A month after our supertrip, we hit the road again to do four highpoints on a 2 day trip. We left from Boston Friday around 1pm and drove down to lower Pennsylvania, hitting tons of traffic on the way, and stopping at a motel around 10pm. The town reeked of sewage. When we asked what the smell was, the hotel clerk said that there was a nearby sewage processing center, and half the year the wind blows the vapors their way. BC and I couldn't believe that they could even stand it for a day, let alone 6 months. We were assured that the rooms don't smell as bad as the outside air. This was true, but the air still wasn't fresh.Anyways, we had a big day ahead of us, 4 highpoints, which we had never attempted before.

Highpoint: Fort Reno Park
State
: District of Columbia
Height: 429 ft
Highpoint #: Well, this doesnít actually count, but it was still cool
Date: 8/10/2002
Trails: N/A
Distance: .1 miles roundtrip.
Vertical Gain: 50
Time Taken: 10 min
Weather: Chilly, clear, 50ís
Group: JO & BC
Comments: We set out around 4:30am Saturday and drove down to DC. There we made a short stop by the DC highpoint. We knew the high point was in Fort Reno Park, but it was hard to say where exactly it was. Most of the top was fenced off, since there was some kind of government installation there. Right around the perimeter of the fence seemed like the highest point anyway, so we figured it was acceptable. We walked around and then drove out to West Virginia.

Highpoint: Spruce Knob
State
: West Virginia
Height: 4863 ft.
Highpoint #: 21
Date: 8/10/2002
Trails: N/A
Distance: .4 miles roundtrip.
Vertical Gain: 20
Time Taken: 20 min.
Weather: 80s-90s. Nice day.
Group: JO & BC
Comments: The 10 mile long dirt road to the top was a very dusty affair, and JOís car paid the price and was coated in a layer of fine dirt when we got to the top. It was pretty crazy.Some of these backcountry mountain roads are fun to drive on, especially when youíre in a car made for rallying.We arrived at the parking lot around 10am.From the parking lot, itís only a short walk to the lookout tower. The views were okay, nothing special, but the scenery was nice. We didnít stay long, as we had two more highpoints to hit today.As we made our way towards the Maryland highpoint, we passed by the Seneca Rocks climbing area.We stopped and took some pictures of this amazing rock formation, and saw some climbers high on the rocks.No time to dawdle, however.

BC and JO on the top of the summit tower of Spruce Knob.The tower allowed a decent view at the summit, especially to the west, behind JO.

Highpoint: Backbone Mt.
State
: Maryland
Height: 3360 ft.
Highpoint
#: 22
Date: 8/10/2002
Trails: Miscellaneous old logging road
Distance: 2.2 miles roundtrip.
Vertical Gain: 750
Time Taken: 1.25 hrs.
Weather: low 90s. Nice day, a little hot.
Group: JO & BC
Comments: We arrived at the Maryland trailhead around noon, right off the main road. The trail was an old logging road going southeast all the way until youíre on top of the ridge of Backbone Mountain.At this point, you turn northeast and traverse over to the summit. The trail was fairly steep, but not very long. The bugs bothered us a little. We found a couple triangular rocks on the ground, they were perfect equilateral triangles, pretty weird, JO brought one to the top and was able to write his name on it and place it on the cairn, along with other signed rocks. There was a mailbox with a register at the top. There was also a post in the ground and we couldn't figure out what it was for. Some of the trees had been cleared away allowing for a nice view. A pretty satisfying highpoint, even though it was just a couple miles, it was nice to get out and walk, since there are so many drive-ups in the east.

The summit of Backbone Mountain is not very impressive for views, but the hike was pretty good.Overall satisfying.

Highpoint: Mt. Davis
State
: Pennsylvania
Height: 3213 ft
Highpoint Count: 23
Date: 8/10/2002
Trails: N/A
Distance: 200 ft. roundtrip.
Vertical Gain: 0
Time Taken: 10 min
Weather: low 90s. A little hot.
Group: JO & BC
Comments: Our last stop of the day was Pennsylvania. We drove to the summit and walked the short distance to the lookout tower. There wasnít much of a view, although the woods were beautiful and the view from a lookout point on the drive up is much more breathtaking. Nearby we found the marker on the top of a small boulder. This is a very well kept highpoint, even if it wasnít all that exciting.4 in one day, baby, time to head back to Boston.

The actual highpoint of PA.The USGS marker is on top of this boulder.Unfortunately, no views, but the countryside near the highpoint is gorgeous.

 

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