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Ascent of Charlotte County High Point on 2016-12-21

Climber: Dave Covill

Date:Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Charlotte County High Point
    Location:USA-Florida
    Elevation:74 ft / 22 m

Ascent Trip Report

I had previously visited the 2 southern points for Charlotte County many years ago, but could not proceed further North along the Glades/Charlotte county line due to wide and deep Rainey Slough.

This time, after hearing that some had driven in to the N side, I spent a few hours looking into this on my recent visit to see family in Naples FL. From Arcadia to the West, drive 17 miles East to the Desoto/Highlands county line on paved CR 70. It is clearly marked. Turn R and go South 12.2 miles on an excellent dirt road, SE Highlands County Line Road. It does not seem to be gravel, just well bladed dirt, but is solid, and you can drive 40+ on it. There is no negative signage on this road. There are signs on the fence on the E side saying no trespassing etc, and the E side, especially down near the 4-corner area, is well developed with groves. At 12.2 you come to the 4 county junction. The road turns W here along the Charlotte/Desoto line. Straight ahead is a sandy lane, with trees on the left (Glades) (E) side, and bare fields being developed on the right (W) side in Charlotte. The ground rises slightly, as the topo would indicate.

While pondering the situation, a pickup truck drove down towards me from the norht, and I flagged him down. He was a worker foreman for the company doing field construction on the NE corner (Highlands) and the SW corner (Charlotte). He said he didn't think anyone would mind me walking the county line for a half mile south, but that I should inquire at the HQ for more extensive foray permission. I thanked him. The company name escapes me, "something Citrus"... Phone # on sign = 863-965-5963. Foreman/ Manager was Warren or Warden or some such, a Brazilian he said. I did not call.

I wandered down quickly. Driving in my rental Hyundai would have been a big mistake, loose deep sand. I got to high ground, staying along the county line, and returned. Nothing at the sort-of high spot, no stones to pile up etc. Trees on left, fields on right. Typical FL cohp.....

I believe that future visitors would do well to call, or to drive to the HQ, which was at about the mile 8 distance southward, beyond a large gate where vehicles get sprayed tp decontaminate them prior to entering the groves. I could see the HQ buildings a mile to the East.

BTW - Peakbagger, as of December 2016, only lists 2 spots for Charlotte County, in contrast to COHP dot ORG, which correctly lists 3. The missing contour is further South, and does not have a s.e., but there is a large area where the 70' contour penetrates from Glades. I would not consider this county to be properly visited without all 3. There are several miles between the northern one I just visited and the southernmost. The good news is that the two that lie to the south of Rainey Slough are only a mile apart and can easily be visited together. I absolutely would not visit the southern two without permission. Recent visitors have gained such permission and driven in from the east from a ranch. I would not walk northward from paved hwy 74 to the South.

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RANT PARAGRAPH

Please forgive me at this Holiday time of year, as I should be in the spirit of giving etc.... But, it seems that many people who are COHPing in Florida the past decade are doing so with what I will refer to as lower standards of style than the pioneers of this hobby held themselves to in the 1990's. I see TR's of many FL cohps being visited with what I would refer to, at best, as a Partial Completion. Some of the contours get visited, others not. Some places get visited but the true high ground that lies deep within the contour gets waved at. Some places are visited on a street or road, when the high ground lies in a backyard etc. I really think that people need to ask themselves one question; "do I really consider myself to be a County Highpointer? or just someone who is interested in visiting the general vicinity of county highpoints?" I feel there is a difference in the two, and that it is fine to be the latter, but it's a different game than the former.....


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