“What the heck?”
“What’s the purpose of that?”
“I don’t get it.”
These are but a few of the comments I’ve heard since I became aware of highpointing and decided it was a goal I’d like to pursue. And that was just from my (at the time of this writing) fiancee, the ever-understanding, willing, and beautiful Hoang. Actually, she never really questioned my sanity, even though our first conquest would turn out to be Jerimoth Hill in Rhode Island; on a cold, dreary, rainy-then-snowy day in February 2002 which involved driving for ninety minutes, walking a couple hundred yards to look at a rock pile in the woods, shivering, and then driving ninety minutes back to her apartment. Why would anyone want to do something so odd, so inconsequential, so… Stupid?
I wish I had a better answer than “because it’s fun,” but I don’t. It is fun for me. I’ve always enjoyed having lists of goals and being able to check them off one by one. I’ve always enjoyed hiking. I’ve always enjoyed road trips and traveling. I’ve always enjoyed doing things with Hoang. I’ve always been somewhat unique. I’ve always enjoyed challenges. And, I’ve always enjoyed writing about my experiences, especially with (what I hope is) a little observational humor. Quite honestly, I can’t think of anything else which would satisfy all these things other than highpointing.
I can’t remember where I learned of the official Highpointers Club, but I recall reading about it and thinking that was a pretty interesting idea. They even had their own magazine and events for a measly 15 bucks a year. I told Hoang that I was getting us both a membership and that we would hike all fifty state highpoints over the course of our lives together. I have no idea if she took me the least bit seriously or not, but she laughed and said, “Sure, why not.” And I love her for it.
Some highpoints are incredibly ridiculous, such as Delaware’s which is in a trailer park 448 feet above sea level, or Connecticut’s which is actually on the side of a mountain that summits in Massachusetts. Some highpoints are beautiful and difficult to attain, some are beautiful and easy to attain, some are flat farmlands, and some are nearly impossible. I have no idea how far along we’ll get, but I know we’ll have fun getting there and to me, that’s what is important.
— August 1, 2002