In the spring of 2004, JO and BC began to plan their next summer exodus.  The previous fall, JO, while on a business trip to California, had climbed Mount Whitney and Boundary Peak on his own.  Those two, combined with BC’s turnaround on Humphrey’s Peak, meant that BC was now three highpoints behind JO.  BC was eager to retry Humphrey’s, and JO agreed to go back to these peaks for BC’s sake, as long as a couple new ones were included.  We also had three drive-up highpoints left (KS, IN and OH), which we didn’t get last year because of car trouble.  Jay and Rick from last year were unable to join us again, most importantly because Jay was about 2/3 of the way through the Appalachian Trail when we left.  We took 2 weeks off from work, and planned out the trip in this order:  Mount Sunflower (KS), Wheeler Peak (NM), Humphrey’s Peak (AZ), Boundary Peak (NV), Mount Elbert (CO), Hoosier High Point (IN) and Campbell Hill (OH).  If all we got to all of these highpoints, we would have 42 (JO) and 41 (BC), and would have no easy ones left (except Hawaii). 

We met up at JO’s apartment in Cambridge, MA on Saturday, July 31, 2004 at about 9 a.m.  For this trip BC had volunteered the use of his car, a Mazda MX-6.  However, soon after leaving JO’s apartment, we quickly discovered that BC’s cigarette lighter outlet did not work, thus, neither would any of the electronics we usually depend on during these trips, particularly, the laptop computer we navigate with.  There were thoughts of roughing it, but we ended up returning to JO’s apartment and taking JO’s trusty WRX Impreza once again.  We left for good at about 10:00 a.m. and hit the road.  We took 90 to 84 to 80 to 70, and stayed on 70 all the way into Kansas. 

Highpoint: Mount Sunflower
: Kansas
Height: 4039 ft.
#: 38 (JO), 35 (BC)
Date: 8/1/2004
Trails: N/A
Distance: N/A
Vertical Gain: N/A
Time Taken: 30 min.
Weather: Sunny, clear, high 80’s
Group: JO and BC
Comments:  We arrived at Mount Sunflower at about 1 p.m. central time on Sunday.  This is a very flat highpoint, we couldn’t really be sure it was the highest point; it all looked the same.  At least Kansas did a nice job with what they have, better than you can say about some states.  The covered picnic table is a nice touch, but we didn’t stay all that long, as we had to be in Taos, NM that night.

BC at Mount Sunflower

Told you it was flat  J

We left Mount Sunflower and continued west into Colorado.  Southeast Colorado looks exactly like Kansas, flat and barren, and there were a few nervous minutes trying to find a gas station.  Eventually we made our way down into New Mexico and arrived in the Taos ski valley around 7:00.  We decided that were going to do Wheeler Peak the next morning.  We found a somewhat reasonably priced motel room and turned in around 8:30. 

Go to Monday, 8/2/04