Sterling County High Point Trip Report

McDonald Ranch - Head of Forest Creek (2,760+ ft)

Date: March 13, 2002
Author: Scott Surgent

Bob Martin and I didn't get to the Sterling highpoint area until nightfall on the 12th. We left Sterling City, the county seat of Sterling County, and headed northwest about 20 miles to a dirt road called McDonald North, just west of the Glasscock County line sign. We drove north about 3 miles to an open gate, and even though it was pretty much dark, we drove in about another 3 miles before coming to a point where we realized the roads and the map were not in sync. Rather than try to figure out our position in the dark, we drove back out to the dirt road (McDonald North) and found a place where we pulled off and car-camped for the evening. Somewhere along the line my right rear tire found a nail and that sickening "hiss" sound prompted me to change my flat to my spare on the spot. Not exactly what I had planned for the evening. We both conked out about 9:30 pm.

The next morning we re-entered the ranch road and drove back to where we were the previous night. Bob drove and I was shotgun. This time, we could see much better, making navigation a lot easier. Although the map's roads were no longer accurate, we followed a rough road south along a fence line about a mile to a gas-line right-of-way, driving by dead reckoning toward the obvious rise in land. About another mile west along the gas line road, we topped out at the rise and took a GPS reading. Much to our luck, we were right in the highpoint area! We walked around for about 15 minutes, with Bob making sight-level readings using me as a mobile survey marker. No one point stood out as the highest point but we narrowed the general area to about a 100-foot square parcel.

We simply followed the roads back out of the ranch and back to my truck. We drove in the 20 miles to so to Big Spring where I left my truck to get my flat patched (so I'd have a spare). In the meantime Bob and I went south into Glasscock County and bagged that highpoint, too.