Pemiscot County High Point Trip Report

Date: June 10, 1999
Author: Andy Martin

One of the main difficulties found in laying out Martins Lane [county link to the Atlantic] was the Mississippi crossing. Many of the counties by the river look really horrific, with zillions of areas in swamps and such. Fortunately Pemiscot County had one area that rose 5' above the rest, just west of Roher Cemetery and a bit south of the county line. One small hitch - David Olson maintained that this area was suspect, and what I took to be the only 290' area in the county was in fact just a 285' contour that was drawn a bit strangely.

Well, this was where I would prove him wrong, finish off MO, and head across the river to TN. I drove down the frontage road, and prepared to pace off a couple hundred feet down the double dashed line dirt lane shown on the map. Just one problem - the dirt road was so overgrown it looked like I'd been dropped somewhere in the middle of the Amazon jungle. No problem - I'd just backtrack and head over the field. I did that, and ended up at the wooded patch shown on the map, with my "hill" right in the middle. The vegetation was still a bother - could not see what was going on inside that mess of brush. Oh well, it just had to be a few steps into the jungle, so I headed in, keeping a wary eye open for my nemesis, poison ivy.

After a few paces it was hard to tell if I was going up, down, or sideways. But then I made a sickening discovery - there was some sort of depression in this mess - as if water from the nearby Portage Open Bay had scooped out a drainage leading to the north. Olson was right - and Martins Lane was in a world of hurt. Being confident of success I had not mapped an alternate route. A quick glance at the map showed that 285' areas were plentiful - I would not be able to use my existing maps to work on Pemiscot Co. at this lower elevation.

Still pondering my fate, I bashed my way back out of the brush, and wandered over to the Roher Cemetery. It was completely swallowed by vegetation, but I spied a tottering headstone in the gloom, and squirmed in for a look. It marked the final resting place of Archie T. Ward, 1882-1902. I left the would-be Pemiscot register by the tombstone, and headed back to the car. On the way I explored the overgrown lane some more, but just confirmed that the drainage "hole" did exist, and did connect to the Portage Open Bay.