The “New” Rhode Island Highpoint
July 6, 2011
[This page is part of my ongoing series, “Hikes with my Boys.” The full list of those hikes can be found here.]
My oh my. It’s amazing how much a highpoint can change in 10 years. Okay, the highpoint itself didn’t change (although that has happened in the past 100 years due to surveying errors and such – even here in our great state of Connecticut), but the whole experience has changed.
It’s also amazing how much time, energy and press has been devoted to the 812-foot inconsequential summit of Jerimoth Hill in northwestern Rhode Island. The very earliest written page on all of CTMQ is my first visit to Jerimoth, back in February 2002 – long before I began CTMQ. It was written for my own personal (hardcopy) highpointing journal back then and the pictures were actual processed film, if you can believe that. For some background, you should read that first. (And the comments should provide some interesting insights as well.)
Quickly, back then the 3 minute “hike” to the highpoint was on private property and guarded with anger and a gun (Seriously). Access was only open a few days per year and despite the completely flat and short hike, it was deemed the “toughest highpoint in America.”
Not anymore. A highpointer-friendly couple bought the house next to it and allow access during business hours 365 days per year. A fresh trail was cleared, trees were marked, a more impressive summit cairn was built and voila! A whole new highpointing experience!
Damian and I left a giant in-law family vacation on Cape Cod a few days early (due to work commitments on my part) and veered off of Route 6 to follow 101 out to the highpoint. I found it like a homing pigeon coming home to roost – my first highpoint with Hoang. Back then it was around 30 degrees and freezing rainy/snowy. This time it was over 90 degrees and humid.
We found the new trail and Damian and I walked along the path through the pines before we knew it, we were atop the Ocean State. Woo-hoo!
Hmm, I just realized our Florida highpoint was also during another giant in-law family vacation. Anyway, Damian has been to three of the lowliest highpoints in all the land. (And now I’ve been to two of them twice!)
All for the love of my boy.