Gates County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: February 10, 2008
Author: Fred Lobdell

Brian Bockhahn and I visited the sole area in Gates County that is surrounded by an 85-foot contour. For directions to this area and an earlier description, see my report of January 2, 2003.

The high area itself is quite obvious. It lies south of a Family Food store in the small community of Gates, on the east side of NC 37 and west of a mini-storage unit. We spoke with the store manager and she gave us the name of one of the co-owners of the property, who she said might be able to help us with a determination as to whether the area was natural or manmade. The area itself has gently sloping sides and appears to consist largely of sand, which is a natural sediment in this part of the world. We didn't notice any gravel. After examining the area and discussing it, we were inclined to think that the area was indeed natural.

The next morning I called John Lane, one of the co-owners. Mr. Lane and his business partner own the store and the mini-storage, as well as the high ground itself. Mr. Lane has been involved in Gates County and the community of Gates all his life, as has his 71-year-old partner. Both men agreed that the high area had been there as long as they could remember. Mr. Lane was quite pleased to learn that he owned the county high point and said that he might place a sign there proclaiming the fact.

Based on the above circumstances, Brian and I have decided that we are entitled to claim the HP of Gates County. If the high ground is manmade, we leave it to others to prove it. We feel that the available evidence supports a natural origin for this area.