[Published in Apex to Zenith #52 – First Quarter 2001]
Well, here we are already a whole year into our brand new century, for that matter a whole new millennium. In recent past years I have suffered, as many do, that old malady that goes hand in hand with this time of the year; “Where in the world did the time go?” But not this year! I kept so busy I was beginning to think it would never end. AND, I wasted nary a moment of it! This retirement thing is all right baby!!
Yes, last year was a really busy one, and this year promises to be even more so. I will be forced to pre-write some of the upcoming “Highnotes” columns as I did last year, so be prepared for my lame apologies as the year wears on.
Our last newsletter championed Steve Packer as the l00th person to do the 50 state highpoints. One might now think that completing the fifty is commonplace. I don’t know how many have done it as of today, but years ago I read that there were far in excess of 200 people that had climbed Everest. So, 100 still makes us a pretty exclusive club. It is something to take much pride in, I know it is a treasure that will remain fresh in my mind till the end of my days.
Also in the last issue I had updated that highpoint sign ‘deal’. Since, I’ve had a couple of more thoughts I’d like to share in regards to it and I also wanted you to see your handiwork thus far. One thing I’ve noticed is the signs increasing popu- larity. Almost every visitor takes a photo of the signs. Even non-high- pointers! Shoot! Those signs may well become the area’s next main tourist attraction! Also, I needed to mention that they will eventually be incorporated into the proposed museum. Perhaps on the walkway on the outside or (?). “Heh! Heh! All my ideas are good ‘uns, some ‘gist better’n others.”
Richard Dailey has sent me (for the club archives) a copy of the December 14, 1970 issue of ‘Sports Illustrated’. In it, on page 34, you will find a pretty darn good highpointing article about the ‘mysterious’ Mitch Michaud. Elmer F. (Mitch) Michaud completed on Boundary in November of 1970, becoming the second person to complete the fifty highpoints. Neither I, nor the club, have ever heard from Mitch. Where is he? What all has he done since completing? Indeed, is he even still alive? I don’t know. Do you? Anyhow, the magazine is in excellent condition and we thank Dick for sending it.
Roger Rowlett tried to pawn off an ice-ax on me. “It once belonged to George Mallory,” be told me. “It’s certainly stood up well,” I was quick to point out. “Yes, but then over the years it’s had three new handles and two new heads,” he replied. (Groan.)
As you all know it can get a little gusty at times as we pursue our nation’s highpoints. And, especially as we approach the month of March, thought I’d share the following official US Weather Bureau designations for. winds and their forces. WEATHER. How fast does the wind have to blow to be called a gale, a storm or a hurricane?
Calm – Less than 1 MPH
Light Air – 1 to 3 MPH
Light Breeze -4 to 7 MPH
Gentle Breeze – 8 to 12 MPH
Moderate Breeze – 3 to 18 MPH
Fresh Breeze – 19 to 24 MPH
Strong Breeze – 25 to 31 MPH
Near Gale – 32 to 38 MPH
Gale – 39 to 46MPH
Strong Gale -47 to 54 MPH
Storm – 55 to 63 MPH
Violent Storm – 64 to 73 MPH
Hurricane – 74 and over
Mt. Washington – “Get the h__ out of Dodge!”
I’ll leave you with this thought, “May you have a ca1rn day on New Hampshire’s highpoint.”