Highpointers eBulletin of December 16, 2009

Here’s the latest Highpointers e-news.

Here is a bit of information that we need to pass out before the Holidays.  Thanks for all that have renewed for the 3 year maximum.  It’s just $60 for 3 years and it really saves us / The Club much time, effort and money. 

Get you Holiday orders in ASAP.  Remember, the time is running out on the Foundation Silent Auction, so if you’re interested don’t get left out.  Many new updates in this eBulletin so be sure to check them out.  If you know of something that needs to passed on, let me know.  Oh yeah… The 2010 Highpointers Club Calendar is out so order yours today!!!

Be safe, have fun and Happy Holidays!!!

Craig Noland
The Membership Guy
www.highpointers.org
membership@highpointers.org
 

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Club Memberships for the Holidays…

   Please get your orders in as soon as possible so that it can be delivered in time!!! 

Gift memberships are coming in now.

Club Memberships make the perfect gift for friends and family members that love the outdoors and enjoying traveling off of the beaten path.  We started offering these gift memberships last year and it was a pretty big hit.  Although you can send anyone a gift membership at any time for any reason, it’s seems more appropriate for the Holiday Season.

–  Just fill out the application at www.highpointers.org/membership.shtml and send one application for each person.  Or, you can just send me an email breaking down the information if it’s for more than one gift membership.

–  You can pay via PayPal for online service (located at the bottom of the application) or mail it to Highpointers Club, PO Box 6364, Sevierville TN 37864-6364.

–  Remember to give me information on all the family at that household if more than one person is there if you wish.  Highpoint counts, email address, phone, etc… (This information will be kept confidential and not given out.)

–  Be sure to let me know if the “Membership Packet” is to be sent to you so you can give it to them as a gift or if you want me to go ahead and mail it to them directly.

–  Please do it now if you can as the closer we get to the Holidays the harder it’ll be to deliver the “Membership Packet.

Memberships are $20 for 1 year, $40 for 2 years and $60 for 3 years.  3 years is the maximum a membership or renewal can be paid in advance.  Add $5 more each for foreign memberships.  If you wish to renew your own membership, it can be done at this time as well.

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Highpointing Gear, Books, Guides as Gifts!!!

Last chance to scoop up neat Highpointer Christmas gifts.  The store will be closed from December 23rd to December 27th

Another place to get the perfect gift for your Highpointing friends, family, heck… even yourself!!!  Know someone that is just starting their Highpoint quest?  Don’t let them head out without the proper apparel or the latest guidebooks.  Would be great companion gifts with a gift membership!  But remember…  you’ll need to order your Merc items from Jean in OK and the memberships from Membership in TN. 

For Gift Memberships see information at the top of the page.

Keep Jean “Mother Merc” Trousdale busy and order ’til your hearts content at:

The Highpointers Merc

***   We are now accepting credit cards through Paypal.  The process is totally automated and secure.   ***

The 2010 Highpointers Calendar is now available for $15.  The calendar, which includes photos by members and highpointing events, always quickly sell out.  Get yours today!!!

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Time is Running out – The Highpointers Foundation “Silent Auction” Ends December 18th…

The Highpointers Foundation has launched a Silent Auction capability on their website so check it out!!! The first Silent Auction ended at the NJ-09 convention, with $500 being raised when a Frank Ashley – “US State Highpoints” signed guidebook was auctioned.   This particular Silent Auction is being held from October 1st, 2009 thru December 18th at 6 p.m. EDT.

The featured item this quarter is an original, signed, “Sir Edmund Hillary – Nothing Venture – Nothing Win Autobiography” from 1975 (author Edmund Hillary passed away in the year 2008 so this is a rare opportunity to score a signed copy of his autobiography).  This treasured item can only be seen in the libraries of a few venerable alpinists.  Copies of this book, depending upon condition, printing date, etc, are offered for sale on Mike Chessler’s website ChesslerBooks.com from one hundred to several hundred dollars.

Get more information from The Highpointers Foundation at:  www.highpointersfoundation.org and click on the “Fundraising Button” at the top of the page then click to the “Silent Auction Page” prominently displayed as a link.

Fill out the Bid form, and submit a bid.  Bids must be at least $10 higher than the current high bid.

All bid activity will be updated daily, but is not instantaneous. The amount of the donation above and beyond the value of the book from the winning bidder is tax deductible so please consult your tax professional.

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I-40 Closure at the North Carolina and Tennessee State Line…

It could take three months or longer to clean up a rock slide and reopen a section of I-40 on the North Carolina side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That means getting to the park from some areas will be a bit tricky. It also means don’t rely on your GPS units to find a shortcut, as that could spell trouble.

The slide dumped tons of rocks on the interstate at mile marker 2.6 in North Carolina, near the Tennessee state line, and forced closure of the interstate between Exit 20 in North Carolina and Exit 451 in Tennessee, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. A detour set up by the department calls for motorists traveling west to Tennessee to take I-40 West to I-240 West in Asheville, North Carolina, and then to I-26 West. You then should follow I-26 West from Asheville to I-81 South in Tennessee, back to I-40. Eastbound motorists will follow the reverse directions.

At Great Smoky, spokesman Bob Miller says they have been stressing that U.S. 441 — the Newfound Gap Road — is not open to commercial vehicles, but other motorists can use it to go between the two states.

“We also strongly discourage people from exiting at NC Exit 20 and going into Cataloochee and then on into Tennessee on Old 284 Cataloochee Turnpike, which is a very low standard gravel road about 1 1/2 lanes wide and wicked curvy – that road cannot serve as an alternate for any great amount of traffic,” said Mr. Miller, who adds that, “Unfortunately in these days of GPS in cars a lot of people can see it on their GPS and it looks like a short-cut around the I-40 closure but have no idea just how primitive it is.”

I-40 Rockslide Updates

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Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge Tennessee January 9th – 16th, 2010!!!

We will be there!!!

“Wilderness Wildlife Week” is the ultimate Smoky Mountain experience offering a series of activities sure to connect visitors with the wide, wonderful world of the great outdoors.

In 2010, celebrate the 20th anniversary of this very special event. Visitors will enjoy more than 100 experts sharing their knowledge of the outdoors in more than 175 seminars, lectures and hands-on workshops.  Get up close to nature with your choice of more than 50 guided walks and hikes. Music lovers will enjoy tunes performed by authentic Smoky Mountain musicians at AppalachiaFest.

Wilderness Wildlife Week offers activities for all ages and attracts thousands of nature lovers to Pigeon Forge each year. The International Festivals & Events Association has recognized the event for its environmental and educational efforts.

Volunteers needed to work our table.  If interested please contact membership@highpointers.org

Request a Travel Planner or to Sign Up for the Free Pigeon Forge eNewsletter

Tennessee Department of tourism

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HIGHPOINTERS HOTLINE!!!

You will be able to leave your count changes, as well as address changes on the voice mail, or send via text messaging.  So far, this is working great!!!  Keep them coming.  Our records show that your last count is .  If that is not correct, please update us and any Family Members as well

Just listen to the directions, don’t get excited (it’s just a recording) and give us your updates, reports, address changes, email changes, etc.  If you think you didn’t get it right, just call us again.  Remember, text messages work very well too. 

***  (865) 660-0027 ***

This number WILL NOT be manned.  In the future, we hope to have highpoint information available also.

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We’re Now on Twitter…

This seems to be that fashionable thing to be doing these days.  So go to http://twitter.com/highpointers/ and sign up today.

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Major Road Work in the Smokies in 2010…

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the US’s most-visited national park is planning more than $44 million in major improvements to 56 miles of park roads, a campground and a popular trailhead parking area.

 The repaving projects include the road to the Smokies’ highest peak at 6,643-foot Clingmans Dome and the meandering 11-mile loop around scenic Cades Cove.

 Funding comes from a combination of new economic stimulus money and previously authorized Federal Lands Highway Program support.

 The 520,000-acre park, which straddles the Tennessee-North Carolina state line, attracts more than 9 million visitors a year.

To minimize the impact on traffic they plan to work very hard to minimize this inconvenience through scheduling as much work as possible between February and Memorial Day.

 The Clingmans Dome road will be closed from Feb. 15 to May 28, then intermittently opened until June 18.  Other work is planned next spring and summer on Newfound Gap Road between Gatlinburg TN and Cherokee NC.

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Illinois – Charles Mound Visitation Dates 2010…

The Highpoint owners have set the visitation dates for 2010.  Please visit on the days and during daylight hours only.

June 5th & 6th   July 3rd & 4th   August 7th & 8th   September 4th & 5th

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Spreading the Highpointers Gospel…

Local groups, civic groups and any like minded organization would surely like this presentation.  Here’s your chance to step up and help Highpointing while doing it.

The PowerPoint document contains pictures provided by various members.  You may add or delete from this CD to create your personalized presentation.

Presentation suggestions are for you to set up a scheduled talk for 60 minutes with the prepared presentation lasting 45-50 minutes and the rest for questions.

 The presentation usually includes:

  • Explaining what highpointing is
  • Who and how the Club got started
  • Number of Club members and number of 50 and lower 48 finishers
  • How state highpoints vary considerably in difficulty, elevation and danger
  • Club’s role in assisting members (Apex to Zenith newsletters, conventions, guidebooks, “Klimbin Kollaborator,” maintaining access to highpoints)
  • Benefits of highpointing and club membership

Website Address:   www.highpointers.org

If interested, please contact Bill Deitzer at: billdeitzer@fuse.net (newly updated email address) or 513-777-4435.  Bill and Rosemary would like to also thank the many Club members for their Highpointing pictures that permitted this PowerPoint presentation to come together!  More pictures… send them on!!!

Please include your mailing address with your offer to present.  Bill will send you a CD with the PowerPoint file and other helpful information.  Brochures, and other club information, will be sent to you as well.

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2010 Highpointers Convention October 7th – 9th at Woodall Mountain Mississippi…

The 2010 Highpointers Club Annual Convention will be Oct. 7th – 9th 2010 highlighting the Mississippi highpoint at Woodall Mountain.  The convention is being held in the Fall due to the brutal heat that befalls the “Deep South” in the Summer. 

It is understandable that some of the younger members will not be able to make it due to school commitments so that’s why it’s going to be held over Columbus Day Weekend  with hope that as many as possible will be able to make it.  Gary White is hosting this Highpointers Club event and if you have any questions please email him at: whiteman@centurytel.net.

 

Convention headquarters is at the Holiday Inn Florence, 4900 Hatch Blvd., Sheffield AL 35660 and is located in the center of the Sheffield, Muscle Shoals and Florence area in beautiful North Alabama near the intersection of US Highways 72 and 43.  More information will be passed out via the newsletters, the website www.highpointers.org and by other means.

The Alabama Department of Tourism and Mississippi Department of Tourism for travel information.

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“CREW Members” & Others Needed!!!

The “CREW” is a group of members who wish to volunteer a minimum of 1 hour at any convention doing on-site registration.  We have “On the Job Training” with great benefits and pay.  The benefits and pay include:

   1). Meeting and greeting many of the convention attendees and making new friends.

   2). A reserved seat at the banquet with fellow “CREW Members”

   3). Recognition at the banquet for all your tremendous hard work

   4). Great praise from the host after the convention is finished

   5). All you can eat of the goodies the convention host provides at the registration table

   6). The satisfaction that you have given your club a valuable service

So how’s that for a GREAT job!!!

The “CREW” needs you for the Mississippi in 2010 Konvention and other functions when available.  One hour or two – what ever you can spare.  We look forward to having you join us! 

To come on board just email me, Nikki Hemphill at greyghost92@yahoo.com or call 219-545-2169 and you will be hired.  See you in Mississippi in October.

–  The Club still needs a Western Regional Coordinator along with a few Highpoint Liaisons here and there. Folks should check the Directory for states available and contact Stony Burk if interested.  Email him at: stonyburk1@yahoo.com.

–  We can use some folks to help by sitting in at the Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge.  Please see information above about this event.

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Kentucky Waiver’s – The Latest Information and the Waiver…

The latest procedure for visiting Black Mountain is now as follows:

–  You MUST first obtain this waiver by clicking this link to download:  

Black Mountain KY Waiver

I fixed the broken link on the waiver since the last mailing. Sorry.

–  Complete this waiver and mail it to the following address before you visit:

Penn-Va Operating Co
Attn: Steve Looney
2550 E Stone Dr Ste 200
Kingsport, TN  37660-5863

If for some reason you cannot return it in time, please make sure you have it with you!!!

Black Mountain is privately owned by the coal company and there are active mines, as well as sink holes, in the area so the company has made the waiver mandatory for visits. 

* Since 2004, the waivers had been processed at the Kentucky Coal Mine Museum in Benham but no more.  Now the Kentucky Department of State Parks took over the museum and the Kentucky state lawyers have forbidden the museum from handling the waivers any more.

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Returning or Renewing…

You may renew your membership dues by either going to www.highpointers.org, click on the “Membership Tab” at the top of the page and paying online or send the dues of $20 per year to: Highpointers Club, PO Box 6364, Sevierville TN 37864-6364. 

Help us out by renewing for 3 years at a time ($60).  It saves us loads of time and money.  Just to let y’all know, the three year renewal has been a big hit since I mentioned it last mailing.  It not only brings in money for our operation, it saves us a lot of time and expense from reminders to banking.  It also helps us to know that we’re pretty stable with our membership counts and that allows us to do more to help Highpoints stay accessible and at the same time help out the Highpointing cause.  Much tanks to those that have helped us by doing this and to y’all that are going to.

You should have the latest issue of “Apex to Zenith” or it is in the mail, so if you don’t have it yet just hang in there..  Be sure to email your most recent changes in address and counts.  You may send me your trip reports and I’ll pass them along to the Editors as well.

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Please pass this information along to interested parties as they may not have email notification.

***  This is a friendly reminder, not intended to be SPAM.  Simply delete this message after reading if you wish.  But, please keep your email address updated for important reminders and highpoint issues.  Don’t worry, we use these addresses for club use only and they are never given out for any purpose.
***  Check out the FAQ’s page at http://highpointers.org/faq/  for the most recent asked questions.

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