Forum Index > Trip Reports > The joke's on me at French Point, Darrington area  4/12/2011
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daffish
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Joined: 16 Sep 2009
Posts: 255 | TRs
Location: Dreamtime
daffish
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PostWed Apr 13, 2011 11:28 am 
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Reality trumps expectation

This little bump has 520’ of prominence even though its elevation is only 1420’. With only half a day available to me and avalanche danger quite high at the loftier elevations, I figured that this would be a good stroll in the woods for an afternoon. After closely reviewing the topo, I drove up French Creek Rd to find a good parking spot where I could head uphill. Just about when I thought I was in the general area, there was a forest road angling uphill; and the gate was open! Hmmm? This wasn’t on the USGS topo I had with me.
Hiking up the easy road brought me near the ridge and where the road continued away from the peak, I entered the forest. There was dense second growth to the north but the old forest was untouched on the south and it was a pleasant ramble in the widely spaced trees. I meandered the green slope upward, wiggling around rotting logs and dodging clusters of ferns. The mosses were soft underfoot and lent myriad shades of green to the hike.

moss covered rock
moss covered rock
fir cone on moss
fir cone on moss
turkey tails
turkey tails
close up of moss
close up of moss
spring is here for the Huckleberries
spring is here for the Huckleberries

Very shortly, I was at the high point. My altimeter was reading a little low so to verify my location I shot a compass bearing across the valley to Mt Higgins.

Mt Higgins across the valley
Mt Higgins across the valley

My back bearing line crossed the high point of French Point almost exactly. But something wasn’t right. The lay of the land; the way the hill sloped and its angle didn’t seem to match the topo. I had a vague sense of unease about where I was. Oh well, I had verified it with my compass, so I started down.
About a hundred feet lower, I finally got a clear view to the north where it wasn’t blocked by the dense second growth and - and – oops! There, just to the north, was the real high point and there seemed to be a road going up to it. OK, back to the top of the rise and then I had to skirt the dense young trees for a short scramble to the road. The road curved around the hill and wound up at the top. Well, damn. I liked the forest hike better. The messy fire ring with blackened pieces of wood, old beer cans and broken glass all attested to the fact that any jerk could get here. A short distance into the brush to find the exact highest point, I encountered a geocache box at the base of a huge concrete block. And now my altimeter was spot on. I walked the road out.

the three Higgens - West, Middle (Skadulgwas), and East
the three Higgens - West, Middle (Skadulgwas), and East
Skadulgwas Peak
Skadulgwas Peak
geocache on summit
geocache on summit
the road to the top
the road to the top

Later at home, my Green Trails map clearly showed the road and had ‘Abandoned Lookout’ marked at the top. Also, Google Earth clearly shows the road. I know; I know; do better research and get a GPS. Sheesh.

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"Be moderate in everything, including moderation"     Horace Porter
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Slugman
Slower than ever



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 15932 | TRs

Slugman
Slower than ever
PostWed Apr 13, 2011 12:51 pm 
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Wait, you should get a GPS so you can skip all that "pleasant ramble in the widely spaced trees" and "mosses (that) were soft underfoot and lent myriad shades of green to the hike" and get right to "The messy fire ring with blackened pieces of wood, old beer cans and broken glass"?  suuure.gif   wink.gif

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Just another tequila sunrise....
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Hulksmash
Cleaning up.



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 7118 | TRs
Location: Arlington
Hulksmash
Cleaning up.
PostWed Apr 13, 2011 1:09 pm 
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daffish wrote:
After closely reviewing the topo ................ a forest road angling uphill; and the gate was open! Hmmm? This wasn’t on the USGS topo I had with me..........Later at home, my Green Trails map clearly showed the road and had ‘Abandoned Lookout’ marked at the top. Also, Google Earth clearly shows the road. I know; I know; do better research and get a GPS. Sheesh.

ykm.gif  ykm.gif

At least you learned something.

Oh on that research here's a site that is great for research. Not to rub it in. wink.gif

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"Bears couldn't care less about us....we smell bad and don't taste too good. Bugs on the other hand see us as vending machines." - WetDog

Albuterol! it's the 11th essential
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Washakie
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Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 194 | TRs
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Washakie
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PostWed Apr 13, 2011 5:54 pm 
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"Purple Prose Attack"  Alert - everyone gear up!

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"What is the color when black is burned?" - Neil Young

"We're all normal when we want our freedom" - Arthur Lee

"The internet can make almost anyone seem intelligent"  - Washakie
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dicey
custom title



Joined: 11 May 2004
Posts: 2858 | TRs
Location: giving cornices a wider berth
dicey
custom title
PostThu Apr 14, 2011 12:35 pm 
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up.gif

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I'm not always sure I like being older but being less stupid has advantages.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32121172@N00/sets/
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