US Highpoints

*Alabama – Cheaha Mountain 2407
Alaska – Mount McKinley/Denali 20320/6193m
*Arizona – Humphreys Peak 12633
*Arkansas – Mt Magazine/Signal Hill 2753
California – Mount Whitney 14494/4417m
*Colorado – Mount Elbert 14433/4399m
Connecticut – Mt Frissell/South Slope 2380
*Delaware – Ebright Azimuth 448
*Florida – Britton Hill 345
*Georgia – Brasstown Bald 4784
Hawaii – Mauna Kea 13796/4205m
Idaho – Borah Peak 12662
*Illinois – Charles Mound 1235
*Indiana – Hoosier High Point 1257
*Iowa – Hawkeye Point 1670
*Kansas – Mount Sunflower 4039
*Kentucky – Black Mountain 4139
*Louisiana – Driskill Mountain 535
Maine – Katahdin 5268
Maryland – Backbone Mountain 3360
Massachusetts – Mount Greylock 3491
*Michigan – Mount Arvon 1979
*Minnesota – Eagle Mountain 2301
*Mississippi – Woodall Mountain 806
*Missouri – Taum Sauk 1772
Montana – Granite Peak 12799
*Nebraska – Panorama Point 5424
Nevada – Boundary Peak 13140/4005m
New Hampshire – Mount Washington 6288
New Jersey – High Point 1803
*New Mexico – Wheeler Peak 13161/4011m
New York – Mount Marcy 5344
*North Carolina – Mount Mitchell 6684
*North Dakota – White Butte 3506
*Ohio – Campbell Hill 1550
*Oklahoma – Black Mesa 4973
*Oregon – Mount Hood 11239
*Pennsylvania – Mount Davis 3213
Rhode Island – Jerimoth Hill 812
*South Carolina – Sassafras Mountain 3560
*South Dakota – Harney Peak 7242
*Tennessee – Clingmans Dome 6643
Texas – Guadalupe Peak 8749
Utah – Kings Peak 13528/4123m
Vermont – Mount Mansfield 4393
*Virginia – Mount Rogers 5729
*Washington – Mount Rainier 14411/4432m
West Virginia – Spruce Knob 4863
*Wisconsin – Timms Hill 1951
Wyoming – Gannett Peak 13804/4207m

 

It all started in 2011 with a trip I took to Arizona. I followed a close friend to a ranch and a retreat south of Tucson. Little did I know, this trip would be a defining moment in my search for passion in this life. While on the ranch I kept looking off into the distance admiring these beautiful mesas that stood alone like chiseled giants. One day, during some free time I set out to climb one. Having little experience climbing, I was very ‘wet behind the ears’ regarding the lay of the land, navigation and just pure knowledge of what I was getting myself into. But that was the fun of it; the one over-riding piece of equipment I carried by my side was determination. So, as my sights were set, my feet followed closely behind! After only a couple hundred yards, my paths crossed with a roadrunner, not the cartoon beep-beep one, but a more reverent, curious creature. I continued on nearing the base of the monolith. To my right, several deer played hide and seek in the scrub oak. I peered up and found the line of least resistance working it’s way through a dihedral in the stone. 30 meters up the wall, I noticed a three extremely large bees flying nearby. Upon further investigation, an army of killer bees loomed overhead and I would have to adjust my choice of direction. Moments later, I reached the summit of this stunning mesa I had revered from afar. On top, the lay of the land reminded me of pictures I had seen of the Australian outback, there was a struggle for life in these lands. Shrubs stood no more than 4 feet tall, leaves were nonexistent, as was water. Every resident contained a thorn, poison or prickly limb you avoided at all costs. I loved it! It felt natural, a constant triumph over adversity.
Later, as I returned to the ranch and the wheels in my head continued to turn as I realized how important this ‘voyaging into the unknown’ lifestyle was to me. This desire had been there all along, yet deep down longing to be discovered. In striving for a quest, like the struggle to the summit of a peak, I became more conscious of it. When I left the ranch, I had 3 days to pack in as much adventure as I could. After spending one evening exploring Sedona, I awoke at 4am and drove to Flagstaff. Humphrey’s Peak, the highest point in Arizona, captured the skyline as I made my way up and down the 10 mile journey. The following day, up again in the wee hours of the morning I charged towards the lowest point in Arizona and back out, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River. Since, I have found myself running, walking, crawling, sliding, climbing, driving, obsessing, dreaming, skiing, falling up and falling down some of the tallest peaks and highest points in the land. This section ‘US Highpoints’ is about the stories and adventures – funny, scary, inspiring, hopeful, sad and gratifying that keep me in constant pursuit of my next goal in life!

JH 9/8/14

“A large mountain cannot be denied – it speaks in silence to the very core of your being.” -Ansel Adams

 

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