Kevin foster

Part VI

I jumped and made it. The man behind me wasn’t so fortunate. I yelled to the others nearby to slowly pull him out of the hole, so I could take some photos. They wanted to throw me in.

My monster 5 digit high points were done for this year. I had spent nearly the first two months of the Tour humping a 24 pound bicycle on my back along with other supplies. I was ready for some serious playtime.

South Dakota’s Harney Peak (7242) was next on the list where I ran into a Highpointer’s Convention of a few hundred people. Just groups of people that like to climb State, County, and Country high points as a hobby/obsession.
North Dakota’s White Butte (3506) was the next day where a black dog with white feet followed me all the way to the top. I christened him White Boots.
Minnesota’s Eagle Mountain (2301) was situated to where I had to cross a swamp and keep myself from drowning. The day was cool, so I didn’t have to deal with the local mascot, Mr. Mosquito. Iowa’s Hawkeye Hill (1670) was actually on a farm that I could drive to, step out, take the photo, and be on my way. That’s how high points need to be!

Virginia
West Virginia
Field of Dreams

Kentucky

Talking Shop
Maryland
Amish Elder

I was now nearing the end of September and heading North. In order for me to complete the East Coast before winter set in, I had to go at a faster pace. Within a month’s time, in quick succession, toppled: Mississippi’s Woodall Mountain (806), Arkansas’ Magazine Mountain (2753), Tennessee’s Clingman’s Dome (6643), Georgia’s Brasstown Bald (4784), South Carolina’s Sassafras Mountain (3560), North Carolina’s Mount Mitchell (6684), Virginia’s Mount Rogers (5729), Kentucky’s Black Mountain (4145), West Virginia’s Spruce Knob (4863), Maryland’s Backbone Mountain (3360), Pennsylvania’s Mount Davis (3213), Delaware’s Ebright Azimuth (442), New Jersey’s High point (1803), Connecticut’s Mount Frissell South Slope (2380), Massachusetts’ Mount Greylock (3491), New York’s Mount Marcy (5344), Vermont’s Mount Mansfield (4393), and New Hampshire’s Mount Washington (6288).

Because of the incident with the Mount Rainier rangers and the DC fax, I knew I had to be extremely cautious with the Maine boys, who’s State high point, Katahdin (5267), was well guarded. I stationed myself about a mile or so outside the park just before dark, and kept a low profile. At first daylight, I was already on the trail. Before anyone woke up, I’d be half way up the mountain. The day turned out to be warm and pleasant with no confrontations to speak of. Just the way I wanted it.

My 45th and last high point of the year for me was Rhode Island’s Jerimoth Hill (812). Another bump in the road, but one that ended on a poignant note…this high point was situated on the border of my home State, Connecticut, in a town called Foster. Somehow it felt right to end the first leg of American Summits here.

In Illinois, I had Charles Mound (1235) and a herd of cows to deal with, then onto Chicago to do some interviews. Wisconsin’s Timms Hill (1951) and Michigan’s Mount Arvon (1979) were done a day apart. On Mount Arvon, Captain America got to meet Elvis (the overweight version) and his girlfriend. We talked awhile, then parted ways. Funny, how neither one of us asked what the other was doing on the State high point in the middle of the woods during a rain shower.

In quick succession came Ohio’s Campbell Hill (1550), Indiana’s Hoosier Hill (1257), Missouri’s Taum Sauk Mountain (1772), Louisiana’s Driskill Mountain (535), and the lowest of the State high points, Florida’s Britton Hill (345), which I had trouble finding, because it was on the border and I kept crossing into Alabama. When I discovered the elusive bump, it took all of seven seconds to complete.

Alabama’s Cheaha Mountain (2407) was the coolest high point, because it had a hotel and swimming pool awaiting the weary high pointer explorer. It was also at Cheaha where I broke a new speed record of 43 mph, up from 39 when I was in China. I was now at the half way mark in my pursuit of the 50, which was still another year away.

Pennsylvania
Amish Girl
Delaware
New Jersey