Terry County High Point Trip Report

Date: March 12, 2001
Author: Scott Surgent

This highpoint required just a bit more effort than it really deserves. The highpoint is located at the northwest corner of the county in the Levelland-Slaughter Oil Fields. A single 3,600-foot contour wiggles in this corner, with a spot elevation of 3,602 ft right at the corner itself.

I came down from the north from Whiteface, driving about 15 miles south on FM-1780 to the Cochran-Yoakum county line. The map shows two tracks leading to the east about 500 feet south of the county line off of FM-1780. One parallels the county line, another trends to the ESE toward a windmill, from which a pipeline (and accompanying road) leads right to the Terry county corner and its highpoint. I drove to these dirt roads but found them fenced. A very old sign with all its letters burned off or just worn with age was on the fence, but I couldn't make out what it said. Not wanting to park my truck at the edge of the road, I backtracked north just under 2 miles to a slight bend in the highway, at which Cochran County Road 260 spurs to the east. I turned in here, then turned into a smaller road and parked, somewhat well hidden from the main highway. The plan was to ride my bicycle south back to the dirt tracks, shimmy under the fence, stow the bike out of sight, then hike to the highpoint. I got on my bike and did exactly that, covering the 2 miles in about 10 minutes at a leisurely pace. The locals out here don't see too many bicyclists, that's for sure.

Once at the dirt tracks, I quickly squeezed under, lifted my bike over, and tossed it in a set of bushes. The dirt track supposedly paralleling the county line does not exist, as I couldn't find any sign of it. So I started hiking along the ESE track toward the obvious windmill out in the distance. A recent rain left parts of this track extremely muddy and I found myself hiking more in the brush than on the track. After a half mile I just decided to leave the track and hike by dead reckoning to the northeast: I figured I'd either reach the county line (fenced) or the pipeline road, and from there finding the intersection of the two would be trivial. Aside from the slow going in the scrubby, colorless brush, I arrived upon the fence first, then walked along it until I found the pipeline road. To be sure, I hiked in the immediate area, going a bit farther east and south than I needed to, until I was satisfied. Total one way hiking was just over a mile.

Hiking back to my bike and the main road, I followed some cattle trails but these just meander so again I just walked in a beeline and soon arrived back to my bike. Back on the main road, I had a stiff 20 mph headwind, so I ended up walking most of the two miles back to my truck. Total time on this one was about an hour and a half (including scouting for other routes) and 6 miles of actual non-motorized travel.

An interesting side-note: the county seat of Terry county, Brownfield, is the only city I've been in so far where the main highway through town (US-380) is paved in brick instead of the usual asphalt. While it was pretty, it made for a rather bumpy ride. But it was still interesting to pass through.