The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 4, 1997 · Page 7
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 7

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Salina, Kansas
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Saturday, October 4, 1997
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Page 7
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THE SALINA JOURNAL NATION SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1997 A7 **, ACHIEVEMENTS Idiots' aim for highest points in all 50 states By SUSANNA LOOP Tlie Associated Press ARCADIA, Mo. — The gray granite boulder that marks the highest point of Missouri looks pretty much like any other boulder in the leafy green Ozarks forest. It's a foot or two high and a couple of feet across, with a flat top that makes a good setting for visitors to pose for photographic proof of their achievement. In fact, the boulder looks so commonplace that visitors may suspect that a couple of nearby rocks are really higher. But a sign declares that yes, this particular rock is the highest point in Missouri. Jack Longacre has taken the short walk to stand on the boulder dozens of times. And every time, he dutifully records his name and the date in a red plastic binder that marks the spot. Leafing back through the pages, he recognizes a couple of familiar names. They are members of the Highpointers Club, which he started 10 years ago as a way to connect folks like him who enjoy the challenge of "bagging" the high points of all 50 states. Longacre started the club after noticing from registry listings that other people were on the same mission he was. "I thought, 'My God, there's other idiots out there,' " Longacre said. Teased by the thought, Longacre wrote Outside magazine about his hobby. The magazine published a brief item about him in October 1986, and the Highpointers Club was born. Since then, it has taken on a life of its own, claiming most of Longacre's spare time and a room in his home, just a 2.5- mile hike from the Missouri high point. A trucker during the week, Longacre spends much of his weekends keeping up with the 1,300 club members — answering mail, writing the quarterly newsletter, keeping member records straight. Fifty-five of the club's members have logged all 50 states' high points, and 110 have logged 48. But many members are happy with the 40 or so high points that, like Missouri's, are relatively easy to reach. Missouri's high point, on Taum Sauk Mountain in Iron County, is the nation's 41st highest point with an elevation of 1,772 feet. A paved path the length of a city block leads from a parking lot to the boulder. Bagging "peaks" like Taum Sauk and most other high points (certified by the U.S. Geological Society) isn't strenuous. Not much planning or physical fitness is required But about 10 peaks, including Alaska's Denali (also known as Mount McKinley), demand expert Alpine climbing skills as well as ice-axes and other specialized equipment. The Associated Press Jack Longacre stands atop Taum Sauk Mountain near Arcadia — the highest point in the state of Missouri. Longacre is president of a club whose members strive to visit the highest spot in each of the 50 states. The club is open to anyone who wants to join. Just to reach the high points of the 48 contiguous states requires at least 15,000 miles of travel. An average Highpointer spends between six and 10 years of vacation time on the climbs. It took Longacre four years. And it can be costly, although how costly depends on how one likes to travel. Longacre prefers camping or sleeping in the back of his pickup truck. His ascent of Denali — the highest and most technically challenging high point in the United States — cost $3,000. Club members come from all 50 states and as far away as Germany. They are all ages. For many, high-pointing is a family affair. Dennis Stewart, a high school teacher fronrHig- ginsville, Mo., said high-pointing was a chance for him to bond with his'children as they were growing up. They are teen-agers now, and their interest in doing things with Dad has flagged. "But I think they may pick it up again when they get older," Stewart said. Stewart has twice completed the high points of the 48 contiguous states and is six climbs away from doing it a third time. He said being a Highpointer keeps him on top of news about the high points and makes him a part of a unique camaraderie. The group's conventions, he says, are like family reunions. "It's so much fun to get to- gether with people that are so driven and so goal-oriented," he said. But Longacre is ready to scale back a bit. The club's responsibilities keep him from the adventures he enjoys so much. At the club's convention this summer in Colorado, members presented him a crystal plaque thanking him for 10 years of outstanding leadership. Longacre keeps the award displayed on a bookshelf. .A small, framed handwritten note hangs nearby: "Life — use it or lose it." "That's my motto," Longacre said. "Life. Use it or lose it. But don't abuse it. I can't imagine anybody getting any higher than I do." The highlights and low points Here is Jack Longacre's list of the best and worst of America's high points: • HIGHEST-MOST TECHNICALLY DIFFICULT: Mount McKinley (also known as Denali), Alaska (20,320 feet). It's a high- altitude Alpine climb demanding expert skills and equipment. "But any high point can be as hard as you make it." • LOWEST: Britton Hill, Fla. (345 feet). • MOST BEAUTIFUL: Gannett Peak, Wyo. (13,804 feet). "It's an open, eerie area with trees here and there and little bitty lakes." • UGLIEST: Black Mountain, Ky. (4,145 feet). Two inches of crushed beer bottles and other trash cover a concrete slab below a view tower. "But we're working on that. Some members are cleaning it up." • MOST DANGEROUS: Ebright Azimuth, Del. (448 feet) It's in the middle of a road. • TRICKIEST TO GET TO: Jerimoth Hill, R.I. (812 feet). A man living near the high point refuses to allow people to cross his land. Instead, an alternate round-about route must be taken. The club accepts standing by a sign by the road as an ascent. "But most members are like me, and that's just not good enough." JACK LONGACRE f Search ends for missing pilot y The Associated Press [ VIRGINIA BEACH. Va. — A ?earch was suspended Friday for a missing Navy pilot who ejected from an F-14 fighter with a crewman before his jet crashed into the Atlantic. • Lt. Cindr. Logan A. Allen III, 33, Virginia Beach, disappeared after he and a crew member ejected Thursday afternoon during a training exercise about 50 miles off the North Carolina coast. The crew member, Cmdr. Craig Roll, 39, Virginia Beach, was rescued uninjured within an hour. Although pilots said they saw two open parachutes descending to the sea, Allen could not be found despite an intense search that included several ships and aircraft. The cause of the crash has not been determined. Doori • Wlndowi • Storm Doen Financing; Available Wayne Weftel, Owner Doug Wetzel. (913) 827-5400 Carl Strecker. (913) 827-5050 When you tn/nk of Windows think ofWayne. BUS WRECK New Mexico woman, child die when run over by school bus By The Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An elementary school bus backed up into three people outside a school Friday, killing a woman and a student and injuring another woman. The bus trapped two of the victims for up to 20 minutes outside the Marie M. Hughes School on Albuquerque's west side, said schools spokesman Rick Murray. "Somehow the bus ended up on the curb," he said. "Somehow it backed up. Whether it was bus malfunction or driver error, we just don't know yet." A woman Was pinned between the bus and a concrete barrier and the child was pinned underneath the vehicle, Murray said. Firefighters used air bags to lift the bus off the two victims, said Bobby HaJton, a district fire chief. The injured 35-year-old womah was struck by the bus and hospf- talized with a broken leg in satisfactory condition, hospital spokesman Greg Johnston said. 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Friday-(*4:25)-7:10-9:50 Sat.-Sun.-(*1:40-*4:25)-7:10-9:50 Mon.-Thurs.-(*5:10)-7;50 Kevin Spacey Frldeyf 4:15)-7:00-10:00 Sat.-Sun.-{'1:30-'4:15)-7:0(MO:00 Mon.-Thurc.-('S:00)-6:00 | MR. JONES MR. SMITH MEN IN BLACK . Frld8y-('4:45)-7:30-9:30 Sat.-SuM'2:00-'4:45)-7:30-9:30 ' Mon.-ThMf».-('S;30)-7;30 what you wish for. Frlday-f4:35)-7:05-9:15 ^ S«turday-('2:05-'4:35}-7:05-9:l5 Sundsy-C2:05-'4:35)-7:05 | JOHN TRAVOLTA NICOLAS CAGE FACE/OFF m Frld»yf4:15)-7:15-10:15 S«turdsy-(M:15-M:15F:15-10:15 I Sundayfltimiis^iis I Mon:-Thur».-C5:10)-7:50 THE GAME MICHAEL DOUGLAS • ft-idayf4:15)-7:00-10:00 Sat.-Sun.-('1:30-'4:15)-7:00-10:00 Mon.-Thuf8.-C5:00)-8:00 G.I.JANE IDEMI MOORE Friday-C4:35)-7:20-9:40 ^ Sat.-Sun.-('1 :SO-'4:35)-7:20-9:40 Mon..'Hie».-C5:201.7;40 _ VANESSA L. WILLIAMS Friday-('4:30)-7:00-9:20 OE Saturday-<'2:00-'4:30)-7:00-9:20 Sunday-C2:00-'4:30)-7:00 Mon.-Thur8.-('5:10)-7:30 ROBIN WILLIAMS Frlday-C4:30>-7:05-10:00 Saturday-(M :30-'4:30)-7:05-10:00 Sunday-C1:30-'4:30>-7:05 Mon.-Thur».-C5:15)-7:45 SUNSET PLAZA. SUNSET CINEMA 2 - S1.5O ALL SEATS • ALL SHOW '7S PriuK-Uun. Shunt*) 'aYe'for'c'itueni 14Hi " «»»<""• : 8"-'W j,'/ Htanng Iropairsd

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