Middlesex County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: December 23, 2006
Author: Don Desrosiers

OK, so I get up on Friday morning, stumble through my morning ritual and open the mail while I'm waiting for the coffee to finish being made. What am I greeted by but a message from Mike Schwartz telling me he has found *another* 120+ foot area, NAD27 (37.71665° N, 76.71165° W), in Middlesex County about a mile and a quarter south of the other southernmost area. Now this point was not even alluded to in Andy's book but I'm not a happy camper right then.

Oh, did I mention it was raining? Hard?

So this morning I get on I-95 to knock out this point before some wise guy sneaks up on me and gets it done. At least the rain had stopped.

Should I mention that most of the population of the East Coast was on I-95 south at that time? And that at one time we got up to the dizzying speed of 27 MPH? It took better than two hours to get to Fredericksburg, a trip that normally takes me a shade less than an hour. Unfortunately, there is not much of an alternate route available but at least there was heavy enough traffic when I came back to make the return trip equally slow. Sort of a yin/yang type of thing which made me feel much better vis--vis automotive karma.

Speed traps. Lets talk about speed traps. I saw the first one on US-17 and was going just at the speed limit, so I was OK, but it did cause me to NOT speed up right then. Good thing, too. In the 70 miles between Fredericksburg and Jamaica there were nine (count 'em, 9) speed traps. On the way back, I stopped (pulling well off of the shoulder, mind you) to look at a historical marker and had a cop pull up behind me to see why I had stopped. Clearly a public servant with too much time on his hands because not enough people were exceeding the speed limit! But I digress.

I came at this point from the west, off of SR 606. The intersection of US 17 and SR 606 is 1.2 miles south of the 123 BM at the Glebe Landing Church. Drove down 606 to the vicinity of the small field due west of the point and bushwhacked pretty much due east through the woods. About 500 yards. Remember the heavy rain I spoke of earlier? There were several "streams" (sort of elongated fens really) that looked like they hadn't been there all that long. Otherwise, things were about where you would expect them.

Hunting season. I knew I had forgotten to tell you something. It is still hunting season in this part of VA until 1/6/07. Fortunately, I had bear bells for the dogs and a blaze orange vest for me. But with all the armed rednecks I had seen on the way down, I made the trip in and out a somewhat more hasty event than might have otherwise been called for by a 300 mile trip to stand on some arbitrary geo-political point out in the woods in VA.

The house shown on the topo to the east of 606 and southwest of the point is abandoned, so that may be an alternate parking place, albeit a slightly farther walk. Coming in from the north by parking near the Union Shiloh Church looks to be another possibility. Probably the same distance I came.

The woods were posted but the signs were old, so the owners name had faded. Nobody was home nearby to inquire.

As to the rest of the county, I had previously noted that the dirt road near the 123 BM might get you to points 14 and 15 but did not check this road out. Investigation during this trip indicates this road does in fact go to these points. Also, points 16 and 17 are off of Mockans Lane (not Morgans as reported). These points are IBIs (ignore by inspection), anyway, to use the more modern parlance. Similarly, point #1 is also an IBI.