This weekend, we’ve been hanging out in Tampa with our good friend BEEF! (Casey). It was time to give our bodies and Trailblazer a little R&R, plus there was a lot of football to be watched; perfect timing to roll into Beef’s territory.
We’ve visited Beef a few other times. I love Beef, but I always put him into the perpetual bachelor category. This time, though, we believe he and his pad have been domesticated by his woman, theCheerleader/Rachael. He is also in the process of buying a house (fingers crossed). It all makes us very proud.
If we haven’t gained our weight back yet (which I’m fairly certain we have), we definitely have in Tampa. Yum. Tampa gets a thumbs up food choices (and beer choices). Beef has awesome friends here, so it’s not like we are just visiting Beef anymore. And on this trip, we met new friends! It was also nice to soak up the sunshine before before we head North to the cold.
Before we reached Tampa, we hit 4 more state high points during the week–Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama & Florida. I admit that visiting high points is often arbitrary and contrived, and these high points fit that bill. The thing is, Deal & I set a goal, and we don’t back down from goals. We have to bag that peak, no matter how boring it is. Sometimes to hit the high points, you have to go low. Welcome to our last week.
First up was Driskill Mountain (535 feet) in Louisiana. We unintentionally arrived late in the evening and slept in one of the more interesting places on our travels … in a church parking lot in front of a cemetery. Did I mention the LA high point is also near the spot Bonnie & Clyde met their demise at the hands of law enforcement in 1934? And a famous highpointer has his ashes spread on the mountain. You are basically surrounded by dead people when you visit it.
We saved the hike for the morning and it was actually quite nice. Part of the trail (including the high point itself) is on personal property owned by the same family for many generations. The trail is well maintained and there is a nice sign and bench at the summit.
Next up was Woodall Mountain (806 feet) in Mississippi. We heard nothing but negative things about Mississippi’s high point. People talked about a broken wooden sign covered in graffiti, that the sign disappeared over time and that there is always garbage strewn about. Needless to say, we had low expectations and were pleased with what we found. The area does resemble a redneck’s picnic area a little bit, but just last year, the high point club (yes, there’s a club) added a beautiful metal plaque embedded in a rock explaining the rich history of Woodall Mtn during the Civil War. Apparently there’s been lots of bloodshed in that area. Awesome.
We were tempted to make a side trip to the famous Key Underwood coon dog cemetery, where 185+ hunting dogs are buried. It would have been a nighttime visit, and I still have nightmares from Pet Cemetery, so we scratched that idea.
Alabama’s high point–Cheaha Mountain–took us up winding roads to higher elevations for a change at 2,407 feet. It is in a state park (entrance fee) and the high point area is definitely nicer than some with a stone observation tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. I was quite impressed with the 360-degree views and I’m sure it’s even prettier during the other seasons.
Our last high point on the week’s tour was in Florida. Britton Hill (thankfully not called a mountain) is the lowest of the state high points at 345 feet above sea level. We made the usual jokes about needing oxygen and needing a Sherpa to carry our packs. There’s no denying that this “high” point is underwhelming. The park it sits in looks akin to a pedafile’s favorite spot. Not to mention the fact it is way far out of the way in Florida … I think the rest of the state only sits at 344 feet, so we probably didn’t need to visit the site, but we did. We bagged that peak and that made for our 22nd high point!
Tomorrow, we hit the road again for the next week. More high points on our agenda. We had hoped to visit other friends/family along the way, but we tried to pack too much in (as usual). We have to make a pitstop in Danville to pack up new supplies (i.e. winter gear), then onto a cousin’s wedding in northern VA next weekend!
Location:Bosphorous Ave,Tampa,United States