miles. A huge-open plowed field to the right. I walked east along the north side of this field, crossed a N-S tree line and went southeast to spot elevation 283', stomped area nothing obvious.
5.46M ... turned right onto State Line Road
7.08M ... T-JCT with Hwy #99, AREA #27 is south of State Line, nothing here. We continued/turned right (south on #99).
7.77M ... turned left (east) on Hwy#168.
8.95M ... turned left (north) on Pine Barren Road.
9.63M ... back to State Line Road and AREA #27. The small tip of the contour spills into Florida. Nothing here. End of this subsection. We drove back to #99 then south to #4.

2B) 4 AREAS OFF-OF THE E-W HWY #4.
0.00M ... JCT HWY#99/#4, we zeroed our odo and went east on #4.
0.56M ... small posted dirt road on the right (30.96317,-87.47554), parking for AREA #16. I walked the wet dirt road west/south to the high ground contour at 0.25 miles, hunter's stand in the area. Stomped the area, nothing obvious.
0.75M ... turned left on Pine Barren Church Road, for AREA #18. We drove northwest 0.55 miles to MB#5550 (a long driveway inside the high ground contour heads north .4 miles to the farm house). We checked for the HP at half way point in all grass field. Back to #4.
0.87M ... turned right (south) on Sandy Hollow Road which leads to AREAS #20 & #21.
1.37M ... parked close-to MB#4810 (inside the high ground contour) for AREA #20, checked out both sides of the road, nothing here.
1.68M ... gated road on the right (30.95239,-87.46815), on the left, across the road is trailer house #4560. My TH for AREA #21 to the west. Road heads westerly, drops to a creek at 2000 yds before climbing 300 yds to the high ground contour. I stomped north of the road, inside the beautiful pine woods with some dense underbrush. Got 2 good soakers when crossing the creek cause of the recent rains.

LASTLY WE WENT TO THE EASTERN SECTION (5 AREAS OFF THE N-S HWY#4A, NORTH OF BYRNEVILLE).
0.00m ... JCT HWY#4/#4A IN BYRNEVILLE we zeroed our odo and went north on #4A.
0.50M ... parked at MB#1954, AREA #32 is obvious in front of the house.
0.75M ... parked at MB# 2050, AREA #30 is in the contour behind the house, permission required, nothing obvious.
Before continuing north we went south on Stuckey Road 0.4 mile to house #7030 and AREA #31, nothing obvious in this large contour.
1.55M ... Hwy#4A bends right (east) at a JCT with #168 (which leads west to AREA #29). We first turned left (west) on Hwy#168 for 0.34 miles to a right on Grimes Road, then north 0.25 miles to the entrance for Rockin J Farm on the left. This is AREA #29, a huge contour, nothing obvious.
1.68M ... turned left (north) on Creamer Road (paved).
2.30M ... parked just before house #8720, this is AREA #28, flat grass fields both sides of the road (a huge contour). Good luck, I couldn't find anything.
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"YOUTH LOOKS FORWARD BUT AGE LOOKS IN BOTH DIRECTIONS."
Summary Total Data
    Round-Trip Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:16 areas
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear



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