An easy highpoint (or so we thought)Fellow SP member Bob Bolton and I had a main goal of getting to the 7 Devils Wilderness area so we could climb He and She Devil. However, we thought it would be nice to pick up the Washington County highpoint, Cuddy Mountain along the way. Thanks to a report by Ken Jones, we knew that there was a road up the east side from the town of Council. How bad could it be? We were to find out that the backdoor to Cuddy was going to be no cakewalk.
We stopped in Council and ordered Pizza for a late lunch at a small place on the main drag there. Good pizza at a reasonable price. Fueled up, we started following Ken's directions while I drove and Bob ran the navigation chores since he was riding shotgun. We found the right road at about 13 miles out of Council and were soon riding up a nice forest service road.
At the three mile mark, we came upon new rock that had been laid down on the roadway and this was nasty stuff. Big chunks of rocks had been layered down and I was glad I didn't have my Honda and its 2 ply tires. They would have been shredded in no time. My investment in 6 plys were to pay off once again as they had in Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The new rock lasted for .8 miles but we didn't know as we were heading up that road how long this torture session would last. Coming to the regular nasty road was like hitting a superhighway after that 0.8 The road climbed and twisted and more rocky sessions were to be faced along with mud holes, a few steep grades and all the while, Bob kept on the right road and didn't get us lost.
I won't bore you with the details of skirting tire eating rocks and bottomless mudholes but that is 9 miles of road I would never want to repeat (although I knew going up that I'd have to come back down) Suffice it to say, we eventually came to an impasse of a tree blocking the road but we were ready to stretch our legs anyway, so I parked the poor Tacoma and Bob and I hoofed it up the last mile of road to the Cuddy Mountain highpoint. The mountain is much more impressive from the Cambridge area but up here, up high, it was a big plateau where cattle roamed and deer played. Oh yeah, I dodged a few cows along the last couple of miles. They looked at us in our truck as if we were crazy and of course we knew we were (to be on that road). No reason to list that road as a route, take the trail, don't even think about testing your normal road equipped 4WD SUV on that puppy. Most modern 4WD vehicles come factory equipped with 4 ply tires. I'd say, 6 ply is the minimum you should have and 8 ply would have been even better for this road. Bob would get out and check the mud holes
and then gleefully wave me through (gleeful that it wasn't his 4Runner).
Our teamwork got us to the highpoint and back again. Lets hear it for teamwork.
The last mile for us was a roadwalk but what beautiful country this was. The colors of the soil and the green vegetation along with flower fields made it enjoyable despite the heat which was hovering close to 90. The summit area is marked with a cairn and a Benchmark and a witness benchmark bearing the name "Cuddy" is located a short distance to the southeast away.
Since time was fleeting and it had taken us an hour and a half to drive up that road, we had to get moving so we could get to our main destination,
the 7 Devils area. We drove down the road in an hour so that was a big improvement but it helps to know about secrets of the mud holes, all about the rocky sections and using a bit of gravity to bounce you along.
Whew, getting back to the road leading to Council was a great relief. Next time, I'd take the trail.