That Mark Twain account of a 7-day ascent of the Riffelberg--only to find a hotel on top--was the darndest piece of verbal "quickstep" I ever suffered through. Oh well some of it was funny. (never mind trying to hitch a ride on a glacier)
I encountered another confusing trail--up Taum Sauk Mt. in Mo. One source or another--this was last year--led me to the Claybaugh Creek Trail. I found the trailhead, past the turnoff to drive up Taum Sauk, but the sign said nothing about Taum Sauk. There was something about a "shutin" which I assumed meant a hospice or an asylum ie where patients would be shut in. Apparently it means a box or hanging canyon, or something like that; I'd never seen the term before. These was also a notice about that pumped-storage pond that failed being closed; but this was much farther on.
I took the trail anyway. To make a long story short, it eventually passed another trail, to Mt. Rogers I think. I didn't have a map and hadn't heard of this so carried on, back down to the creek then up a steep climb. It went on & on on top & I didn't know just where I was (had no GPS) so I finally gave up and turned back. I tried that side trail coming back, and wound up on the Taum Sauk Road, followed that all the way to T.S. and a fire tower which I climbed (of course, the trap door was locked, like the one on Timms Hill; but I climbed most of it). It went on and deadended at an FAA radio facility. A side road apparently went to the TS summit but it was getting late so I turned back, finding my spare tire had "walked off" when I got back to my jeep before dark.
Next day I drove to the summit, took the short level walk to the HP then a trail that led down and joined the one from the day before. I followed this til I recognized the rock where I'd had lunch and turned back, thus closing the loop to make another HP gained on foot which I prefer (including Panorama Point despite the bumpf about bison). I did better on Magazine which I reached from a picnic site 3 mi. or so away, and on Driskill, Black Mesa and 2 Buttes (skidded on gravel and ran off the road on the way to Sunflower, but stayed up and recovered). However a sign at the start, and the trail junction beyond, about Taum Sauk would have helped (also if I'd had a decent map). Roger Williams, Boulder, Colorado.