Congratulations to Gene and Lillian for getting newspaper coverage of our convention in the July 8 issue of the Baltimore Sun.
The article is entitled:
Backbone's top piques climbers' interest
By Candus Thomson -- On the Outdoors
Among the excerpts:
Highpointers, aka "peak baggers," collect mountaintops the way Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney collected spouses. Their bible is a blue-and-gold, soft-cover book that lists each state's ceiling and how to get there.
Between now and then, the Elliotts and friends will be working on the mountain, putting up "Burma Shave-style" signs along the trail to direct and amuse hikers, and sprucing up the summit.
Not that the top needs much work. Over the last three years, the Elliotts have chopped back the weeds, repainted the summit sign and installed a picnic table and camera stand to let hikers set up the camera timer and get in their own photos. They've also put up a mailbox that shelters a register for hikers to sign and "Highpointer" certificates signifying another peak bagged.
For the convention hikers, there will be certificates signed by Sarah Taylor-Rogers, secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.
For those in need of a more conspicuous souvenir, Highpointer T-shirts will being offered before the convention.
People and time forgot about Hoye-Crest until 1990, when Don W. Holmes wrote the how-to book - Highpoints of the United States - that launched the peak-bagging movement.
In 1999, the Highpointers Club gave the couple its top honor, the Vin Hoeman Award, named after the first person to reach the summits in all 50 states.
Ninety-nine people since Hoeman have stood atop all 50 state high points. Just 49 others have settled for the lower 48 states, which lets them avoid Mount McKinley in Alaska, at 20,320 feet the highest mountain in North America.
Holmes, a retired engineer for Rockwell International, began his own quest in 1970 with Mount McKinley, Mount Whitney and Mount Rainier: Nos. 1, 2 and 4 in altitude.
"After I got those, it was all downhill," he cracks.
"What would really make this convention special," says Elliott, "would be to hear Sarah Taylor-Rogers announce at the banquet that the state is buying the top of Backbone."
[Note my apologies for not posting the whole article -- it's a thing I have to do to keep the copyright police off my tail. I will try to get permission to post it later on the Club site]