Starting with a Whirlwind
Mount Davis, Pennsylvania
I have always dreamed big, and when I start things it’s often with a bang, so this was no exception. We traveled as a family up to New York to visit family near Binghamton for Thanksgiving. The plan was to drive home on Saturday after Thanksgiving. This would have been a normal rational plan to get home with plenty of time to rest, and be ready for the next week. That however leaves little room for adventure, great stories, and pushing things to their limits.
The first idea was to hike somewhere fun on the way home. This quickly turned into research that revealed hiking the highest point in Pennsylvania, Mount Davis, would turn a 7 hour trip into a 9 hour trip. How cool would that be to summit the highest point of a state? Soon this quickly spiraled out of control and I learned that the highest points for Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia all lie in a relatively straight line following the same mountain ridges. Why hike one mountain when there were three perfectly good mountains to hike along the way? My 7 hour trip was now a nice 13 hour drive through the countryside complete with side hikes. I began to think about what to do on Sunday, since who needs a day to unpack and get ready for the week.
Saturday started with a 6:00 wake up, eggs, bacon toast, and a big cup of coffee for the road. That was the perfect morning so far. The sunrise was beautiful to watch driving through upstate New York, and the countryside of Pennsylvania.
There is an incredible amount of unexplored territory most people miss sticking to only major highways always being in a rush to get where we are going. Ironically I was setting myself up for a mad dash that day. It took 6 hours to reach the first mountain top. Time passed very quickly as the excitement built for the adventure. As I began to get closer the snow started to come down in light flurries dusting the road and country side. The higher I climbed it began sticking to the road and eventually becoming a beautiful white covered landscape.
Mount Davis, PA was the first peak I summited at roughly 12:30 pm. It was a blustery day on top of the mountain with high winds, plenty of snow, cloud cover, and literally freezing cold temperatures. Mount Davis allows you the ability to drive within several hundred feet of the summit and then has an observation tower on top providing you a 360 degree view of the area.
I however was only able to see several hundred feet in each direction because the snow blew harshly across the landscape. It was exciting to top the first state, take pictures, and find the seal designating the highest point in the State.
Here I met my first fellow “high pointer”, as I learned what I was doing was called, and that in fact there is an entire group of people who communicate online who are taking this journey. It is always amazing the number of people who are out there like you if you look in the right place. He was topping his 19th state, in his 12th year of hiking picking off a few each year. This is however, how I am drastically different. If I’m going to do something, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be as fast as possible, shared with others, and broadcasted across the nation. Our goal is to accomplish all 50 states within 50 months, inspire people to enjoy the great outdoors, and educate people on their personal impact. Why? My answer will always remain the same….why not?