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Criss Crossing the Lower 48 in 2 1/2 Months

September 29 2003 at 11:31 PM
roger  (no login)

Response to Huh-Jakk's alive?

Peak Experience
Talkeetna family conquers highest peak in all 50 states


(Published: September 28, 2003)

Cari Sayre, Dave Johnston and their son, Galen Johnston, from left, have climbed the highest point in all 50 states. The family lives in Talkeetna. (Photo by Stephen Nowers / Anchorage Daily News)


Sayre and Galen after reaching the 8,749-foot Guadalupe Peak in Texas in July 2002. (Photo courtesy of the Johnston family )


Galen Johnston at Summit Observatory on 6,684-foot Mount Mitchell in North Carolina on March 4, 1996. (Photo courtesy of the Johnston family)


Dave Johnston, Cari Sayre and Galen Johnston at the 20,320-foot Denali summit on June 17, 2001. ( Photo courtesy of the Johnston family )


Galen and Sayre's 50th state peak, Maine's 5,267-foot Mount Katahdin, in October 2002. (Photo courtesy of the Johnston family)


Click on photo to enlarge
Approximately 14,000 people have climbed to the summit of Mount McKinley. About 1,600 have reached the top of Mount Everest.

Those are select groups when you think of the world's population. But now consider this: Just 123 people have visited the highest spot in each state.

And how many families are among that group? Just one.

Talkeetna climber Dave Johnston, his wife, Cari Sayre, and their son, Galen, now 13, became the first family to visit all 50 high points in the United States last year when they touched the top spot of Maine on the summit of the 5,267-foot Mount Katahdin.

That particular hike capped nine trips to the Lower 48, a decade of effort and an intensive push over the summer of 2002 that had the Talkeetna family criss-crossing the country for two and a half months.

"We drove 17,500 miles, did 14 mountains, walked 315 miles, gained 75,000 feet of altitude (during the hikes), and spent 70 nights camping," Johnston recalled recently as his family shared stories of their summit adventures over a spaghetti dinner in their hand-built Talkeetna cabin.

Anchorage Daily News

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