Union County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: December 23, 2006
Authors: Peter Barr and Ron Tagliapietra

We both wondered why Fred Lobdell has not done this one. We did it in less than 30 minutes and could easily be done in about 20 minutes and, with the below information, possibly less. There are 5 contours as candidates but information I've found, as well as visual evidence, eliminates one of them.

The westernmost area is on the county line, right next to Pleasant Plains Church. The HP on this contour is the large tree in the center of the cemetery and contour area. However, a BM is indicated on the map just north of the area, which we found directly outside the fence to the cemetery about 10 yards from the road. The BM is engraved "Pleasant", which we thought amusing and considered it the most pleasant benchmark that we've ever found. The NC Geodetic Survey lists its elevation at 779 feet. BM "Guon", another HP area to the northeast and indicated on the topo with a triangle BM, is listed as 785 feet. The Pleasant BM, though not within the contour area, is only a about a foot below that of the highest ground of the cemetery. Furthermore, the cemetery is visibly and clearly lower than the grassy field contour, only a few hundred yards to the east. Thus, the easternmost Union CoHP can be definitively eliminated, leaving only 4.

The aforementioned grassy hill contour just to the east, with the 1364 numbers on top of it on the topo, is a good HP candidate and can easily be walked to from the side of the road, only about 200 yards or so.

Moving east again, the contour area just southwest of the "radio tower" (no longer there) as indicated on the topo, has been fairly leveled with a house that is the store/office for a dirt/gravel/mulch company. The best you can do is the highest ground around and directly behind the store.

The high ground of the "Guon" BM contour isn't overly obvious but appears to be around the BM area and the fact that a BM exists there is good enough for me to confirm the visual suspicion. In fact, the BM is hidden in the ground and cannot be seen but an NC Geodetic Triangle on the telephone pole at the end of the driveway to the right between the restaurant and the private residence is easily seen. A 2000 NC Geodetic team did locate it on a visit but noted it's 4 inch recess in the ground and likely the reason we were unable to find it.

At the northeastern most and smallest contour, a small house sits atop it. I asked the woman for permission and she reluctantly agreed to let us roam her yard. Her husband in the back yard appeared somewhat angry when he saw us and was only reduced to heavy skepticism after explanation. The high ground is at the base of one of two trees in the front yard or the right side of the house. The backyard is fenced but appears to be lower.

My favorite still is the "Guon triangle" in the largest contour. It is the area that the NC Geological Survey lists as the highest on their site.