Misc. State HighpointsHighpoints trip of October, 2007
10/17/07 – Flew to Dayton, OH and rented a Chevy Cobalt at National
10/18/07 – Started about 0430 driving to Charles Mound, IL. Called land owner who stated access is only permitted first weekends of June - Sept ; Continued driving to Timm’s Hill, WI
10/19/07 – Drove into L’Anse, MI before dawn and drove through maze that leads to the trailhead (Road has been improved and goes all the way to summit now!) Hiked up road to summit ~ 1 mi RT; Drove back to L’Anse getting lost after a wrong turn in the maze; Continued driving to Grand Marais, MN ; Stopped in visitor center for help finding county road 12 and drove to trailhead ; Although late afternoon, decided to hike to Eagle Mtn, MN (2,301’) that same day; On the trail, I met a scout troop heading back after encountering high waters across trail; Continued and forded several sections 100 – 200’ long that were flooded knee high removing boots and socks four times during the 7 mile roundtrip. Eagle Mtn is located about 17 mi NW of Grand Marais in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Superior National Forest.
10/20/07 – Drove toward Hawkeye Point, IA (1,670’)
10/21/07 – Continued driving in am, arriving at the highpoint around noon ; Looked around for highpoint which was right beside the parking lot by a lookout tower! ; Drove to Magazine Mtn, AR (2,753’) arriving just before dark and had good nights sleep in my tent which I set up in the overflow camping area at Cameron Bluff state park used for picnics during the day
10/22/07 – Got up before dawn and heated oatmeal and coffee before hiking to the summit at first light; The trail was really nice and is about 1 mile RT ; Drove to Woodall Mtn, MS (806’) about 3 miles South of Iuka, MS, in a light drizzle. During the Civil War some bloody battles were fought nearby.
10/23/07 – Tried to find hwy 147 S at Arcadia, LA which is about 10 miles N of the highpoint and asked a city policeman, who didn’t know where it was! He directed me to an all night gas station which did have knowledge of how to get there ; Parked in old church parking lot and slept several hours before dawn when I started hiking 1.8 mi RT to Driskill Mtn, LA (535’) over muddy logging trails ;
10/25/07 - I waited until first light to head up the Rhododendron Trail in my goretex jacket to the Appalachian trail which goes very near the highpoint ; It rained most of the way in and out on the 8.5 mile hike which gains about 1,500’ and I had the whole area to myself ; After returning to the car, I stopped at the Grayson Highlands State Park HQ and took a sink bath in warm water and replaced my soaked clothing with clean dry items ; I drove on looking for Black Mtn, KY (4,139’) having more trouble finding road signs until I finally reached Norton, VA and shortly thereafter found Cumberland, VA and a sign for Hwy 160 E which corkscrewed up the mountain to the state line of KY; There I found the lane that leads up to the summit (Hwy 160 is quite a stretch of highway which in some ways reminded me of Going to the Sun Hwy in Glacier Park…It is very narrow, steeply climbing and winds its way to the pass near the summit of Black Mtn for miles through the forest) This highpoint is owned by Penn Virginia Coal Company and they require that you sign a waiver prior to visiting due to concern that one of the numerous tunnels under the mountain may collapse.
21 miles hiked
3,475’ elevation gained
14 state highpoints
I decided to forget about NJ and DE highpoints since IL had been denied and since they do not require any hiking, but rather just driving through the congestion of the east coast metro areas. Thus, my highpointing has reached a satisfactory conclusion with 46 states and only Alaska remaining as a significant challenge should I decide to try it. At this time that seems unlikely due to the significant cost of time, energy and resources that would be required. I have never had a great desire to engage in an expedition style assault on a mountain which goes against my preference for fair weather enjoyment.
This group of 14 high points entailed 5,500 miles of driving which was spread over 8 days during the most beautiful time of the year with regard to temps and colors. I was hit with lots of rain during the trip, but that was a nice change from the desert climate I live in. The combined driving and hiking was at least as difficult as my recent rim to rim to rim hike at the Grand Canyon over the weekend of 10/13 and 14 with the luxury of a night sleeping in a cabin on the North rim between crossings. The Chevy Cobalt performed well giving me about 38 mpg for the trip. All in all, it was another great adventure which I recommend to anyone with an interest in seeing our great country and enjoying some interesting hikes along the way.