Gillespie County High Point Trip Report

Date: April 9, 2002
Author: Bob Martin

This may not be worth it unless you are staying in the area, as we were at the MO-Ranch near Hunt.

All of the areas are accessed off the well-marked "Wendel Loop." Find this loop by driving US290 west of Fredericksburg to a point about 2 miles west of Harper or a mile east of the county line.

Drive north to where the topo shows a T, but the right fork is gated so you must turn left. After another 0.7 mile, you come to a right turn, where you are invited to continue straight ahead on Ebert Lane, the entrance to Ebert Ranch. At a Y at 0.7 mile beyond the entrance, it says campers left and adults right. Question: Aren't adults campers, too? Apparently not here. The only adults I found to ask permission were some barking dogs. So continue on the left fork for campers another 0.3 mile to a dirt track leading right. Walk or drive, but don't drive in wet weather, for 0.3 mile to the road hp. Two cohp areas are off to the right in grassy and rocky areas with a few bushes and trees. The whole area is so flat that it takes a lot of walking around to be sure of getting to the hps.

Return to the main road, which is marked Wendel Road, and drive north. At 2 miles, there is a locked gate and postings at Josephine Lane, which might be an entry to a large area. Permission would be needed. At 2.4 miles is Rieger Road on the right, Rode Road on the left. A big sign marks the entrance to the nice stone home of Dallas and Jose Rieger on the right. Permission is needed to go beyond their house. There is another house on the left. The road beyond the house that shows on the topo is no more than a faint track; so the rest is walking. The obvious high ground is south up the hill. The dinky contour east of the house can be reached by going beyond some junk cars and up to the ridge. It is obviously not as high as the large contour to the south. By walking south, you reach an east-west road that goes through the 2267 spot elevation. South of this, within the contour, are several goat pens. Careful selection of route can take you through the contour. There is nothing detectable as being higher than the 2267 point.

From Rieger Road, drive the loop north a couple of miles on Wendel Road, east a couple of miles, and south on Kramer Road about 2 miles to address 3505 on the right. Here a road leads to a house on the hill. Meet John and Mary Sanstead. John pointed out the high point of the area is in a grove of trees across a fence south of the house. The level proved him right. In walking to the area, Mary had to rescue me from an overly friendly dog. She then suggested that I take a stick when I went through a gate, in case there were overly friendly goats. From a vantage point at the trees, the view is great and it looked like that area might well be the hp of the county. The Sansteads invited me to sit and visit awhile, but I had to get on to more hp areas.

Drive south on Kramer road less than a half mile to where it turns left and goes east. Here turn right on Dallas-Jose Road. At 0.3 mile, turn left and go south on Gina Road, which later becomes Jenkins-Hines Road, for about a mile or so to address 1117 where the road jogs north. Walk or drive in to the home of Bob Shoemake. From here, with permission, you can walk to 3 of the areas. Bob said that he was told that a high area was northeast of the house in a grove of trees. This would be the northeast one of the 3 areas. It was difficult to locate a specific point that represents the 2267 elevation point in the central area on the topo. Perhaps it has been leveled at the barn. A walk through cactus and across a fence gets you to the southwest one of the 3 areas. The level doesn't determine which of the 3 is higher.

The small area to the east is accessed off the Jenkins-Hines Road on the Jenkins Ranch Road. It is obviously not as high as the 3 areas to the west. Continuing on the loop from the intersection of Kramer Road and Dallas-Jose Road, brings you to FM783 north of Harper.