Marengo County High Point Trip Report

Date: February 23, 2000
Author: Bill Jacobs

Marengo is a two-area county of minimal difficulty, which took three attempts at considerable costs.

The first effort, in the summer of 99, involved hiking a few hundred yards to the first area with the final ascent in thick underbrush to an ill-defined high point. To reach the second area I asked a farmer for permission to cross his land and was given the OK but warned against doing so as the hill was loaded with rattlesnakes. Moreover, his neighbor was still in the hospital from a snakebite two weeks earlier. Discretion took over and a winter assault seemed more inviting.

The second effort, in December of 99, was the first stop in a planned two-day blitz of central Alabama. I elected to revisit the first area to ensure I had originally reached the highest point -- the undergrowth is considerably less intrusive in the winter. Upon hiking back down the path heard the unmistakable sound of two cars colliding. Four teenagers en route to school had rounded a curve too fast. As they slid back into their lane, they overcorrected exiting the roadway exactly where my car was parked. They bounced off it, never seeing it until the impact, twisting down the road for another 100 yards. It was probably the only car within several miles parked off to the side of the road. Remarkably, there were no injuries. The trooper said hitting my car probably saved them from going into the trees resulting in more serious problems. The tow truck driver warned of another winter hazard: What are you doing hiking around here in a green shirt. You should be dressed as a pumpkin. I look before I shoot when I see movement. Most hunters shoot first when they see movement.

The third effort, this month, was successful with little time wasted taking in the scenery. There is no town of Shiloh but where it is shown on the DeLorme map the two areas are located to the east on either side of the intersection of CR30 and CR73. Area one can be approached best by entering an isolated hay field 0.1 mile to the west of this intersection. Climb to top of field and cross fence into pine grove to gain high point. Understand the field is owned by someone who does not live nearby. Area two can be reached by proceeding east from the above intersection for a few hundred yards and off to the left will be a very rough dirt road which climbs back around the cohp. Eventually, you will need to leave the road and bushwhack to the highest point. The thickets are quite formidable in the summer and it will be difficult determining the actual hill top. Enjoy.

In summary of the Marengo expeditions, as the old saw says, anything worth doing, is worth doing badly. Disclaimers on the dangers of HPing are valid. In 40 years of driving, have had no wrecks or tickets except while on High Point adventures: two speeding violations (one from a New Mexico Trooper who was unimpressed that six cars had just passed me a mile back and that it was my birthday) and two damaged cars (hit a huge Vermont deer going to fast for the conditions both the deer and the driver).