345 feet ASL, Lowest Highpoint in the US
Confucius said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Well, for me, “A journey of the 50 highest US peaks begins with the lowest peak.” The journey began early, 5:30am to be exact. My wife and I rolled out of bed. The itinerary was for my wife, myself, and our English Bulldog, Zoë to visit three highpoints in 4 days with a base of operation with some good friends of ours, Kim and Disco Dan Jordan, in Birmingham, Alabama.
By 7:15, we were on the road, but we had to get through a few mishaps before things would eventually smooth out. First, Zoë decided the back seat wasn’t good enough for her and for the first two hours of the trip she constantly attempted to push her way to the front seat. This was flattering that she wanted to be so near us, but not while driving. (And by the way, she is very strong.) My wife and I started to wonder if we were going to make it the whole way with her. She finally settled down, but that was because she had to pee and where better to pee than in the backseat. This was pretty frustrating. But, we pushed on after a stop to clean up the mess. Things got back to normal for a little while until the car problems started. Don't all good road trips have to have at least one.
We were just west of Tallahassee and had to stop to fill up. As we pulled off the exit the car stalled. I checked the oil and started the car again. Thank goodness it worked, we thought. At least enough to get us to the gas station and then the car stalled again. After some stressful hours, we finally got a tow truck, but he wouldn’t let our bulldog ride in the A/C cab with him. Zoë was already hot from being outside, but she was going to have to endure more heat. My wife thought Zoë was going to die and this may not have been far from the truth.
Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at the maintenance shop and to say Zoë was overheated was an understatement. Thankfully, there was a bike shop right next to the maintenance shop, so I went and asked if they were dog friendly. They were. Zoë came in and plopped on the cool concrete floor. It was a site to behold. The bike guys also supplied us with a water bowl. (Their kindness was truly extraordinary.)
Thankfully, the car was fixable and at 4:00pm we were back on our way. Zoë, now exhausted, slept in the back. At 6:30pm, with darkness approaching, we arrived at the peak. Krisha exclaimed that this highpoint was rather lame. I agreed, but would not be let down. It was the start of an adventure and I was in good company, a great wife and a sometimes great dog. All three of us managed to summit this peak.