Highpointers Brunch – April 27, 2002

Thirty-three persons attended what will hopefully be the first annual New York City Highpointers Spring Brunch and County Highpoint Climb on April 27, 2002, organized by Club Chairman Roger Rowlett.

Brunch was served Chinese style at the China Peace Restaurant on West 51st. Street in New York City.

A get well card was signed for Club Founder Jakk Longacre as well as a 90th birthday card for Paul Zumwalt.

Several people traveled a great distance to attend.

Sjaak van Schie visited from the Netherlands. Highpointers Club newsletter editor John Mitchler and Dawn Howard flew in from Colorado. Jean Trousdale (“Mother Merc”) who is hosting the 2002 Highpointers Convention this September in Oklahoma visited with her daughter Betsey and two grandchildren.

John Habermehl drove down and back from Buffalo. Tom and Dot Dwyer drove down from Rochester.

There were even a few people from the New York City metro area!

There were two 50-completers (Pete Anderson and Richard Birrer) and two 49-completers (Anne Birrer and John Mitchler).

Highpointers on the rocks at the official Manhattan highpoint — Bennett Park. From left Sjaak vanSchie, Lanny Wexler, David Kocian, John Habermehl, Roger Rowlett (back), Ralph Blumenthal, Jenni Blumenthal, Matt Silberger, Dawn Howard (kneeling), Laura Potapoff. John Mitchler is holding a Highpointers Club T-shirt.

Following the brunch 13 people rode the “A” Train to Bennett Park, 184th Street and Fort Washington Boulevard, which has a sign proclaiming it “The Highest Natural Point on Manhattan.” The group had to climb nearly 100 vertical feet in stairs from Overlook Terrace to reach the summit.

There had been concern that access would be blocked because the summit is fenced off to permit newly seeded grass to grow around the summit boulders. However, the city the day before had just opened the summit itself from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends. The group stood on the boulder chatting with locals and among themselves until park police closed it.

Here’s the group on the more scenic Fort Tyron Park highpoint. From left David Kocian, Dawn Howard, John Mitchler, Lanny Wexler, Sjakk van Schie, Laura Potapoff, Jenni Blumenthal, Ralph Blumenthal, Roger Rowlett

It was such a beautiful day, the group didn’t want to break up. So, they proceeded to the other highpoint that looked equally high on the topo map (a flagpole in Fort Tyron Park park near the Cloisters about 11 blocks north). This park proved a more spectacular destination with its gardens and panoramic views of the Hudson. From the flagpole you could even see the highpoints of the Bronx and Queens.

100 Below the Highpoint on the “A” Train — From Left Laura Potapoff, Jenni Blumenthal, Dawn Howard, Unknown Mystery Rider, John Mitchler, Sjakk van Schie, Ralph Blumenthal, Lanny Wexler, David Kocian

From here they descended 100 feet (“12 stories” according to the elevator operator) to the “A” Train to return.

The urban walk was so spectacular we’ll hopefully get together next year about the same time to do Brooklyn.

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