It’s been a hot minute since we checked off any state highpoints, mainly because the 7 left are pretty difficult to climb (Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon for Justin & Washington for me) or difficult to get to (Nevada, Hawaii and Illinois).
Charles Mound, Illinois, is arguably the “most difficult to get to” because it is on private land and only open 5 weekends out of the year. That’s right, a total of 10 days out of 365 days. When I say we’ve been trying to get to this highpoint for 15 years, I am not kidding you. Oddly enough for all the driving around the country we do, the open weekends never coincided with a driveby of the northwest corner of Illinois for us.
Almost immediately when our plans shifted for us to be driving back west together, I realized this may in fact work out! It became the main goal of the whole trip.
Saturday, June 1 was the first day of the first weekend Charles Mound was open this summer. And by the time we arrived at 3pm, 54 people had already signed in for the day!!!
Charles Mound is only 1,235 feet and a mere 2-mile roundtrip walk, basically along someone’s driveway. Though the view from the “summit” is actually quite beautiful with lawn chairs and views of the rolling farmlands of Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa, we didn’t linger too long because the bugs were horrendous.
And now we can say we tackled one of the “hardest” state highpoints! Only 6 more to go, but it will probably take us 6 years to get to them all!!!!