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High Points trip including SC, KY, and GA, attempt at NC

Lisa and I took a five day “engagement-moon” road trip to the south over New Year’s 2010. One of my projects is to summit the highest point in all 50 states, and a few continents and countries as well. We stayed with some good friends in Indianapolis the first night, then the second day drove to Asheville, NC where we stayed again with friends up in the mountains – celebrating New Years by lighting off a bunch of firecrackers with their five year old and playing dino board games, much fun and laughter had by all. Turns out that in the winter most of these southern state high points are closed to vehicle traffic, and most being drive-ups, this complicated our task.  NC and TN would have been easy but the gates were closed 12 miles and 7 miles away respectively.  That’s a lot of walking, especially if you don’t have to. Georgia was about three miles up from the closed gates, which we did in the freezing cold, up the road, six mile round trip, and was very beautiful. Huge swaths of trees were covered in gorgeous white frost on the mountainsides, really something to see. Lisa’s hands were about frozen on the way down so jamming them into my armpits for a time was a big help and got her down without losing any fingers, Everest-style.    

We spent the night again in Asheville though at a hotel, grubbing at the delicious vegetarian restaurant Rosetta’s Kitchen for the second night in a row, my friend Bryan taking us their the previous evening for some yum veggie deliciousness. Highly recommended.  The following day we drove through hours and hours of extremely twisty curvy mountain roads – Lisa’s comment was whoever makes the “squiggly road coming” signs is probably rich.  We made a mistake and drove a couple hours out of our way to the TOWN of Black Mountain instead of the mountain of Black Mountain.  Which was a drag as there was NO gas station on the way and we were low and lots of curvy dark mountain roads with snow falling and dark towns makes for a good adventure.  We finally made it only to find the two track snowcovered road onto the private property of the mining company who owns the mountain blocked by a small vehicle with a guard inside.  I walked

High point of KY, Black Mountain at night

 

over to him and must have looked threatening as he flipped on his lights and started his car, but after a long cold chat we were friends and he was very kind and let us through – it was an interesting high point, sitting on top of a coal mine that the company thought could collapse, but we summitted in the dark and snow and cold, good adventure.  

The summit of the great state of SC

 

South Carolina was fun too – it was open, with only maybe a 100 yard hike to the top.  Cool part on that one was it is on the appalachian trail, so we hiked along following the white ‘blazes’ on the trees, which continues 2000 miles to the north, ending in Maine at Mount Katahdin.   

Fabulous trip!

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