After my success with Wolf Creek Peak, I headed back to Wolf Creek Campground to attempt Camp Benchmark, which appeared to be a steep climb without a visible trail right next to Highway 35 near the entrance to the campground. The photo below shows the summit as it appears from the campground, with my cell phone camera making it look much farther away than it really is. I assumed that I would have to just trudge up the slopes through the underbrush, a prospect that made me a bit nervous as I would be in full view of everyone in the campground and on the highway if anything embarrassing occured. Like, for example, I lost my footing and rolled down the hill.
As I drove down FR 091 on my way back to the campground I noticed what seemed like it could be the summit off to the side of the road about a mile or two before the campground. Could it be that I had actually driven up the backside and the summit was just a quick stroll across this relatively level open area?
There was actually a dirt road, FR 572, heading in the right direction, but it looked kind of dicey, so I pulled over to the side and set off on foot. This turned out to be overly conservative, as after the first couple feet, FR 572 is actually in such good shape that you could have driven pretty much any vehicle right up to the edge of the summit. There are in fact, a bunch of campsites along the ridge. It was a pleasant enough stroll in any event, and not as far as it looks, since again, my cell phone camera does weird things with perspective.
Upon arriving at the edge, I found that I was clearly in the right place, but even after wandering around for 15 minutes, I never did find the benchmark. So, I gave myself a pat on the back for finally having a hunch that turned out to be right, ate my 2nd cheeseburger of the morning on the highest point I could find, and returned to the car for my next attempt.