Hawkeye Point, Iowa Highpointers Convention Registration – July 24 and 25 2015

Hawkeye Point Mosaic
Welcome to Iowa 2015! Your host Jim Sutton, co-host Don Holmes, coordinator Nikki Hemphill and The Crew invite you to attend what we hope will be the largest convention in High-pointers Club history! We want you to make Convention #29 the #1 in attendance! To that end, we are planning a variety of events for the whole family, including some activities never seen or done before! Please start your planning now to join us next July. Here are some of the details:

Download 2015 Highpointers Convention Application


The official dates of the Convention are Friday, July 24th and Saturday, July 25th, 2015. We will be planning a variety of activities for the days preceding the formal events, so plan on coming earlier and joining in the fun.


The official site is Hawkeye Point, just north of the town of Sibley, Iowa, in the northwest corner of the state. By the way, my version (2009) of the DeLorme Atlas shows the highpoint in the WRONG location, about two miles east of the actual location, which is just east of the SE corner of IA 60 and 130th Street in Wilson Township. The high point is 1,670 feet, but no climbing is required; you can walk from the parking lot adjacent to the highpoint.


The host hotel is located approximately 15 miles north of the high point, just over the border in Worthington, MN. The host hotel is the Comfort Inn and Suites, 1477 Prairie Drive, Worthington, MN 56187. Their phone number is (507) 295-9185. We have reserved a large block of rooms at a special rate of only $99 per night plus tax. This is significantly lower than their normal rate. We recommend that you make your reservation early, as we anticipate a large attendance. Be sure to tell them that you are attending the Highpointers Convention to get the rate. The facility includes a heated indoor pool, hot tub/spa, laundry facilities, and free hot breakfast, plus other amenities. You can find additional information at their website: www.comfortsuites.com/hotel-worthington-minnesota-MN137.

There are also several other motels in the Worthington area, not far from the host hotel. We are currently making arrangements to reserve additional blocks of rooms. We will update this list in subsequent newsletters.

We have also learned that there may be a new motel with 36 rooms under construction in Sibley, IA, which may be ready in time for our Convention. We’ll keep you posted on developments.


Believe it or not, the Convention is not going to be located in the “backside of beyond”! There are plenty of access points to the Convention. Here’s a summary:

By air: The closest airport is in Sioux Falls, SD at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport (airport code FSD), also known as Joe Foss Field, after the World War II ace fighter pilot and former governor. The airport is served by five airlines, including Frontier, Allegiant, Delta, United and American. Rental cars at the airport include Avis, Enterprise, Hertz and Alamo/ National. To get to the convention site, when you depart the airport, you will be on SD 115. Turn left, and drive north, east and then north on SD 115 for about 2 miles, and merge onto I-90 eastbound at Exit 399. Drive east approximately 56 miles into MN and take exit 43 in Worthington. At the bottom of the ramp, turn left (north) on N. Humiston Avenue and proceed about 0.2 mil. Turn right on Prairie View Drive and there you are! Figure about an hour’s drive from the airport.

While FSD is the closest airport, you can also fly in to other airports and drive to the host hotel. Other airports with commercial flights to consider include: Des Moines International (DSM; 7 airlines; 273 miles to Worthington), Omaha Eppley (OMA; seven airlines; 196 miles), Minneapolis/St. Paul International (MSP; multiple airlines; 172 miles), Chicago O’Hare (ORD; multiple airlines; 498 miles), and Chicago Midway (MDW; multiple airlines; 523 miles).

If you have a private aircraft, you can fly into the Worthington Municipal Airport (code OTG), which is located about 1 mile north of the host hotel. There’s a VOR/DME on the field. Really convenient! You can also fly into the Sibley, Iowa Municipal Airport (code ISB).

By car: The Convention host hotel is located just off Interstate 90 at exit 43 in western MN. I-29 runs north-south along the western border of Iowa, and continues on to Sioux Falls, SD. At Sioux City, IA, you can exit onto US 75 north to Le Mars, and then take IA 60 northeast to Sibley, IA, past the HP, and on into Worthington, MN. I-80 bisects IA east to west, and a number of byways branch off towards the HP. It’s a great time to explore beautiful back roads and small agricultural towns.

By rail: AMTRAK has two routes which can get you relatively close to the Convention. The California Zephyr travels from Omaha to Chicago with several stops in southern IA. The Empire Builder stops in west WI and central MN (incl. St Paul & St Cloud.


There is a new campsite being developed directly across the street from the highpoint, which has approxi-mately a dozen sites. We will have additional information on reservations for this site and other locations nearby in subsequent newsletters.

HOW DO I REGISTER? Use the form enclosed in this newsletter. Be sure to fill it out completely, and include all those who will be attending, and your T-shirt sizes.


You can join the “Crew”, our group of dedicated fantastic folks who take care of a thousand and one details at every convention. Call or text Nikki Hemphill at (219)545-2169, or email her at greyghost92@yahoo.com.


Contact Jim Sutton at (916)2070892 or by email at jers57@att.net; or Don Holmes at (303)663-2008 or by email at climberdh@outlook.com for more information. We are looking forward to seeing you at IA 2015!

In addition to Club-sanctioned events on Friday and Saturday, there will be several other events at IA-15. These will be informal gatherings and the event organizers assume no liability.

Wednesday, July 22
Registration at Worthington Event Center, Worthington, MN
9:00 am to 5:00 pm County Highpoint Trip Announcement of any County Highpoint Trips can be picked up at the Registration Desk.

Thursday, July 23
Registration at Worthington Event Center, Worthington, MN
9:00 am to 5:00 pm The Highpointers Mercantile will be open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Worthington Event Center. Be sure to get your Highpointers Club paraphernalia. County Highpoint Trip Details at the Registration table. Pre-Convention “Ice Breaker” Social hosted by Jim Sutton and Don Holmes at a location to be announced probably in Okoboji, IA. Festivities began at 6:00 pm.

Friday, July 24
Registration at Worthington Event Center, Worthington, MN
9:00 am to 5:00 pm The Highpointers Mercantile will be open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Worthington Event Center County Highpoint Trip Details at the Registration table. Map & Compass 101 led by Alan Ritter at the Worthington Event Center from 10:00am to 11:30am Climbing Knots led by Alan Ritter at the Worthington Event Center from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm Friday Night Country Picnic/Pig Roast/Ice Cream Social or Some Combination Thereof, at the Sib-ley Golf/Country Club in Sibley, IA. Join us for a social gathering likely featuring an old fashioned picnic. We will gather at 5pm. A cash bar will be available.

Saturday, July 25
Registration at Worthington Event Center, Worthington, MN
9:00 am to 5:00 pm Pancake Breakfast at the Sibley, IA, City Park. Breakfast is scheduled from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. Climbing Wall by National Guard at Hawkeye Pt at 9:00 am The Highpointers Mercantile will be open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at Worthington Event Center. Caravan to Hawkeye Point. We will car pool from the Worthington Event Center to Hawkeye Point. We will leave the Worthington Event Center at 10:30 am. The Watermelon Feast, a traditional event hosted by Mark & Wendy Comstock, will be held at Hawkeye Point. The Watermelon Feast is scheduled from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm. Highpointers Club Board Meeting at the Worthington Event Center. The Board Meeting is scheduled from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Highpointers Club Banquet at the Worthington Event Center. The Banquet will start with a Happy Hour from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. A cash bar will be available. Dinner will be served at 7:00 pm with the business meeting following. Evening Program presented by a representative from the area. The Program subject is yet to be determined but it will surely be of interest to all. It will follow the business meeting. We hope to conclude the festivities by 10:00 pm.
Other possible activities: Tours/Visits (Dates TBD) Poet Ethanol Manufacturing Plant Brockshus Dairy VanMarel Gun Manufacturing Ocheyedan Mound – Once thought to be Iowa’s highest point Pioneer Village in Worthington MN Mennonite Settlement Area Museums Activities 5 or 10K Run/Walk to Hawkeye Pt Golfing at Sibley Country Club

The IA-15 Convention Host Hotel is the Worthington Comfort Suites located at 1447 Prairie Drive, Wor-thington, Minnesota 56187. The banquet, registration, and the Merc will be in the adjacent Worthington Event Center. We have reserved a large block of rooms from Wed July 22 to Sat July 25 at the special discount rate of $99.00 plus tax. The suites available have either two Queen sized beds or one King sized bed. All rooms also have a sofa bed that will sleep two. Call the Comfort Inn (507) 295-9185 and mention the Highpointers Club special rate. I believe there is an additional charge for more than two occupants. The cur-rent cut-off date for reservations is June 22, 2015. Check-in time is 3:00 pm and Check-out time is 12:00 pm.

Hawkeye Point Campground Contact #: 712-754-2523
12 sites with electricity and crushed concrete pads, and 12 without, in a grove of trees, across from the Highpoint and the watermelon feast!
$15.00 / night with electricity
$10.00 / night for tent or self-contained units (A number of sites are available if they do not need electricity. There is a water hydrant at the bathroom/shower facility. We may be able to provide temporary electricity to some of these areas if needed )
Hawkeye Point Campground is directly north of Hawkeye Point and has a bathroom/shower facility

Willow Creek County Park Campground Contact #: 712-758-3709
5 sites with electricity and water
$15.00 / night electricity and water
Located approximately 6-7 miles from Hawkeye Point just east of the junction of Highways 9 & 59.
Walking trails, pond, dock, museum, lodge that can be rented

Sibley Robinson Park Campground Contact #: 712-754-2541 City of Sibley
18 sites with water and electricity
$14.00 / night for site with electricity and water
City Pool & park as well as a pond attached to the site directly across from the Sibley Country Club and Golf Course


Okay, so you’ve decided you are coming to the great Iowa 2015 High-pointers Convention. We’ve already given you a list of things to experience in southwestern Minnesota, but what about Iowa? Well, here is just a sampling of fun stuff in northwestern Iowa and beyond…

1. Osceola County (we’ll have county maps available at the convention headquarters):

We’re already going to have our breakfast in the marvelous Central Park in Sibley. Take some time to visit the McCallum Museum right next door. It is packed with a wide variety of historical items, including a Sears Roebuck car and just about everything else you might find on the Iowa prairie. Definitely worth a visit!

Hawkeye Point – Well, Duh! It is the state highpoint after all.

Ocheyedan Mound – SE of the town of Ocheyedan. Lovely view of the surrounding prairies and marshes. Once considered the high point of Iowa (some locals still believe this!). Easy hike to the top from access on County Road A22.

Sutton Lake Marsh – Just SE of Ocheyedan. Just had to put this one in! One of many wildlife refuges in the area. Birdwatchers will see dozens of species.

2. Just beyond Osceola County:

Le Mars – Home of the famous Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor and Museum. We’re trying to get a guided tour, or you can visit on your own.

Okoboji – Iowa’s “Great Lakes” District. This chain of lakes is one of the biggest tourist areas in Iowa, with all that that implies, both good and bad! But the lakes are beautiful, and you can take paddle boat tours around the lakes, including lunch and dinner cruises. Lots of diversions for the kids, too. The classic boat regatta is scheduled for convention weekend; if you love the old beautiful Chris Craft and GarWood mahogany runabouts, this is the place for you!

Okoboji also has the Iowa Rock and Roll Museum and Hall of Fame – Find out interesting details about The Big Bopper, BJ Thomas, local notables like Oink Henderson and the Squealers, and Captain Beef-Hart and the Shipwrecks, plus famous ballrooms and other rock venues. You may even be able to pick up a concert while you are there!

Clear Lake – Home of the Surf Ballroom, famous for the last concert Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper played before their loss in a plane crash, on “The Day the Music Died”. For those of us of a certain age…

3. Farther down the Road: If you are coming from the east through Iowa, there are some special things you should not miss, including as a sampler:

Effigy Mounds National Monument (NE corner of Iowa, overlooking the Mississippi River): many prehis-toric mounds, some made into large portrayals of turtles, birds and other animals. Walk beautiful hiking trails through the mounds, and you may even spot a bald eagle pair hunting for fish.

National Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame – Anamosa (east central Iowa): over 400 motorcycles on dis-play.

Madison County (south of Des Moines) – You’ve read about or seen the famous covered bridges in the movie, now go and see them for real. In Winterset, you can also visit the birthplace of Marion Robert Morrison, better known to the world as John Wayne.

Amana Colonies – Located SW of Cedar Rapids, this series of villages was founded by German immigrants seeking religious freedom. The influence of this colony continues today.

Coming from the west? Check out the Missouri River and its history in Sioux City, including the memorial to Sergeant Charles Floyd, the only man to perish on the entire Lewis & Clark expedition, the River Museum, and the Lewis & Clark Interpretative Center; the center of the opening of the West.

From ANY direction: get off the Interstate and enjoy the quiet beauty of the Iowa countryside, and the lovely small towns all over the state. Make a collection of the varied and fascinating county and city mottoes. You may be surprised at some of them!

We’ll have more things for you to consider in the next NL, so keep checking here. Have a great time in Iowa! See ya!

For planning purposes, here are distances and approximate driving times between State Highpoints in adjacent states. If you drive to the Convention, they might be on your way. Distances and times were obtained using the “MAP” function on www.msn.com and vary depending upon your route. -Don Holmes
*Hawkeye Point, IA — Timms Hill, WI 403 6 hr 10 min
*Hawkeye Point, IA — Eagle Mountain, MN 467 7 hr 10 min
*Hawkeye Point, IA — Mt. Arvon, MI 573 9 hr 52 min
*Timms Hill, WI — Mt. Arvon, MI 194 4 hr 16 min
*Mt. Arvon, MI — Eagle Mountain, MN 328 6 hr 45 min
*Eagle Mountain, MN — Timms Hill, WI 260 5 hr
*Hawkeye Point, IA — Harney Peak, SD 452 6 hr 41 min
*Hawkeye Point, IA — Charles Mound, IL 360 6 hr
*Hawkeye Point, IA — Panorama Point, NE 577 10 hr
*Hawkeye Point, IA — Mt. McKinley, AK 3,250 54 hr 30 min

Download 2015 Highpointers Convention Application

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