Pt 4703 (4703 ft)
September 17, 2003
This afternoon I needed to stretch my legs so I decided to hike up to Mt Kent and take a look around. I drove to the McClellan Butte TH and started hiking but when I got to the first forest service road I took a left, forgetting that it's the 2nd road where I needed to take the left, so I ended up spending more time figuring out this mistake.
Forty minutes later I was back on the correct familiar road with Mt Kent looming overhead and continually getting closer. While I was hiking up the road I was amazed at all the empty shotgun shells and boxes that are littered around. I was even more shocked when I came upon a wide spot in the road, overlooking McClellan Butte, and I found hundreds of shotgun, rifle and pistol shells. These are real bright folks, practicing their shooting right across from a popular hiking trail! It seemed that where ever there were shotgun shells, there were also empty Bud Light cans. Seems to go hand in hand.
Well, back to the trip report, from the sharp turn at Alice Creek, I took the first right fork, then about a half mile later I took the left fork, then about a quarter mile later I took another left fork, then after another quarter mile took the right fork. This left me at a wide dead end. From here I could look down on I-90 and across (and up the road) to Granite Mountain sporting a fresh dusting of snow. It was late in the day, but the clouds weren't looking too Serious, so I decided to scramble up the ridge and try to bag a summit.
I must have really wanted a summit, because I scrambled up about 300 feet of mossy boulders and then bushwhacked my way another 300 feet to the base of the summit. I scrambled up the last 20 feet and found myself on top of what the map shows as point 4703. There was a large dead tree here, probably a victim of lightning. About a quarter mile farther down the ridge there was an even larger and steeper rocky mountain which I mistook for Mt Kent at first. Other than a lot of goat droppings, I couldn't find any signs of previous human visitors so I built a small cairn and scratched my initials and the date on one of the rocks.
I pulled out my Gatorade bottle, enjoyed a well deserved swig and soaked in the views. A raven was flying in the cirque, calling every so often. I tried to call back, but I couldn't come close to mimicking the fantastic sound this bird was making. I watched the bird soaring and swooping and wished I could grow wings and fly down to my car far, far below.