Gilliam County Highpoint Trip Report

two unnamed points (4,280+ ft)

Date: May 24, 2006
Author: Ken Russell

I accessed these points per the directions of Bob Packard and Adam Helman. I was able to track down the owners of Point 4285. Nice folks, Georgia and Jim VanWinkle, 541-384-2981, and they asked that highpointers call for permission before crossing their ranch. They live in the ranch house to the west of Lost Valley Road from the school site gate.

Point 4285 is fairly flat so I walked around quite a bit to make sure I covered all the possibilities. I then circled across the head of Thirtymile Canyon to reach the eastern points. The range cows all had calves with them and the mothers didn't seem to be too happy to have me walking through their area. When my GPS said that I was on the county line near the ranch road crossing, I got out the hand level. The third point, to the east, was definitely lower but I was unable to tell for sure when I sighted back to Point 4285. I was satisfied that I had covered both of them.

I planned to return to my car via the east-west ranch road in section 2 but the thunderstorms that had been threatening all afternoon finally opened up. With lightning crackling on the open ridge tops, I decided to detour down Thirtymile Creek to a point where the ridge was lower and then cross over to Lost Valley. By now the cattle were all worked up, including one cow that came dancing through the brush like a rodeo bull. Just when I decided that cow wasn't going to charge me, the real herd bull came trotting over to investigate the intruder. With no trees nearby, I headed up the canyon slope hoping the bull would be too lazy to follow. To my surprise, more than a dozen cows and the bull decided to head back for Lost Valley also. I played cat and mouse with them all the way back to the truck. This was on top of lightning and pouring rain.

I tried to track down the owner for the eastern highpoint but was never able to make contact. The last lead I had was for an Alma Campbell in Lone Rock. Hopefully someone else will have more luck.