Two years without any highpoints due to living overseas…. the excitement and sense of accomplishment all come back to me sitting on the top of White Butte in North Dakota as the snow and sleet starts to pelt me in earnest. It is a good feeling…
Although not the most impressive mtn in the west, they all have character and in this instance it started with meeting the land owner, Mrs. X. She granted permission and accepted my $20 “donation”. I did not feel bad paying it as she did own the land and it looks like high pointing income supplements her overall income.
She gave me directions to the mtn and I headed up the butte, following cow paths to the top. I had just driven through snow in all of North Dakota and was wary of the clouds to the north. I quickly gained both elevation and weight as the white clay quickly built up on my shoes…I felt I was walking in oversize boots by the time I reached the summit.
Sitting there signing the summit log, I dedicated this summit to Jakk Longacre, the founder of the Highpoint Club. I had received news via the internet that he had passed away at an all too early age of 64 due to cancer on that Monday….this one is for you “Jakk…”
A small tattered American flag whipped in the breeze and that reminded me that I had not been to a highpoint since 911 and since flags had been raised on many summits. As I pondered that, I realized now that I was getting wet so I grabbed my Gore-Tex shell and threw the hood up. Closing the summit register tin box, I took a look 360 degrees for a final vista before retreating down the nearest cow trail back to the car, arriving pretty soaked from the waist down. Joining up again with a non-high pointing friend we headed south, continuing our journey south to South Dakota, involving long drives down straight roads.
Beta: 3.5 miles RT, Elevation Gain: 500′, 45 mins